WHARFEDALE head coach Jon Feeley believes it is likely that we will not see the community game return until next year.

Last month, the RFU published provisional dates for 2020/21 matches to take place when Step F in the return to rugby roadmap, which allows competitive rugby to recommence, is reached.

September 5 is the planed go-ahead date with the first half of the fixtures list penned in to run up until December 19. There is also two different potential start dates in November and January, if Step F is not achieved by next month.

With rugby currently at Step B in the roadmap, Feeley thinks that first date can pretty much be ruled out and expects that the latter is more feasible.

He said: "I understand why they have got to put plans in place and targets to work towards. Unfortunately, it is all unknown. From the three dates they have got outlined, I don’t see that first one happening at all.

"In November, the second deadline coincides with the expected cold weather and the impact of the virus too.

"The RFU are still asking for feedback on how the league structure is going to look because it is all going to change to fulfil a full season. At the minute, it is all up in the air, but I have no problem with that.

"I could see a 45 game season where they link it up with the following year. You would then get a luck of the draw scenario where, if you play each team once, you could end up drawing all the top six teams away, it would be tough. There’s no easy way round this.

"Realistically, I think you are looking at January which means we have got to be careful with pre-season burnout. You are looking at a seven month pre-season, you would have to manage the players correctly."

The Green Machine returned to training three weeks ago under strict RFU guidelines that meant players have to stay in 'bubbles' of six.

Feeley has found coaching in this new environment difficult but is determined to find ways around it.

He added: "In the run-up to coming back there had been a lot of hard work behind the scenes. We have appointed John Sykes, a health and safety officer, who is overseeing the operation.

"The environment had to be as safe as possible for the boys and it had to be in line with what the RFU have released.

"It has been frustrating. I have got a lot of plans in place but at the minute you cannot do anything about that.

"It is very much limited to skills work in small groups. You can’t have games involving more than six people and, with the social distancing rules, you can't have anything that involves physical contact. Our job is just to find variety while playing to the rules."

Feeley expressed his delight about the arrivals of Ryan Carlson and Adam Howard from Preston Grasshoppers, and the return of Reece Ward, who spent last season at National One side Rotherham Titans.