THE pandemic has once again caused disruptions, but this time to Ilkley’s La Casita Summer 7's tournament.

The popular annual rugby event was due to take place on July 3, however due to current circumstances, the day's play will now start on August 14.

This news has come as a setback for Ilkley, who were looking to finalise preparations for their pre-season.

However, the club's head of rugby, Rhys Morgan believes the change in date may offer a silver lining.

He said: "Pre-season has all been a bit complicated really for us, because we had to postpone the La Casita Summer 7's.

"It was due to be played on July 3, but it is now being moved to August 14.

“We had initially planned for that date to be taken up by a friendly fixture. However, because the 7’s tournament is so important to the club, both financially and because of the work that has been put into it, on this occasion we do have to roll with it and get it off the ground.

“Although it will chew up the date for a pre-season game, hopefully it will be good. We are entering a couple of squads from the first team, so it will give them a chance to gain some fitness, get the ball moving, and it will give me a chance to look at some players.”

“It’s a bittersweet moment really, because there’s a bit of disappointment that we actually had 37 teams to participate in the July tournament. So, it’s a shame that we’ve changed the date, which now is clashing with other team’s pre-season fixtures.

“So, we’ve had a few teams that have had to pull out. But, on the positive side, the new August date will see all the restrictions hopefully lifted.

“And if you cast your mind back to Saturday when the event should have taken place, it was a blessing that we didn’t have it because the weather was awful.

“The day would have been a disaster. We had a screen outside for the football too, but we couldn’t have had that because of the weather. So, people would have left, and we would have lost a lot of income.

“I think we’ve got away with that one to be honest and I think it was a bit of a blessing that the dates were changed.

“Fingers crossed; the weather is good for August.”

In the lead up to next season, Morgan also confirmed he expects numbers to be good at training, as his side look to gain promotion.

He said: "We've got a lot of quality players this year.

"The way we are feeling about it at the minute, is that we want two strong sides, so we need to continue to push the numbers up at training, to ensure we have a strong first and second team.

“Having two sides of high quality is what you definitely need, especially when we have the goals of gaining promotion.

“It will give us the opportunity to call on players from either side, and it will keep us competitive."

After Ilkley's 7's event on August 14, they travel to Waterloo on August 28 for a double-header.