• Durham County RFU Admin

RFU Community Game Update (2021)

Updated: Jul 1

Distribution list: Tuesday 29 June

Constituent Bodies Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers,

Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers


Return to Rugby

This edition includes:

1. Council update

2. 2021/2022 Travel Funding and RFU Competitions

3. Age Grade Summer Activity - July

4. Allianz Inner Warrior

5. Pitch up for Rugby

6. Club Support – VAT Recovery and Lease Reviews

7. News round-up including Pride in Brighton and helping at vaccination centres to #TackleCovid

8. Webinars and on-demand videosRFU Council vote in favour of Covid Recovery Plan and temporary pause on relegationThe RFU Council has today voted in favour of a range of structural changes to improve the financial stability and sustainability of professional rugby during the next three seasons while also providing benefits for England Rugby and the community game.


The Covid Recovery Plan, with a temporary pause on relegation, follows a detailed consultation that was announced in February after the RFU Council voted in favour of no relegation from Gallagher Premiership Rugby or the Greene King IPA Championship for the 2020/21 season. The extensive consultation included Premiership Rugby and their clubs, Championship clubs, The RPA, RFU Board and RFU CouncilRead MoreTravel Funding and 2021/2022 seasonFurther to announcements within the Community Game Updates on 15th and 22nd June, more information can be found below on travel funding support available for season 2021/22.


The document provides information on:


• Clubs travelling to play teams on Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey – women and men

• Mainland clubs travelling to the Isle of Wight - men

• Needs based travel funding.


It also contains the Needs Based Travel Fund criteria, how to apply and the application form.


RFU Competitions 2021/22 Season


Both adult and age grade competitions are on track to begin in September. We do, however, need to be mindful of Government’s announcement scheduled for Monday 19th July regarding the provisional lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions. The situation is being closely monitored and we are ready to react if there is a change to that date.Application FormTravel DocumentAge Grade Summer ActivityA reminder that on Thursday, age grade rugby activity moves to the July phase of the Summer Activity Guide. This extends the format, intensity, type and amount of activity permitted across age grade clubs, schools and colleges. It also means XRugby, without scrums and mauls, can now be played in fixtures for U14s and above.


Please visit the Summer Activity page to see the guide and supporting information. Remember that this covers all age grade activity.


Specific guidance to support rugby camps is also available on the page below.Summer GuideAllianz Inner WarriorWith 162 events and more than 3,500 participants taking part in Warrior camps in May, the appetite for rugby is back. We are now planning the next phase of camps.


August


Aligned to the Summer Activity Framework, clubs will be encouraged to host Warrior Camps for the girls’ age groups. They will focus on helping to transition players into their new age groups, bringing girls back together and welcoming new players.


September


This month will see clubs hosting Warrior Camps to kick off the new season, focusing on women and recruiting new players into the game.


To find out more and to register, click below.FAQsRegister NowPitch Up For RugbyThank you to all clubs that have already registered their interest in Pitch up for Rugby via the link below. All interest needs to be registered by Friday 9 July. This doesn’t commit you to anything, it just gives us an indication of the number of clubs who will be getting involved to celebrate rugby being back.Register InterestClub SupportVAT Recovery


Clubs who are VAT registered are encouraged to take action to protect their ability to continue recovering all VAT incurred.


An unintended consequence of clubhouse closures due to Covid has been a material drop in taxable incomes generated by clubs. This in turn has reduced VAT recovery rates as this is calculated to reflect taxable incomes. HMRC has recognised this issue and is encouraging clubs to seek approval to adopt the year end 2020 recovery rates for 2021. Formal approval for this procedure must be obtained from HMRC and further information can viewed here.


Any club having not yet actioned this matter is able to contact Russell Moore on the RFU VAT helpline to assist with this 07710 329317 or via russellmoore@sportsvat.co.uk.


Lease Review Offer


Irwin Mitchell, Official Legal Partner of England Rugby, has developed a fixed-fee lease review exclusively for our rugby clubs. The review will help your club understand its current lease, identifying any issues or pitfalls. This is especially important for clubs looking to improve their club facilities or to potentially make changes to their operations.


See below to find out more about the RFU Lease Review and costs.


This was developed following a successful ‘know your lease’ webinar that was hosted by Irwin Mitchell and can be viewed below.Review And CostsWebinarNews round upVaccination centres need our help

Local communities across the country will already appreciate the inspirational support provided by members of the rugby family during the pandemic. Would you like to go one step further to help the NHS #TackleCovid by volunteering at local vaccination centres? More information is available below. Hopefully, with the vaccination programme in full swing, we will see restrictions lift in the coming months and rugby can get back to normal.

Apply


Pride in Brighton

As part of Pride month, we are bringing you the great story of how Brighton Sea Serpents were set up by two former Kings Cross Steelers members.

Read more


Entries for the Under 15s & Under 18s National Girls’ Cup & National Under 18s Boys’ Cup

Entries for both competitions will be opened and sent out to the relevant contacts on GMS in the week commencing Monday 12 July. If you have any queries please contact WomensCompetitions@RFU.com (Girls Cup) or Competitions-Development@RFU.com (National U18 Boys Cup). As there are limited spaces for both competitions, please ensure your entries are completed promptly.Webinars & videos on demandAs we build up to the Summer Series you can watch the first of episode of The Next Level where Eddie Jones welcomes the new faces to the England Squad.

Watch video


Data Tidy up

Following the communications in recent weeks we have put together an on demand webinar following some questions we have had. We hope this helps and we will be providing more information for clubs, players and CBs in the coming weeks.

Watch video


Distribution list: Tuesday 15 June

Constituent Bodies Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers,

Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers


Return to Rugby

This edition includes:

1. Government Step 4 update and what this means for rugby

2. Regulation changes approved by RFU Council, Friday 11 June

3. Season 2021/22 Community Funding

4. Women’s leagues & fixtures release 2021/22

5. RFU Virtual AGM

6. Taxation of business support grants

7. News round-up

8. Webinars and on-demand videosGovernment Step 4 and what this means for rugbyFollowing yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister to delay Step 4 until Monday 19 July to enable more people to be vaccinated, we remain at Stage D2 on the rugby roadmap.


We will continue to hold discussions with government around when it will be possible to move to Stage E and full contact training.


In the meantime, we remind clubs and their members to follow all Covid-19 protocols and Stage D2 guidance. Please take particular care in light of the increase in Delta variant cases.


A reminder of Covid protocols and Stage D2 guidance can be found on the buttons below.Stage D2Helpdesk FAQsRegulation changesFollowing the RFU Council meeting on Friday 11 June, we would like to make CBs and Clubs aware of two key regulation changes that will come into effect for the 2021/2022 season.


Change to Age Grade Tackle Height – Regulation 15


As part of our continual evolution of player welfare initiatives, a law change to the tackle height in age grade rugby will come into effect from Sunday 1 August 2021.


The existing rules for those playing full contact rugby at U9 to U14 levels has an imagined line between the armpits as the maximum height of a legal tackle. This will continue.


Under the law change, these rules will now extend across all U15 to U18 age groups, bringing the tackle height down from shoulder level to the armpit. This means that age grade players from U9-U18 will play to the same tackle height law.


Players participating at U7 and U8 level will continue to play non-contact rugby.


Read more here.


Changes to Regulation 9 and the related First Aid and Immediate Care Provision Guidelines for the new season:


Regulation 9.3 now includes that clubs must complete a risk assessment and ensure an appropriate level of immediate care and/or first aid cover and equipment is in place for the rugby activity to take place as determined by the risk assessment.


We also continue to highly recommended that clubs and other rugby activity providers comply with the RugbySafe First Aid/Immediate Care Provision Guidelines. A new version for the 2021-22 season will be available via the RugbySafe page next week, when further information will be sent to clubs and their RugbySafe Leads.


A webinar will also be held on Wednesday 30 June to go through the new First Aid/Immediate Care Provision guidelines for the 2021-22 season and to cover other areas within FA/IC provision, including the first aid risk assessment, facilities and equipment and first aid training.


You can register on the link below or in the webinar section.RugbySafeRegisterSeason 2021/22 Community FundingCovid-19 will continue to have a major impact on RFU revenues for 2021/22 and beyond, with spectator capacities at Twickenham still unknown. In addition to the impact in this upcoming year, we also continue the longer-term recovery from what was a very low revenue year in 2020/21. This continues to lead to tough decisions across the whole game and the RFU Board and Council have agreed a business plan that sees continued investment into the game, while also supporting recovery from what has been an incredibly difficult last 15 months. Even in these challenging times, we will continue to invest in excess of £20m into the community game, greater than the entire turnover of the majority of other national governing bodies of sport. The RFU Board has also committed to a six-month comprehensive in-year review should capacities increase beyond those budgeted for and should this happen we would look to increase this investment further.


Different ways of working have evolved over the past 12 months and, in many areas, this has helped to strengthen partnerships with, and between, CBs and clubs. We remain committed to building on this collective endeavour and to maximising the resources we have available to us.


Key Headlines


• Club liability and catastrophic injury insurance will continue to be funded and provided centrally.


• The core element of PFR funding introduced in 2020/21 will continue into 2021/22. An additional £200k of funding will be provided to CBs to support local delivery of key RFU strategic objectives. Further detail will follow on this and we will look to increase this as this year progresses should the overall position improve.


• Funding for DPP will continue at the same levels as 2019/20. In addition to the funding paid to CBs for Age Grade Representative Rugby in 20/21 and carried forward due to no activity, an additional payment of £9.6k will be made to each CB to support the operation of this.


• Funding for volunteer management and leadership development will be re-instated, building on the previous successes with Leadership Academies and Leadership in Union.


• Recognising the necessity to ensure our pitches are ready for the return of rugby, continued and enhanced funding will be provided to support Rugby Grounds Connected.


• Match Officials at Levels 3-5 will continue to be deployed centrally and benefit from a national subsidy. Funding contributions from clubs will be charged at the same levels as 2019/20 - £3000 at L3, £1500 at L4 and £650 at L5.


• Funding for the Senior Men’s & U20 and Women’s County Championships will be considered once the current review group have reported on their findings and made their recommendations. Any funding will be decided upon by the Community Game Board who will assess this against contribution and relevance to the RFU strategic priorities.


• Funding to support merit table operation will be reinstated at the same levels as 2019/20.


• A dedicated budget for travel will be re-instated. However this will not be universally distributed to clubs. Support will be provided in two areas (1) to those onshore clubs having to travel offshore to fulfil league fixtures and (2) through a needs-based fund to support clubs most in need, further details on which will follow by the end of June.


• Operational budgets to reflect key areas of ongoing work will continue. While these are significantly smaller than in the pre Covid years we will seek to grow these back over time. Many of these are restricted as they are tied to external funding (e.g. Sport England). However, the Community Game Board will continue to focus on ensuring that any available resource is aligned closely to our strategic priorities.AGM - Friday 11 JuneThank you to everyone who attended and asked questions at Friday’s virtual AGM. Over the coming weeks on EnglandRugby.com you will be able find a copy of the speeches made by RFU CEO Bill Sweeney and RFU President HH Jeff Blackett, alongside voting results and the AGM minutes.


During the AGM, RFU member clubs ratified:


• The decisions made by the RFU Board to appoint Tom Ilube CBE as successor to Chair, Andy Cosslett and Polly Williams to take over as Independent Non-Executive Director from Helen Weir. Both take up their new positions from Sunday 1 August.

• A decision, approved by Council Members in November 2020, to keep the Presidential team in their current positions for the 2021/22 season.


13 new Council Members, elected by their Constituent Bodies, were also presented to member clubs.


We would like to thank the outgoing Council Members who have been instrumental in driving the game forward and extend a warm welcome to incoming members. We wish them the very best in their new roles.Read MoreWomen’s Leagues & Fixtures Release 2021/22The finalised women’s league structure and fixture schedules for each of the leagues are available below. Please be aware that, as a result of feedback, some changes may have been made to your leagues from the provisional leagues.


This information will be sent tomorrow to clubs who have entered Women & Girls contact, Fixture Secretary (Adult Female) and Fixture Secretary Assistant (Adult Female) GMS roles. Feel free to share this with them today if you prefer.


The fixtures will go live on englandrugby.com once the Gallagher Premiership Final has taken place.


Please click the buttons below for fixtures and the final league structure. This Map shows teams within each league.


Inner Warrior Series


Conversations will continue with your local Competition Organiser and/or Competitions Development Officer to ensure an appropriate format and fixture schedule for all teams involved in your local area.


If you have any queries, please contact womenscompetitions@rfu.com.Fixtures PDFLeague Structure PDFTaxation of Business Support GrantsFurther to the introduction of legislation on taxation of Coronavirus Business Support and Job Retention Scheme Grants, HMRC have published detailed guidance on how these new tax rules apply. The guidance is general in scope and does not address the special corporation tax rules which apply to members sports clubs. However, HMRC’s position is that these grants are fully taxable whether a club has been liable to corporation tax in the past and filed returns or not.


We have produced an on-demand webinar which gives you an overview of the approach. There are some exceptions to the taxations, which can be found on the tax page below, which also includes where support can be found.On-Demand WebinarTax PageRugby Round UpBelow are other stories published recently that we would ask you to share further.


• We have sent this video to adult male players at level 2 and below to summarise the Future Competition Structure in simple terms. Please feel free to share this video more widely to help explain the changes to expect from September 2022, in a bid to help clubs retain players.


• On Friday 18 June, Constituent Bodies chairs, honorary secretaries, treasurers, club presidents, chairs, honorary secretaries, treasurers and data officers will receive notification of an update to GMS that will affect player data. If not done already, please can you make sure all roles are up-to-date.


• The RFU’s Safeguarding procedures are regularly assessed externally by the Child Protection in Sport Unit, with the most recent report giving the Union the highest rating of very good in every aspect.


• Over the last couple of weeks, we have celebrated Volunteers' Week and UK Coaching Week. For stories and videos check @EnglandRugby on Twitter and the community section on englandrugby.com/news.


• As we look back on coaching week, we wanted to shine a light on Giselle Mather who went from Red Rose #35 to coaching the first women’s Barbarians team. You can read more here. We also spoke to former Bristol Women and England prop Sasha Acheson, who has joined the South West's first inclusive gay friendly rugby team, Bristol Bisons, as their head coach. Read more


• John Hilton, head coach of Windsor Dames, has been flying the flag for rugby having been selected as a finalist for the UK Coaching Hero. Read more


• Congratulations to Giles David Hilton, Chairman and Commercial Manager for Canterbury Rugby Football Club who has been awarded an MBE for services to Rugby Union Football in Kent. Read more

Webinars & videos on demandAll our Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars are on-demand, alongside the webinars coming up below.


First aid and immediate care

The next RugbySafe webinar on Wednesday 30 June will cover first aid and immediate care provision in clubs. This will include the new RFU guidelines recommend for pitch-side provision, equipment and facilities. We will also look at appropriate first aid qualifications and discuss what good practice looks like. You can join us live or watch on-demand afterwards.

Register


Financial sustainability – Wednesday 23 June 6:30 – 8:30pm

Although managing the day-to-day finances of your club can seem a daunting or tedious task, this workshop will support you to identify financial objectives that will help your club become more financially sustainable and resilient.

Register



Distribution list: Tuesday 20 April

Constituent Bodies Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers,

Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers

Return to Rugby

This edition includes:

1. Return to Play – one week until Stage D2

2. RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan applications – 11 May deadline

3. Adult Male Future Competition Structure from 2022/23 season

4. Payment of Players update

5. Mental Health support coming out of lockdown

6. Red Roses in Six Nations Final this Saturday

7. Webinars and on demand videosReturn to Play - Move to Stage D2 from 26 AprilFrom Monday 26 April we will return to Stage D2 on the rugby roadmap, which includes contact fixtures with adapted laws. Please familiarise yourselves with the guidance below. A video is also available here.


Age Grade


This move to Stage D2 also applies to age grade rugby, from Monday 26 April until the end of the extended 2020-21 age grade season on Monday 31 May 2021.


From Tuesday 1 June, we move to the out-of-season period through June, July and August, when activity will follow the Summer Activity Framework. For details, see below.


Age Grade Changes

Summer Activity Guide

Summer Activity Overview

Stage D2 Age Grade Match Guidance


The next #AskAgeGrade session on @AgeGradeRugby will be hosted on Monday 3 May.


Current off-field guidance


Off-field guidance is available via our Help Desk FAQs below, in line with steps reached on the government’s roadmap.Helpdesk FAQsD2 GuidanceRUWSF Asset Improvement Loan Applications - Tuesday 11 May deadlineClubs have until 5pm on Tuesday 11 May to submit an application for a Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund Asset Improvement Loan.


At 7pm on Wednesday 21 April, we are hosting a webinar to explain the opportunities this presents to clubs and how they can make an application.


Don’t miss out - make sure you register below.


The application form is available on our loans page below, alongside eligibility criteria and a number of documents that will help you through the end-to-end process.


Please read all documents before completing the application form.Loans PageRegisterAdult Male Future Competition Structure from 2022/23 seasonTo support participation in the community game at Level 3 and below, the RFU Council has agreed changes to the adult male competitions structure.


This follows an intensive 18-month review to understand challenges within the existing competitions structure, current players’ needs and the format that will serve them best.


Below you can read why these changes have been made and find the summary of new measures to be implemented from 2022/23, which follow four core principles: putting player welfare/needs at the forefront of decisions, minimising travel, ensuring a high quality of player experience and supporting club sustainability.


Over the coming weeks members of the Community Game Board and Future Competitions Structure Group will hold Q&A sessions with clubs to provide clarity on what the changes will mean to them.


More detailed information regarding implementation and regulation will be communicated throughout the remainder of this season.Why ChangesSummary Of MeasuresPayment of Players updateFollowing RFU Council’s vote on Friday, the below changes have been agreed to Payment of Players, Regulation 7.


1. The following changes to the thresholds at Level 3, 4 and 5 for season 2021-22. While clubs are able to pay above the threshold, if they do they will lose access to RFU Benefits as defined by Regulation 7. The revised thresholds are:


• Level 3 - £250,000 (down from £275,000)

• Level 4 - £125,000 (down from £157,500)

• Level 5 - £50,000 (down from £65,000)

• Level 6 – £0 - no change


2. All clubs at Level 8 and below and all non-voting clubs will only need to complete the declaration annually if they pay their players or player coaches and wish to be eligible for RFU Benefits.


3. There will be no requirement for Student clubs to complete the declaration annually unless the Student club plays in an RFU League at level 7 and above.


Any questions please contact paymentofplayers@rfu.com.Mental health support for the rugby communityFor many of us, the end of lockdown has been highly anticipated, but for others it could be a difficult adjustment, especially for those who are more vulnerable to the virus or who have mental health concerns.


Being able to return to rugby clubs will provide a huge boost to people’s mental, as well as physical health. However, if any members would like to find further support on how to cope with anxiety caused by the pandemic, follow the link below to our healthcare partner, Simplyhealth.


More resources will be available as we build towards Mental Health Awareness week (10-16 May), when we will also share stories of how clubs are supporting their communities.


Let us know how your club supports mental wellbeing by contacting PatriciaMowbray@RFU.com.


More InformationWatch the Red Roses in the Six Nations FinalOn Saturday, the Red Roses will take on France in the 2021 Women’s Six Nations Final.


Watch England as they battle to defend their Six Nations title live on BBC 2, with kick off at 2pm at the Twickenham Stoop.Webinars & videos on demandWe have our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars on-demand, alongside those coming up below.


Webinar: Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund – Introduction to Asset Improvement Loans

The RFU has launched the RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan programme. This webinar will explain the opportunities this presents to clubs and how they can make an application.


Date: Wednesday 21 April, 7pm-8pm.

Register


Mental Wellbeing – Keeping The Rugby Community Healthy - Wednesday 28th April - 7pm

As a follow up to our Player Mental Health Webinar, we will welcome RugbySafe Leads to a discussion about mental wellbeing, creating kinder cultures and spotting the signs of mental wellbeing issues in your clubs. We are joined again by, David Beeney, and former England Rugby captain Dylan Hartley. With the help of our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth we are putting player welfare at the heart of the game to keep the rugby community healthy.

Register


Mentoring Club - Building Rapport

In our latest Irwin Mitchell Mentoring Club webinar, Dusty Miller, Olympic coach mentor at the English Institute of Sport joined us for this webinar to discuss the process of making connections and building relationships that create rapport.


Distribution list: Tuesday 23 March

Constituent Bodies Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers,

Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers

Return to Rugby


This week’s headlines include:

1. Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund – Loans and Grants update

2. Return to Rugby On-field guidance

3. Return to Rugby Off-field guidance

4. Training Courses including First Aid

5. Age grade activity – Easter camps & summer activity

6. Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year - 2020 winners unveiled & 2021 nominations now open

7. Webinars and on-demand videos


Send photos and videos to @EnglandRugby of you gearing up for rugby; cleaning your boots, preparing the pitch and getting your kit ready with #ReturnToRugby.


Return to Rugby Roadmap reminder


Shareable JPEG version

PDF versionRugby Union Winter Survival Fund Loans updateWe are working through the final details with Sport England ahead of launching the RUWSF loans process and will publish further information shortly. The application period is set to open in early April.


Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund Grants


The grace period for clubs to apply for a RUWSF Grant has now closed.


Clubs who applied in the first window will be contacted by the end of March. We are in the process of issuing award letters to clubs who have been successful in their application for a RUWSF Grant.


Those who applied during the grace period are likely to be contacted by mid-April.Return to Rugby - on field guidanceStage D1 (from Monday 29 March) and Stage D2 (from Monday 26 April) guidance below includes advice for incremental contact training, building up to a max of 20 mins per session, excluding scrums and mauls, recommended coach to player ratio, equipment use and sanitisation advice.


• Full Stage D1 and D2 guidance.

• Examples of types of contact permitted in training - JPEG

10 minute video outlining key information to support the return to Stages D1 & D2.

Presentation slides summary from RFU Coach Development.

Coaches Q&A webinar on Stages D1 and D2.Return to Rugby - off field guidanceAt the time of writing, government guidance on areas relating to off-field such as clubhouses and travel hasn’t yet been published. As soon as this is available, we will update Coronavirus Hub and the Return to Rugby page.


The following guidelines apply from Monday 29 March Government Step 1B until Government’s Step 2 comes into force, which will be no earlier than Monday 12 April.


Clubhouses


It is expected that clubhouses will be able to re-open in line with national hospitality guidance from Step 2 on the government’s roadmap. This is when pubs and restaurants will be permitted to re-open (no earlier than 12 April.)


We will update CBs and Clubs on facilities and catering guidance closer to this date, when guidelines have been published by government.


Travel


Travel for sport and exercise is permitted. However, we strongly recommend keeping travel to a minimum.


We are awaiting the publication of government guidance relating to car sharing, minibus and coach use and will update when clarification has been received.


Changing rooms and showers


Changing rooms and showers cannot open from Monday 29 March, except for use by disabled people or in an emergency (for example should an injury occur and require treatment indoors).


A reminder for managing risk during non-occupancy, for example Legionella advice, can be found here.


We are awaiting publication of guidance as to whether changing rooms will be permitted to open at Step 2 on the government’s roadmap (provisionally Monday 12 April) or at Step 3 (provisionally Monday 17 May).


Toilet Facilities


Toilets are allowed to open on Monday 29 March. Please ensure toilet facilities are regularly sanitised and, if possible, keep windows open for ventilation. The decision on how long to keep toilets open will be at the discretion of each club. Further advice on the re-opening of toilet facilities is available here.


Spectators / age grade players’ parents or carers


Spectators are not allowed at any community sport and physical activity sessions or events. This does not apply to carers for disabled people, or adults needed to supervise under-18s in a safeguarding role.


Where it is necessary for them to be present, supervising adults or waiting parents/carers should not mix with others from outside their household or support bubble.


While we understand it is difficult for clubs to police, please remind parents during minis and junior sessions that we must respect the spirit in which grassroots sport has been granted permission to return. Please strongly discourage parents from huddling together on sidelines.


Track and trace protocols


At the time of writing, we are awaiting confirmation of whether the previous Covid-19 track and trace protocols need to be followed and will update in Friday’s Community Game Update.


Previous Covid-19 track and trace protocols are here.


Takeaway – serving and consuming teas, coffees, etc


As per the Government guidance on takeaways Club catering facilities should follow the latest government guidance for hospitality venues. Premises can only offer food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway until 11pm. Takeaway refreshment (coffees, teas etc.) should be taken away from the premises entirely, which includes any adjoining pitches owned and managed by the club, to ensure that there is no risk to their premises licence or club premises certificate. Clubs should not encourage gatherings.


For further information contact the Hospitality & Alcohol Licensing Helpline 0115 934 9177.


Our Club Support Centre FAQs and Return to Rugby page will continue to be updated as sport-specific guidance is published by government in the coming days.


Sport England FAQs and exemptions.Training CoursesTraining for Coaches, Match Officials and Volunteers will start again from next month to support the return to play.


In line with the government’s four step road map, we are we are taking a cautious approach to re-opening face-to-face training courses.


Government guidelines permitting, it is our intention to return to operating at full capacity at the start of the 2021/22 rugby season.


Information regarding the resumption of training courses can be found on the Return to Rugby page below, including:


• Emergency First Aid in Rugby Union/Play it Safe Safeguarding

• Kids First Tag Rugby/Contact Rugby

• England Rugby Coaching Award/Refereeing Award

• Player Welfare eLearning

Search for and book a course.


In our most recent episode of ‘Connected Match Official,’ Crag-Maxwell Keys looked at how to referee the breakdown.Return To RugbyCraig Maxwell-KeysAge grade activity – Easter camps & summer activityEaster Camps


Rugby camps will be allowed during the Easter holidays from 29 March when we reach Stage D1 on the Return to Rugby Roadmap. Rugby camps must first have CB approval under Regulation 15.9 and should follow the checklist in Codes of Practice 6.2.


All on pitch activity must be in line with the timings for activity and contact elements, coach to player ratios, social distancing and sanitising/hygiene practices in the Stage D1 guidance.


We would strongly encourage CBs to request confirmation of risk assessments and proof that camps are following Stage D1 guidance and off-field Covid-19 protocols.


Clubhouses, changing rooms and showers will not be permitted to open from Monday 29 March for Easter rugby camps.


Only toilets are permitted to open and should be regularly sanitised and ventilated where possible.


Children should be advised to arrive fully changed, ready for rugby, and to then shower and change at home. We are awaiting government confirmation on when changing rooms and showers will be allowed to re-open.


Rugby camp venues must follow the rules of the government’s 4-step Roadmap, which includes limited indoor use before Monday 12 April.


For a national programme – Premiership Rugby camps are part of their national Premiership Academy programme – camps are approved centrally by the RFU. However, we ask them to inform CBs of when and where they are planning to ensure everyone is aware of the camp to avoid clashes and encourage co-promotion.


Age Grade Summer Activity


The age grade out of season regulation (see 15.8) is suspended in 2021. This is replaced with an RFU Summer Training and Playing Framework this year to enable age grade players to catch up on missed rugby development opportunities safely.


On Friday 9 April, we will announce this summer rugby training and playing framework for age grade players, including CB, DPP and rugby camps. The programme will run from June to the end of August and will include contact training and inter club activity.


From January 2022 we expect to be able to return to normal procedure.Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year winnersMitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards 2020 drew to a close on Friday with a virtual awards evening recognising the effort and achievement of volunteers from across the country. 45 nominated volunteers made the finalist list with three overall winners being crowned on the night.


You can see some of the volunteers’ stories below.


As one door closes, another opens. Today we launch the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards 2021.


Given the unprecedented year we’ve all experienced, it seems apt to mark it in a slightly different way. This season will therefore include a new format in which there are three national award categories:


• Resilience in Rugby Award

• Beyond Rugby Award

• Diversity & Inclusion Award


These awards have been created to recognise the exceptional work that has gone into keeping not only rugby clubs going, but also local communities.


You can find out more about this year’s awards and today’s launch by using the link below.Volunteers' StoriesVolunteer NominationsWebinars and on-demand videosWe have our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars on-demand alongside those below that are coming up.


Introducing the Mental Wellbeing for Players webinar – Thursday 25 March – 7pm - Keeping The Rugby Community Healthy

Technical difficulties last week means we have re-scheduled the webinar for Thursday. We welcome rugby players of all ages to a healthy discussion about mental wellbeing, creating kinder cultures and the importance of looking out for each other.


Guest speaker, David Beeney, who has years of experience talking about (and not talking about) mental health is joined by former England Rugby captain Dylan Hartley. We put player welfare at the heart of the game to keep the community healthy, with help from our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth.

Register


Webinar: Using Social Media to engage players – Thursday 25 March 7pm

This webinar will cover how you can use social media to effectively engage with your players and reach more people. It will be hosted by RFU Social Media Manager Joe Ogden who will look at each platform and provide some top tips on how to use your social media channels.

Register


NFL Presents: A Conversation on Tackling Covid-19 – Wednesday 7 April – 7pm

Covid-19 leads are invited to join a webinar with medical leaders from American football and English rugby about their leagues’ COVID-19 mitigation strategies and what we’ve learned through the challenges of the last year.


Experts will discuss a range of areas including; how rugby’s rules can be adapted to reduce transmission risk; protocols; the impact of altered season structures on injury risk; lessons learned from sport that can be applied more broadly; and the risks and opportunities that lie ahead. While this is largely looking at elite level we will also discuss how this has shaped the community game and what learnings can be taken forward as we continue our return to rugby.

RegisterTeamworkRespectEnjoymentDisciplineSportsmanshipView Online


Distribution list: Tuesday 16 March

Constituent Bodies Chairs, Constituent Bodies Honorary Secretaries, Constituent Bodies Treasurers,

Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersReturn to RugbyThis week’s headlines include:

1. Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund - Grants update

2. Monday 29 March - Return to Rugby Stage D guidance

3. Age Grade Summer Activity

4. Easter Camps guidance

5. Webinars and on-demand videos

6. Mako's thumbs up

7. Inner Warrior return in May – Sign up nowRUWSF Grants deadline - 5pm on MondayA reminder that we have been given a grace period for clubs that weren’t able to compile their financial documentation in time to meet the original Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund Grant application deadline.


If you are a community club in Level 3 or below that needs financial support for survival and fulfil the criteria listed on the funding page below, please complete an application form by 5pm on Monday 22 March.


You will also find the application form on the Funding page button below.


Clubs who applied in the first window will be contacted by the end of March and should not apply again as their application will be discounted.


We are in the process of issuing award letters to clubs who have been successful in their application for a RUWSF Grant. The process is expected to take a couple of weeks to complete.AnnouncementFunding PageReturn to Rugby - Monday 29 MarchAs we get closer to our planned #ReturnToRugby at the end of the month, we have published more guidance around on field activity.


Below you will find a video guide for both Stage D1 and D2 on our Return to Rugby Roadmap. This 10 minute video details what activity is permitted on field for players and coaches.


We are awaiting facilities guidance from government and Sport England and will update clubs when this information has been received.


Our Club Support Centre FAQs and Return to Rugby page below will continue to be updated as further guidance is published.


Dates for your diaries for coach support webinars around the different stages are as follows (subject to Government guidance).


• Friday 19 March 7-8pm – Register here

• Monday 22 March 7-8pm

• Monday 12 April 7-8pm

• Monday 19 April 7-8pm


A shareable Return to Rugby Roadmap can be found here.Stage D1 & D2 VideoStage D1 & D2 guidanceAge Grade Summer ActivityFollowing last week’s publication of the provisional plan for a phased return to contact rugby, we have received enquiries asking for confirmation of what activity will be permitted in June, July and August 2021.


At this stage we can confirm that the age grade out of season regulation (see 15.8) is suspended in 2021. An RFU Age Grade Summer Activity Framework covering all aspects of age grade training and playing activity (including CB, DPP and Rugby Camps) will follow in its place. This is being developed and will be released on Friday 9th April 2021.Easter Camps guidanceRugby Camps in the Easter holidays can take place when we reach Stage D1 on the Return to Rugby Roadmap (from Monday 29 March). Camps must be approved under Regulation 15.9 and should follow the checklist in Codes of Practice 6.2. All on pitch activity must be in line with the timings for activity and contact elements, coach to player ratios, social distancing and sanitising/hygiene practices in the Stage D1 guidance.


Full facility and changing room logistical guidance for community sport is still to be confirmed; we will translate and share this as quickly as possible once received. Until this is available, rugby camp venues must follow the rules of the government’s 4-step Roadmap, which includes limited indoor use before Monday 12 April. We recommend a flexible plan to align with any changes in facility operation guidance between now and your event days.Webinars and on-demand videosWe have our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars on-demand alongside those below that are coming up.


Introducing the Mental Wellbeing for Players webinar – Thursday 18 March – 7pm - Keeping The Rugby Community Healthy

We welcome rugby players of all ages to a healthy discussion about mental wellbeing, creating kinder cultures and the importance of looking out for each other. Guest speaker, David Beeney, who has years of experience talking about (and not talking about) mental health is joined by former England Rugby captain Dylan Hartley. We put player welfare at the heart of the game to keep the community healthy, with help from our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth.

Register today


Webinar: Using Social Media to engage players – Thursday 25 March 7pm

This webinar will cover how you can use social media to effectively engage with your players and reach more people. It will be hosted by RFU Social Media Manager Joe Ogden who will look at each platform and provide some top tips on how to use your social media channels.

Register today


Leadership in Rugby

As part of our continued effort to draw on knowledge from the game and how this effects leadership. We have an all-female panel with the likes of like Sarah Hunter, Sara Cox, Katy Storie and Kirsten Flower as a National Youth Council and D&I council working group member for our latest look at Leadership in conjunction with Students RFU.

Register todayMako’s Thumbs up for Chess Valley RFCAs we get closer to a return for rugby, we bring a fantastic story from Chess Valley RFC that have been working out together every Sunday morning via Zoom. They have had 40-50 players each week getting out of bed early to attend, earning them a big thumbs up from our very own Mako Vunipola.Chess Valley RFCInner Warrior sign up openThe Allianz Inner Warrior camps are back in May, and we are thrilled to be able to invite your club to host a Warrior Camp to help welcome female players back to your club.


While we have been away from the pitches we’ve been looking how best we can continue to support our clubs with running Warrior Camps. We are delighted to have Allianz on board with us as a partner, which will enable us to increase visibility and reach more potential new participants in the future.


If your club is new to Warrior Camps, click on the button below for more information on what the camps involve, what you need to do and how we can support you.


Distribution list: Tuesday 23 February

Constituent Bodies Chairs, Constituent Bodies Honorary Secretaries, Constituent Bodies Treasurers, Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers Coronavirus (Covid-19) update


This week’s headlines include:

1. Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund reminder with Steve Grainger

2. RUWSF Loan Scheme - two days left to complete

3. RUWSF Grant Reminder - two days left to apply

4. Return to community rugby update

5. Lockdown rugby activity

6. Webinars and on-demand videosUpdate on RUWSF Grant and LoansRFU Rugby Development Director, Steve Grainger gives an update on the Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund (RUWSF) Grant and Loan schemes.


Please note, we are updating our FAQs daily, so please keep checking back using the button below. FAQs will contain the version number and date to help keep track of when they have been updated.


The loan and grant scheme are two separate strands of funding, so clubs are able to apply for both where needed.Watch VideoCriteria & FAQsRugby Union Winter Survival Fund Loan SchemeA reminder that Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries and Treasurers at each club received an email from the Rugby Football Union last Friday which included a digital form to complete to indicate a non-binding interest in a loan.


If you would still like to lodge your interest, please ensure this form has been submitted by 5pm this Thursday, 25 February. We have included the link below for ease.


We request that only one representative of each club submits the form to avoid duplications.


The loans scheme is designed to support urgent infrastructure requirements of Rugby clubs at Levels 3 and below. This will be needs-based, to support essential infrastructure for survival and sustainability.


Loans will support clubs in immediate survival need - providing access to funding for facility works designed to respond to the impact of Covid-19 and enable clubs to get back playing when the time comes.


Loans to be made across three groups:


1. Up to 100% - Small-scale reboot projects – 2-year payment holiday and repaid in 8 years thereafter.

2. Up to 100% - Medium-scale projects – centrally procured with 3-year payment holiday and repaid in 8 years thereafter.

3. Large-scale projects (largely where these projects are essential for the survival of the organisation and would have progressed without support in the absence of Covid-19 impacts). Typically, loans matching 20-35% of project costs where the remainder of funding is in place and project ready to commence. 4-year payment holiday and repaid in 8 years thereafter.Interest FormRugby Union Winter Survival Fund Grant SchemeThe cut-off-point to apply for a grant is 5pm on Thursday 25 February. If a club or CB is unsure whether they are eligible, we would encourage them to apply so we can assess whether they qualify. It is safer to apply now than to miss the deadline and discover too late that you would have been eligible.


The Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund aims to support community clubs at Levels 3 and below that have been severely impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.


It covers a specific six-month period - costs must be incurred between 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021. Clubs need to demonstrate financial need for funding to ensure survival.


You can find out more about the criteria and how to apply using the funding link below.


When completing the form, please ensure:


  • You only input numbers for financial information. For example, instead of writing zero, input 0.

  • You do not input symbols such as the £ sign. Simply input numbers. For example, to insert £100,000 input 100000.

  • All bank statements are required, not just the current account.