Gallagher Premiership clubs are reportedly facing points deductions, fines or player bans for any proven breaches of the Covid social bubble that will surround teams when the English top-flight gets back underway next month. 

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The suspended 2019/20 league season is due to resume with Harlequins hosting Sale on August 14, the opening match in a run of nine rounds of fixtures leading up to semi-finals and an October 24 final.

England cricketer Jofra Archer was recently axed from his country’s squad to take on the West Indies in the second match of their ongoing Test series, the player falling foul of administrators after he breached bio-security rules with a trip to Hove that resulted in him having to go into isolation.   

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Now Premiership Rugby authorities have outlined plans to come down heavily on any similar behaviour that could hinder the restart of a rugby tournament that hasn’t staged a match since Bristol’s March 8 win over Harlequins at Ashton Gate. 

According to a report in The Telegraph, alleged breaches will be investigated by RFU head of discipline David Barnes with incidents set to fall into three categories – intentional, reckless or careless. The emphasis will especially be on away teams maintaining strict social bubbles to ensure fixtures can go ahead without an 11th-hour threat. 

Measures that will be implemented to ensure players stay safe include teams travelling to matches on two buses for each game while players must stay in single rooms if an overnight stay is involved rather than room share.  

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Premiership Rugby’s latest round of coronavirus test results for players and non-playing staff this week revealed that two players had contracted the virus. That brought the number of people who have tested positive for the virus in the three weeks of testing to 21 – 15 players and six non-playing members of staff.

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