Following an Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday evening via Zoom – a 1st for many of the committee – here is an update about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and our plans for 2020-21 season.
The RFU has released a Return to Rugby Road Map, to allow the rugby community to get back playing as soon as we can do safely. The Road Map has six sections, ranging from individual training with one other to full contact rugby. We are currently at stage 2, which allows training in groups of no more than 6, no face-to-face contact, social distancing and equipment use to be kept to a minimum. Stage 6 will only be available when the government removes the social distancing rule which, we believe, is still a long way off. You can see the full road map here: Click here
All of the staff at the club have been placed on furlough, apart from Veronica (office), Nigel (groundsman) and Richard (cleaner).
Since April, the club has been rented by Humberside & East Yorkshire Smile Foundation for use as their local food bank hub. From July, Humberside Police hope to restart holding their Speed Awareness Courses in the Club (if permitted to do so).
Nigel continues to keep the clubhouse and grounds tidy and well-maintained – if we had left it for 3-4 months it would have taken an army to get it back in shape. He has also been working with Andrew Megginson on the playing surface, making sure the pitch is once again the best in Yorkshire, whenever it gets used.
Our AGM has been put on hold until we can proceed with it safely – we will update members when a new date is scheduled. Decisions about subs and memberships have also been placed on hold until further notice.
Bash and Coops have been hard at work securing a top class coaching setup and very exciting squad. However, we have lost the services of Kyle Dench – he is leaving his role as backs coach, and moving back to Otley to become their backs coach. Kyle has been a big hit whilst at Driffield, both playing and coaching and we wish him all the best in his new role – no doubt Driffield v Otley in 1st round of the Yorkshire Cup (if it happens).
Taking Kyle’s place is another former Driffield back, Karl Birch, who returns to where he started in senior rugby as backs coach. He played at 10 for numerous seasons before moving to Hull Ionians. Unfortunately for Karl he picked a knee injury which stopped him playing for the last few years, and makes his coaching debut this season.
Another addition to the coaching team, but also a massive addition to the 1st team squad is the signing of Ed Falkingham as forwards player coach for this season. Ed, like Karl, started his senior rugby at Driffield, helping us win promotion out of Yorkshire 1. He then had a year in Australia, playing for Southern Districts 1st Grade, in the process playing and winning the Shute final out there – a very high level of rugby. On his return he signed for Doncaster Knights in the Championship. However, injury hit in the pre-season, which meant he missed his chance. Ed went to Hull Ionians on loan for the remainder of that season, before making it permanent that summer. He has spent the last 3 season at I’s, and became one of the 1st on the team sheet.
Welcome home to both Karl and Ed. Rich Mitch continues as 1st team coach and Coops as Director of Rugby.
Rob Mewburn continues as 1st team skipper, with Matthew Jenkinson as Vice. Chris Young remains as 2nd team coach, with Alex Piercy helping him assistant coach.
Bash told me “Its not often I get excited, but I am about the team of coaches we have assembled and I know the players will be . They are all Driffield RUFC people and know how the club functions and how it is run . We are not only planning for this season but continuity over the next four or five.”
I’m sure our future 1st team players will be going mad at home, and itching to get back out playing with their mates.
However, at present, like with senior rugby we have no dates of when the mini & juniors will be starting back up. Henry will be in touch as soon as we have more information.
Brad is putting together our newsletter to keep us updated too, if you have anything you think might be worth a read, please let him know.
That’s about all for now. As with a lot of things right now, we are waiting for the government and the RFU to advise on how to proceed in a safe manor.
In the meantime, keep safe.