NOT playing rugby for almost a year “is a small price to pay” for keeping safe amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Weymouth & Portland captain David Oaksford believes.

Tomorrow will mark exactly one year since the Seahorses’ last game – an 85-14 mauling of Swanage & Wareham Seconds.

Amateur rugby has been one of the major sporting casualties of the pandemic, due to its close contact nature.

Oaksford told Echosport: “It’s a small price to pay for keeping our loved ones safe.

“Not playing the sport, it’s been incredibly difficult because it’s our passion, it’s something we love to do.

“It’s been hard not having that regular contact with your friends every week.”

At least 20 Seahorses players are currently tackling the club’s 1,000 miles in March challenge in support of Weldmar Hospice.

Oaksford believes the extra fitness will help when play restarts following lockdown easing later this year.

He said: “We’re hoping we’ll be back in training by the middle part of this year.

“Then the new season will start reasonably early, probably earlier than normal.

“(Running) dovetails straight into our training.”

To donate to Weymouth's 1,000-mile challenge, click here.