June 5, 2020 / 8:22 AM / a month ago

Rugby-English Premiership targets August return to finish season

June 5 (Reuters) - Premiership Rugby is planning to resume its 2019-20 campaign following the COVID-19 disruption on Aug. 15, the English top-flight competition’s chief executive Darren Childs said on Friday.

The British government last week gave permission for elite sport to return without fans in attendance from June 1 and the Premiership, which has nine rounds remaining, is hoping to complete its season.

The targeted restart date was agreed at a board meeting on Thursday night.

"Nothing will happen until it's safe to do so but we will do everything we can to resume the 2019-20 Gallagher Premiership Rugby campaign on Saturday Aug. 15," Childs said in a statement here on Premiership Rugby's website.

“We won’t take risks with people’s health and rugby has unique challenges due to levels of proximity and impact.

“But with a number of clubs moving to Stage 1, it’s important for us to give players, coaches and clubs clarity on when they can look to return. Bearing that in mind, we look forward to the restart of the season.”

Premiership Rugby said the structure of the 2019-20 season would follow in due course.

Exeter Chiefs were top of the standings with 45 points when the season was suspended in April.

England’s top-flight soccer league will resume action on June 17. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru)

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