THE Welsh Rugby Union will be making another £600,000 available to clubs because of the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The governing body will provide the funds to support return to play protocols and help clubs adapt their facilities for social-distancing measures.

The WRU say the £600,000 will include the central procurement of PPE with grants awarded to clubs on criteria and assessment of need.

“Following a period of consultation via the recent club impact survey, the findings identified clubs were protected for a minimum of six months,” said WRU community director Geraint John.

“Consequently, we have now outlined our intention to further financially support our clubs to prepare to return to rugby and remain at the heart of our communities.

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“A facilities working group has been established including club representatives to ensure that we continue to listen and support our community game in line with Welsh Government guidance.

“Further details on what types of expenditure will be supported and how clubs can apply for the grant element of the scheme will be provided shortly.”

The £600,000 fund will be in addition to the rugby and development grants for the 2020/21 season.

The WRU have committed over £1million in emergency funding this year, including £100,000 to those hit by Storm Dennis in February and around £300,000 paid to clubs at the start of the coronavirus crisis.

The pandemic has hit the governing body hard with chief executive Martyn Phillips stressing tough challenges lie ahead.

“We are under no illusions about the reality of the last three or four months,” he said in the WRU’s weekly update.

“Whilst there are tough days ahead, and inevitable challenges as we transition to life with the virus supressed or defeated, I would like to talk about our hopes rather than fears.

“We have a vision for how life can be for us in Welsh rugby if we believe that good things will happen.

“Rest assured everyone at the WRU will graft shoulder to shoulder with you to bring the game back stronger – we will leave nothing on the pitch.

“During challenging times, it can be difficult to see beyond the day-to-day. However, I have been struck recently by how rugby in Wales can not only survive this pandemic, but could thrive.

“I am sure many of us have been through a process of re-assessing what really matters in life.

“Family, health and well-being are obviously front of mind, but equally the value of community, of social interactions, of our local environment and being part of a larger social circle feel important now.

“We have a brilliant sport that is at the heart of our communities. Life after this pandemic will never be the same and it can be better than it was before.

“There are many, many factors that mean we can come out of the other side of this crisis stronger than when we went in.”