Batley Bulldogs coach calls for Covid-19 return-to-play protocol to be scrapped

Batley Bulldogs head coach Craig Lingard believes it is time to scrap the Covid-19 return-to-play protocol.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 9:27 am
Updated Friday, 13th August 2021, 9:28 am
Craig Lingard. Picture: Ed Sykes\

As it stands, Batley are set to be without three players who tested positive for Covid-19 last week when they travel to Swinton Lions on Sunday.

Players who test positive or who are identified as close contacts of a positive case of the virus must isolate for 10 days under Government rules before completing a seven-day return-to-play protocol under RFL guidelines.

That means players will miss a total of 17 days and Lingard believes it is time to stop the return-to-play protocol.

Batley lost to Featherstone Rovers last week after three players tested positive for coronavirus in the build-up, with all three set to miss the trip to Swinton.

“They are reviewing the return-to-play protocol as you need to isolate for 10 days and then do another seven days return-to-play,” said Lingard, with captain James Brown one of the Batley players who tested positive.

“With Covid, why do you need a return-to-play protocol? If you are training and you are out of breath then you don’t play. If you train and feel well then you should be fit and ready to go. I think the return-to-play protocol needs to go. They are looking at changing it, either by reducing it or getting rid of it altogether.

“If they do get rid of it then hopefully James Brown will be available if he is fit and well after having Covid.”