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Paul Archer excited by prospect of rugby returning to Newbury's Monks Lane




NEWBURY Blues head coach Paul Archer is hoping restrictions can continue to be eased to ensure rugby returns to Monks Lane.

Action at Newbury Rugby Club for both men and women has been on and off due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it appears normality is edging closer with the hope of the new league season’s beginning in September.

Speaking about how the past 15 months, Archer said: “Hopefully we have seen a more positive movement in terms of numbers of infections and hopefully it keeps going the right way because we need that to happen for rugby to return.

Paul Archer
Paul Archer

“We are excited, but our excitement is tempered with a little bit of realism as we were supposed to be back now in full-contact training.

“The RFU weren’t granted that and we’re not in a position to train fully and that puts pressure on the community game coming back.”

Despite the constraints, the Blues head coach is excited to start pre-season training at the end of this month.

A big collision in the rugby at Hungerford
A big collision in the rugby at Hungerford

“We only stopped playing previously at the end of May and we gave the guys a month off so they can come back in regular time scales.

“Hopefully we can have a full pre-season because we have some exciting games coming up and it’ll be exciting to see where everyone is at really.

“We have played games under adapted rules over the last year, but hopefully we can be ready for when the new season starts in September.”

Recently, the annual memorial game between Newbury and Hungerford took place after a couple years of absence and Archer was pleased it could return.

Charity rugby at Hungerford RFC
Charity rugby at Hungerford RFC

“It has a fantastic story behind it and it’s great that two local clubs can support eachother through that process.

“The boys were very keen to play and they went with our blessing so they could get out and have some good social time together and it’ll bond the squad.”

For pictures and a report from the friendly, turn inside.

A Newbury player (blue) avoids a tackle
A Newbury player (blue) avoids a tackle


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