THE Welsh Rugby Union says it is "highly unlikely" that there will be any community rugby until November at the earliest.

The professional teams returned to action in the Guinness PRO14 last weekend but there is no prospect of action at lower levels for a number of months.

The governing body are working with the Welsh Government towards the next stage of their phased return, with touch rugby now allowed at all levels.

However, WRU community director Geraint John urged caution.

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"Coaches are encouraged to introduce a touch rugby element towards the end of their structured training sessions and to stick to the hygiene measures in place – to sanitise hands and balls every 20 minutes and especially before and after engaging in touch-based activities," he said.

"This isn't the green light to exclusively play touch rugby throughout the training session."

The WRU postponed all of their competitions in March and then cancelled them. Clubs would normally be getting ready for the start of their league seasons in September but a 'normal' campaign looks highly unlikely.

"Given the easing of restrictions that would need to take place regarding social distancing, and the fact that the community game will be given at least six weeks of contact rugby training before the recommencement of any competitive, contact rugby for player welfare reasons, it is now highly unlikely that any community rugby competitions will resume in October," read a WRU statement.

Clubs are allowed to train in small groups with a maximum of 15 players while social distancing means there are no huddles, close team talks or team photos.

Balls and cones are the only equipment currently permitted and there should be no tackling, wrestling, rucking, mauling, line-outs or scrums.

No sessions or matches are to take place against other clubs, hubs or schools.

WRU operations director Julie Paterson said: "We know there is a huge appetite to get back to contact and competitive rugby, but we must continue with our phased approach, taking each step at a time.

"We have committed to giving the community game at least six weeks to prepare for the resumption of any kind of competitive, contact rugby with our players' welfare our primary focus.

"We will continue to work towards the next phases in conjunction with the Welsh Government.

"It's vital that we stay vigilant to the safety measures put in place for training sessions and adhere to the pre and post-training protocols in order to safeguard our communities and to hopefully ensure that rugby is back for good."