GRASSROOTS rugby is back in business and Tynedale Rugby Club are ready to hit the ground running as part of the NatWest RugbyForce Weekend 2020 with the RFU.

Last weekend saw the Corbridge-based club carry out improvements and repairs to its facilities to ensure they were ready for the resumption of the sport at grassroots level.

Tynedale are one of 800 clubs across the country who took part in the initiative, with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport recently giving the green light for clubs to start limited and restricted contact rugby training with inter-club non-contact fixtures able to be organised.

Plenty of hard work has gone into making the return to community rugby possible, with volunteers at the club certainly not shy in rolling up their sleeves to play their part.

Now in its twelfth year, NatWest RugbyForce is a nationwide programme developed with the RFU which provides an opportunity for rugby clubs to welcome team members and volunteers back to help make valuable improvements to their clubs.

NatWest has awarded grants ranging from £500 to £3000 to clubs to help renovate facilities and remain sustainable for longer in these challenging times.

Extra planning was also required to ensure the activity took place safely, with the club following the Government Coronavirus guidelines and the RFU’s guidance at all times.

Tynedale RFC's chief executive, Harry Cornforth, said senior squads returned to training on Thursday, September 10.

Last week all of the 36 members of the senior squad were tested for Covid-19 after one squad player tested positive, however the club confirmed there had been no further positive results.

The player has now fully recovered, the club confirmed.

“I look forward to NatWest RugbyForce Weekend ever year,” said Rugby World Cup winner and NatWest RugbyForce ambassador Maggie Alphonsi. “Grassroots clubs are the foundation of our rugby community and it’s so important that we look after them, all muck in and get them ready for when rugby returns.”

Follow NatWest’s rugby activity, including NatWest RugbyForce Weekend, at @NatWest_Rugby and @EnglandRugby on Twitter.