IT is hard to think of a part of society that has remained untouched by Covid-19.

Sport at grassroots and semi-professional level has been no different having stopped for long periods when the pandemic first took hold and it has been stop-start since the summer.

However, rugby union could argue it has been more affected than most, especially at amateur level.

The Rugby Football Union declared that, below the top two divisions, the 2020-21 season was cancelled. There would be no competitive matches until next year.

However, with a modified form of the game now allowed to resume in line with restrictions, Lymm RFC are ready to get back on the field.

“In the summer we welcomed lots of new faces and even some old faces and the general mood around the senior squad was super-positive,” director of rugby Adam Fletcher said as he detailed the club’s journey over the past six months.

“Injuries were allowed to heal and squad members could work hard on rehabilitation.

“The rugby roadmap actually allowed us to put together a really strong summer training plan. The focus was primarily on improving individual core skills and fitness.

“We also enjoyed a lot of fun sessions due to not having the pressure of games looming.

“The Tier Three restrictions, news of no league rugby and Lockdown Two hit everyone hard.

“We didn’t have the long summer nights to keep our spirts up and this last six weeks have been a lot tougher than the first lockdown.

“The lads are now really keen to get back to training and excited about the recent news regarding the 15-a-side game re-starting from December 18, but without scrums and mauls.

“Our cluster group of local clubs, who we can play against, has thrown up some great local derbies that should really get the juices flowing.

“The new rule adaptations will obviously take a while to come to terms with but at the end of the day they allow us to play, and that is great.

“Throughout the pandemic, the squad showed the upmost respect for the restrictions and guidelines.

“Temperature checks, sanitising regularly and working in small groups became the norm.

“As a coaching team we have actually learnt a lot more about the squad due to not having to focus primarily on rugby.”

Warrington Guardian: Lymm RFC director of rugby Adam FletcherLymm RFC director of rugby Adam Fletcher

It is not just the senior teams who have had it tough at Crouchley Lane – the pandemic has cost scores of youngsters the chance to play the game they love, too.

Like their older counterparts, however, they have managed to bounce back strongly.

“Up until lockdown, we were very active on Sunday mornings on the ‘Ready4Rugby’ pathway, all training by doing a modified version of touch rugby,” said Will Hind, head of the club’s mini and junior sections.

“Using this format, several teams had ‘matches’ against various local competition and all in a Covid-compliant manner.

“Those who did not have any matches were still really enjoying the run-outs to train with high attendances every week.

“While the specific details on what is allowed for mini and juniors return to rugby has not yet been fully communicated to us, we are expecting to be fully training soon and hope, like the senior teams, that some contact may be allowed.”