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Bishop's Stortford hoping to take on Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds and Westcliff in the East Anglian League Cup if rugby union resumes after lockdown

Bishop's Stortford are looking to join forces with Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds and Westcliff to stage the East Anglian League Cup.

It is hoped the tournament will get the green light following announcements from the RFU and the Government regarding the return of competitive rugby.

The four-team competition would take place over seven weekends, with provisional dates being agreed between the clubs but having to remain flexible pending forthcoming lockdown announcements.

Bishop's Stortford will take on Cambridge if the East Anglian League Cup gets the go ahead. Picture: Vikki Lince
Bishop's Stortford will take on Cambridge if the East Anglian League Cup gets the go ahead. Picture: Vikki Lince

The teams would play each other home and away and culminate in a finals day at the home of the highest-ranked side following the initial six matchdays.

The nature of the matches is yet to be decided – if full contact is not permitted then an adapted no-scrum format could be used while another option is to implement the RFU's Ready4Rugby rules, which enable teams of 10 to play a non-contact game.

And it is hoped spectators will be allowed to enjoy the fixtures and cheer on their teams following a lengthy break in play – Stortford's first team's last National League 1 game at Silver Leys was against Blackheath over a year ago on February 15, 2020.

There are also plans to stage a second-team competition running alongside the first-team event.

The Government's roadmap to bring lockdown to an end states organised outdoor sports can return from March 29, but Stortford and other clubs up and down the country are still waiting to find out exact details about what training and competitive matches can look like.

"Over the coming weeks, we will work with the Government to understand the number of players and format of rugby that will be permitted upon our return in both schools and community rugby," said an RFU spokesperson.

"When we have clarified these details, and associated travel queries, we will share the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap alongside a step-by-step guide to returning to training and guidance around facilities reopening."

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