Coronavirus Update 

Durham County RFU is here to support you through your return to rugby journey during this strange time. All the information you need, you will find below:

The RFU have a number of contact email addresses with regards to any queries from clubs/coaches/

Club Support:


Player Welfare:

RFU Website


RFU Roadmap


Return Phase C

September 2020 Update 3 

As many of you will have seen the RFU have announced that from the 1st September that the Return to rugby will enter stage D. This stage now allows for minimal contact in the sessions! As well as inter club Ready4Rugby Touch games.


All of the information can be found in the via the following links:


Key points with regards to limited and adapted contact are as follows via the booklet and the key points below:


Contact in groups of a maximum of 6 for a maximum of 15 minutes per session.



Tackles at the waist or below only. 

1 v 1 tackles only. 

Small group activity, preferably with players working in pairs for the entire activity. 

Use of tackle bags, shields and pads that are cleaned and sanitized after each player use. No upright tackles. 

No tackling above the waist including trying to hold the ball carrier up or prevent an offload. 

No team game play activity. 

No equipment such as tackle pads, bags and shields to be used by multiple people without cleaning and sanitizing.

Coaches must NOT hold pads or shields or bags for age grade players. 



Maximum 2 v 2 players in a ruck (ball carrier and tackler, plus 1 v 1 on their feet over the ball). 

No team game play activity



Unopposed lineout drills. 

 Lifting of a jumper (under 16 and above only). 

Ball thrown to a catcher. 

Reduce the time the front lifter and a jumper are face to face in lineout set up to under 3 seconds. 

No opposed jumping.

No maul to be formed after ball secured.




No scrum practice allowed, including use of scrum machines, sleds and unit practice. 




No maul practice activity allowed, including from a lineout


Please can I ask that clubs now amend their risk assessments and then send out to coaches and players.

I have had a number of emails and questions with regards to group sizes. Groups still remain at a max of 20 on a minimum of half a pitch. The small contact groups of no more than 6, must come from within this 20.


Stage D in simple terms is Stage C with a 15 minute contact session attached.

As always if you have any questions please just ask.


August 2020 Update 2

RugbySafe Lead Update – Chris Simpson

With regards to pitch sizes, clubs are encouraged to use and apply common sense as long as it is in line with RFU guidance. i.e Max groups of 20, on a minimum of half a pitch.

Clubs are reminded that they are responsible for their coaches ensuring that they follow RFU procedures in line with the RFU’s Return to Rugby plan.

If there are any serious offences, we have been asked to pass the following on:

It is essential that clubs follow this guidance. Non-compliance puts clubs and coaches in breach of government policy and RFU guidance and could invalidate insurance. Clubs must also follow any local government lockdown restrictions that may be implemented.
If a CB or the RFU are made aware of any breach then charges under Rule 5.12 will be considered against the Coach responsible for the session and/or the Club itself!

With regards to localised lockdowns if this occurs, any training must be suspended as this is above any RFU guidance, so contacting you LA would be appropriate.

I appreciate that we are in difficult times and that every club is at different stages in terms of the above, but I would like to thank you all for your hard work. I know that coaches are keen to get back to normal as soon as possible, when in my own opinion I feel there will be no league rugby until at least Mid-October, clubs need to ensure that all coaches are aware of the above.

If Paul and I can support anyone in the meantime please get in touch.

August 2020 Update 1

RugbySafe Lead Update – Chris Simpson

The news we have all been waiting for has finally arrived this morning. 

The RFU have announced that we have now moved on to Stage C of Return to Rugby. From my understanding, the group sizes can now be up to 20 and we can now play touch!

All of the information can be found via the links below:

Can I please ask that all clubs amend their Risk Assessments and share with players and parents. For example at Houghton the sessions will now be 45 minutes long instead of the previous 30, and with groups of up to 20.

Also for anyone not following the RugbySafe Area6 Twitter and Facebook pages, please give them a follow as the information sent out is posted there first!

Any further questions please just ask.


The Durham County Rugby Football Union was formed in 1876 and has been growing, supporting and developing the game of rugby in its area since.


Durham County Rugby Union Office

Telephone: 07917 713 823


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