Walsham Vikings busy preparing for a return to action
- Credit: Richard Polley
Following the easing of lockdown, rugby has been making a cautious return to Scottow Park, home of North Walsham Rugby Club.
Guidance set out in the government approved RFU’s “Return to Rugby Road Map” has allowed, since March 29, some limited training and tag/touch matches. From April 26 more intensive training, including additional contact work, and “adapted law matches” can take place.
The key law adaptations are the exclusion of mauls and scrums. This easing of restrictions has enabled the Vikings to return to training, the two three-day rugby camps for the Easter Holidays to go ahead, the Youth, Minis and Valkyries to resume Sunday mornings and the scheduling of some friendlies for the Vikings next month.
Two of those games are against Holt, at home on May 1 then away on May 8, whilst on May 15 they travel to Shelford.
Further ahead, on June 19, they play Cambridge University, again away, and hope that by then normal laws will apply, although that is dependent on the situation with the pandemic.
Looking ahead to these fixtures, director of rugby James Knight said: "It's just be great to play again and I’m looking forward to seeing our new signings in action, all 13 will get game time. Not playing has been tough.
"Nevertheless, we’ve made the best of it, training hard whenever allowed, keeping up the social side as much as we can within Covid restrictions. Our focus is being ready to compete against the best in London & South East Premier when it hopefully starts on September 4.
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"We want to hit the ground running. Promotion was a huge achievement, but it was a beginning not an end.”
An average of 50 have been attending training and Knight has been pleased with the skills and commitment shown.
The Easter Camps proved hugely popular with record numbers. Nearly 120 were at the Minis Camp the week before Easter and around 80 to the Youth one a week later. Knight and Vikings coach Ryan Oakes ran the camps, assisted by Vikings players Frank Scott and Jamie Hooker. The new school term will see the club’s Schools Programme recommence.