ILKLEY say it is pivotal to prioritise their players safety ahead of returning to 15-a-side contact rugby and have ruled out any chances of playing friendlies before the year is out.

Earlier this week, the RFU surprised everyone by confirming the government has approved their submission for a resumption, with some adaptations.

It means community clubs are allowed to get back to full training and host local friendlies from December 18.

Head of rugby at Ilkley Rhys Morgan gave the Ilkley Gazette his initial thoughts.

"I am a little bit amazed," he said. "I am not unhappy, I am very pleased.

"Perhaps Joe Lowes (Ilkley captain) will stop ringing me all the time begging to get back to rugby so that is one blessing (chuckles)."

On a more serious note though, a bemused Morgan added: "We have just come out of lockdown and are in tier 3.

"We can only meet two other households at Christmas but I can go and meet 40 other households on a Thursday night.

"We have spoken things through with Andrew Munro (Ilkley chairman) and our decision has been to make a very cautious return to rugby.

"We are going to stick to the parameters the RFU have set and make sure we are working in a safe environment."

The Stacks Field side are back in training tonight after their month-long lockdown break, but Morgan insists contact sessions and matches are a long way away.

He said: "Some coaches might be under pressure by their rugby clubs to get a game on before Christmas.

"We have no intention of playing a contact game before the new year.

"You would never start the first training session with contact anyway because you need to build the bodies back up.

"We have to establish how we are going to accommodate 40 lads training. It is my intention to gradually introduce contact.

"Over the Christmas period you can get a plan of action for games and training sorted for the new year."

The resumption does involve some restrictions though, the main one being scrums and mauls will be replaced with free kicks.

Morgan feels the rule can't remain permanently but will be just glad to have some rugby back when his club do decide to play friendlies.

He added: "Do we want to play rugby without scrums and mauls? No.

"Do we want to play rugby? Yes. So, we will get on with it in whatever format is deemed appropriate.

"It is going to open the game up and it will be quicker. I am hoping this is short term.

"If they had cancelled scrums and mauls last year, we probably wouldn’t have got relegated (laughs)."

The Dalesman boss also urged players and members to not forget about the club in these uncertain times.

"It is critical that our existing members pay their memberships and support the club.

"We do really need their help. We still have bills to pay so it is really important."