Rugby's eagerness to resume the sport this year will take it to September when the new school term is scheduled to open, Colin Peters, president of the T&T Rugby Football Union (TTRFU) said yesterday.
"If this does not happen, then we will engage in tag rugby," Peters told Guardian Media Sports, following a zoom meeting on Friday with Rugby Americas North (RAN) representative Jennifer Gray, noting, all the clubs and players want to do right now is play rugby.
Peters said his executive has been contemplating tag rugby, a type of rugby which is played with a belt tied around the waist with velcro attached to it to prevent contact with anyone. This type of rugby has been used around the world for development rugby by young players. However, Peters said if they have to revert to this type of rugby for their senior players, they will, noting that once the government gives the okay for schools to reopen, then it will be alright for rugby to start playing again.
The sport, like everything else, has been on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic which has killed many across the world, and Peters and his executives have been following the safety guidelines by the World Health Organisation (PAHO), the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the T&T government team of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram.
The TTRFU sanctions six seven-a-side tournaments by clubs for the year, namely the Police, Rainbows, Harvard Sports and Cultural Club, Youth Training Centre (YTC), Caribs and the Royalians Seven-a-Side tournaments, which will be determined by the TTRFU executives.
Being a contact sport, Peters said they have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 situation. The rugby football union executive meets every Thursday morning via zoom to discuss the way forward for the sport.
He said, "We appreciate the response from our teams and players. There's very little that we can do at this time but we have been asking our players to work hard and stay fit."
Meanwhile, Peters added that his executives are well on course to deliver to World Rugby, their plans for the sport of up to 2022. At a Strategic Planning Meeting with RAN last week, the TTRFU was asked to deliver the document by November, this year. Peters said they are well on course with the document since they started the meeting since last year.