Back To Masked, Non-contact Training

Lions Rugby Company/Frans Lombard

Masked rugby players, hand-sanitizer, ball cleaning, and lots of running and skills work greeted all players as they returned to the training field last week for non-contact training.

Emirates Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen was excited to see his players and “restart” the season as the eight franchises in South Africa were allowed to return to the training field after almost four months of lockdown as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.

Van Rooyen said the Emirates Lions will leave nothing to chance and have planned accordingly to ensure they adhere to the safety requirements put in place for professional sports teams by government and SA Rugby.

They are training in groups of five, in the gym and on the training field – where balls and gym equipment are cleaned continuously to ensure all necessary safety protocols are met. In the gym all players wear masks and only with rigorous running are the masks set aside temporarily.

“We are rigorous in sticking to and enforcing our ‘fives’ as we start by working on conditioning. We have five different gym stations so that every group will have their own station, with the necessary sanitation and cleaning equipment and products.”

The same five players will be together at all times and they train in the same space every day.

The COVID-19 task ensures that all protocols are adhered to on a daily basis while the team doctor monitors COVID system daily. All players and staff have downloaded and fill in an athlete app upon entry into the stadium which monitors their movement, health and temperature.