The news that all rugby fans have been waiting patiently for was finally revealed last night when Premiership Rugby confirmed it is targeting Saturday 15th August for the resumption of the Gallagher Premiership.
At a board meeting last night, the target restart date was agreed following the announcement earlier this week that Premiership Rugby clubs can move to Stage 1 : Elite Sport Return to Training.
Darren Childs, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby said: “Nothing will happen until it is safe to do so but we will do everything we can to resume the 2019-20 Gallagher Premiership Rugby campaign on Saturday 15th August.
“We won’t take risks with people’s health, and rugby has unique challenges due to levels of proximity and impact, but with a number of clubs moving to Stage 1, it is important for us to give players, coaches and clubs clarity on when they can look to return.”
The structure of the 2019-20 season will follow in due course.
There have been no matches played since 8th March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but clubs have been cleared to start non-contact training.
Exeter are currently five points clear of Sale at the top of the table, with Bristol and Northampton in third and fourth place.
No decision has yet been taken on whether games will be played behind closed doors, but as it stands now this looks to be the most likely scenario.
There are still nine games left to play for each team in the regular season, but there are no problems with relegation with Saracens already set to start next season in the Championship as punishment for salary breaches.
Should the Premiership get back to playing in mid-August, it will mean a near 23-week, 160-day gap in between matches.
Last nights news certainly will be a massive relief to all the twelve sides in the Premiership, as the thought of having no rugby played throughout the rest of the season would have massive financial implications for everybody in the sport.