BOTH male and female Skipton teams are back training under strict healthy and safety measures to abide by government guidance.

Earlier this month, the RFU issued a Return to Rugby Roadmap for the community game, which detailed six stages leading up to the eventual target of returning to full contact competitive rugby.

Currently, clubs are at Stage B (Two) of the ladder which allows for small group training.

This is defined by a maximum six people training at the same time while maintaining social distance, no close contact and sharing equipment being at a minimum.

The Skipton Roses lead the return beginning on June 8, with the men’s team following suit on June 17.

Training is certainly different with strict hygiene procedures put in place, and players having to sanitise before, during and after a session.

Men's head coach Craig Bartlett believes the health benefits are crucial and encourages anyone to come down to give it a go.

He said: "We are trying to get back to normality. A lot of the guys, who have been furloughed, have still been training, but it is getting that wellbeing back that they have missed.

"The season was cut short and there was nothing open to socialise at during the summer so getting everyone back together has been good for them.

"I think they have been missing their mates so having a bit of fun and banter, it has worked really well. It is our second week now and we are averaging 15-20 people.

"We are doing a lot of cardio work and split up into groups of five with one coach working with them. We also split the pitch into four areas.

"We have been using the noodles, that swimming instructors use, to incorporate the touch element. Although, it is unusual, the guys will get used to it.

"Everyone sanitises before they come and we sanitise the balls every 15 minutes. We also social distance and bring our own water. It is different mindset, but it is the new norm so we just have to work with it."

Roses coach Brian Brocksom is also glad to be back.

He added:“We have continued to stay in contact with the ladies throughout the lockdown and had a passion to get the ladies back when the time was right, not only for the rugby but also for some well needed social interaction.

"By strictly following UK Government guidelines and working within the RFU's covid-19 guidelines, I was pleased to announce to the ladies that they could return”

Bartlett went on to to say he hopes the new campaign can begin at some point this year.

"If the season was to start like normal in September, we would be lucky. You can’t get closer contact than rugby, especially in the scrummage, so until we see reduction in cases, I think the RFU will be reluctant to do anything."

The Roses train on Mondays and the men train on Wednesdays. For more details, visit the club's Facebook page.