Grassroots rugby will return later this month after the Rugby Football Union revealed an adapted set of laws for the 15-a-side contact game.

All levels below the Greene King IPA Championship and Allianz Premier 15s will operate under the new rules, which limit the risk of prolonged face-to-face contact and thereby mitigate against any potential spread of coronavirus.

Adapted training can begin on Wednesday with fixtures recommencing from December 18 and among the new laws are the removal of scrums, which will be replaced by free-kicks and mauls.

RFU rugby development director Steve Grainger said: "In recent months, we have received growing support from clubs and players in favour of adaptations, with law variations preferable to the option of no rugby at all.

"This is wonderful news for community clubs, their volunteers, players and supporters around the country, who can now look forward to playing contact rugby for the first time since March.

"We now need to be as safe as we possibly can be and comply with all off-field social distancing and Covid-secure guidance to ensure we can continue our phased return to full contact rugby when it is safe to do so."

The law variations will be reviewed as the season progresses and as restrictions change.