• Durham County RFU Admin

RFU Community Game Update (2021)

Updated: Apr 23

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.

  • For the cash position at end of September, use the closing balance rather than the opening balance from statements and add up the balances across all accounts.

  • Golden roles are up to date in GMS.

Criteria & FAQsFunding PageReturn to RugbyWe welcome last night’s Government announcement that grassroots team sport including community rugby can return on Monday 29 March.


Over the coming weeks, we will work with Government to understand the number of players and format of rugby that will be permitted upon our return in both schools and community rugby. When we have clarified these details, and associated travel queries, we will share the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap alongside a step-by-step guide to returning to training and guidance around facilities re-opening.Return To RugbyLockdown Rugby ActivityInspired to Play Page

On our Inspired to Play page, we have included lockdown activities that have ranged from Q&A’s with England internationals Ben Youngs and Shaunagh Brown, to position specific workshops with the England Men’s team and Age Grade fitness sessions.


Next up will be a back-row focus with Tom Curry and Billy Vunipola who will share their insights, thought processes and how they use the Principles of Play.


This content has been produced in support of the Community Game to keep players connected to rugby while unable to play.Inspired to PlayWebinars and on-demand videosWe know that you might be Zoomed out, so we have made sure all our webinars are available when you need them on demand if you can’t see them live.


Introducing the Mental Wellbeing for Players webinar – Wednesday 18 March – 7pm


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 in order to keep the community healthy with help from our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth.

Register today


You can see all our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars online.Share your ideasPlease let us know if there are any further resources or specific support that clubs and CBs could benefit from during lockdown, by contacting ClubSupport@RFU.com or emailing ChrisDodd@rfu.com.


We continue to highlight the wonderful activities of our clubs and their teams on our England Rugby channels. Please share your stories and videos with ChrisDodd@rfu.com or PatriciaMowbray@rfu.com.


Distribution list: Tuesday 16 February

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

Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersCoronavirus (Covid-19) updateThis week’s headlines include:

1. Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund with Steve Grainger video

2. Lockdown Rugby Activity

4. Age Grade Playing Calendar 2021-22

5. Inner Warrior Update

6. Webinars and on-demand videos

7. Hinckley RFC

8. Share your ideasRugby Union Winter Survival FundApplications opened last Friday for clubs to submit applications for grants. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Thursday 25 February. The aim of the fund is to support community clubs at Level 3 and below that have been severely impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.


Below is a video from RFU Rugby Development Director, Steve Grainger, to help explain the fund, its aims, and criteria for the application process.


It covers a six-month period, from 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.


We are working with Sport England to define the criteria and process for a Loans Programme, in addition to this grant funding, and will communicate this to CBs and clubs later this week when we have confirmation.Watch VideoFunding PageLockdown rugby activityEngland players go back to school


Home-schooling was given an added rugby twist this month, when ten England players joined online school assemblies from their Guinness Six Nations training camp.


Players answered pupils’ questions as Eddie Jones and England Rugby tried to help motivate students by giving them and their teachers something different to start their school day.


The activity was part of England Rugby’s wider programme of support for the community game, aiming to keep players engaged in rugby while they can’t play.


Red Rose Shaunagh Brown live Q&A


Shaunagh Brown joined us live last Wednesday after a two-day training camp with the Red Roses. While discussing the upcoming Women’s World Cup later this year and the Women’s Six Nations, now scheduled for April, she also answered players’ questions on how to stay physically and mentally motivated during lockdown. Watch the Q&A on demand here.


Position Workshop Series


This week we were joined by second rows Courtney Lawes and Jonny Hill. Both players analysed match footage to share their insights, thought processes and how they use the Principles of Play.Back To SchoolInspired To PlayAge Grade Playing Calendar 2021-22A final reminder that the Age Grade Playing calendar for 2021-22 is now with CBs, CSUs, Academies, Centres of Excellence, RPPGs and other local stakeholders to populate together. We hope this has started to be shared and published on websites to give everyone the best planning notice as possible.Inner Warrior updateWarrior Camps are now on hold until May. Should any tier system return, and if clubs are able to host a Warrior Camp as part of their permitted activity, then clubs are welcome to hold an event in April.


We will run a targeted recruitment campaign in May and will invite clubs to host a Warrior Camp between 1st and 30th May. Information on how to register your event will be shared at the end of March, subject to Covid-19 restrictions. If you have any queries, please contact innerwarrior@rfu.comWebinars and on-demand videosWe know that you might be Zoomed out, so we have made sure all our webinars are available when you need them on demand if you can’t see them live.


RFU’s Head Groundsperson Jim Buttar Q&A – Thursday 18 February – 7pm


We want to help you with the challenges you are having with your pitches but also to celebrate your success. Jim Buttar, England Rugby Head Groundsperson, will be answering your questions throughout the Webinar so send any questions or photos to groundsmenconnected@rfu.com.

Register today


Introducing the Mental Wellbeing for Players webinar – Wednesday 24 March – 7pm


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 in order to keep the community healthy with help from our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth.

Register today


You can see all our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars online.Hinckley RFCHinckley RFC are yet another club making a difference, like so many during this pandemic. They have called in a number of volunteers to help produce over 500 individually packed meals a day to distribute to children and their families during the weekdays of half term.Hinckley RFC

Share your ideasPlease let us know if there are any further resources or specific support that clubs and CBs could benefit from during lockdown, by contacting ClubSupport@RFU.com or emailing ChrisDodd@rfu.com.


We continue to highlight the wonderful activities of our clubs and their teams on our England Rugby channels. Please share your stories and videos with ChrisDodd@rfu.com or PatriciaMowbray@rfu.com.


Distribution list: Tuesday 2 February

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


This week’s headlines include:

1. Lockdown rugby activity - Ben Youngs Q&A

2. Player survey

3. #ShowYourShirt reaches 650

4. Itoje and clubs push for laptops at home

5. Webinars and on-demand videos

6. Share your ideasLockdown rugby activityEngland player Q&A live from camp


Ben Youngs joined us live from camp this week to answer your lockdown questions. You can see the video below on demand by clicking on the link below.


On Wednesday 10 February, we will be joined at 6.30pm by Red Roses’ prop Shaunagh Brown for another live Q&A.


You will be able to post questions in the live chat function that evening, or send general questions in advance to ChrisDodd@rfu.com.


Physical activity


We still have our #GetYourShirtOn on sessions running on Sunday mornings. You can watch them back on the England Rugby Youtube Channel.Ben YoungsLive Q&A - 10 FebPlayer SurveyPlease encourage your players to complete this year’s player survey which is based around the different formats of the game, how Covid-19 has impacted them in the last 12 months and how they might take part in future.


Your support will help us to protect and grow the game at this difficult time.Player Survey#ShowYourShirt for our 150thThis weekend we will see 650 community rugby shirts at Twickenham Stadium as part of the #ShowYourShirt Campaign. There is still time to get your club, university or CB shirt shown during the 2021 Guinness Six Nations by using the freepost label below.


We have also created a short video to share across your media channels if you would like, and you can find more information on it here.Watch VideoFreepost LabelItoje and clubs push for laptops at homeEngland forward Maro Itoje put his weight behind ensuring all children have the use of a laptop at home, using his 260,000 Instagram and 90,000 Twitter followers to put pressure on Government. The Rugby Football Union and community rugby clubs have been gathering laptops and tablets to help.


Itoje, who was inspired by Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford’s food poverty campaign, was educated at Harrow and said: “The absolute priority right now is guaranteeing children have devices to learn. When they go back to school we need a review on access to laptops to support careers in a digitally-driven world.”.


To get ideas on how your club might follow suit, read more below.Laptops At HomeWebinars and on-demand videosDespite rugby being on pause, we still have some fantastic webinars on-demand that you can catch up on by following the links below.


Mental Health webinar – date update


On Thursday 18 March we will be running a mental health webinar. We will be sharing the registration details in our CGU and across our social media channels before then.


You can see all our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars online.Share your ideasPlease let us know if there are any further resources or specific support that clubs and CBs could benefit from during lockdown, by contacting ClubSupport@RFU.com or emailing ChrisDodd@rfu.com.


We continue to highlight the wonderful activities of our clubs and their teams on our England Rugby channels. Please share your stories and videos with ChrisDodd@rfu.com or PatriciaMowbray@rfu.com.

TeamworkRespectEnjoymentDisciplineSportsmanship


Distribution list: Tuesday 26 January

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

Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers


Coronavirus (Covid-19) updateThis week’s headlines include:

1. Lockdown rugby activity - digital engagement & England player Q&A

2. #ShowYourShirt - last call



3. GMS help portal

4. Webinars and on-demand videos

5. Birkenhead Park RC raises £75,000 via crowdfunding appeal

6. Share your ideasLockdown rugby activityWe have this week launched our digital engagement guide. Clubs and CBs can use this to help keep players connected to their clubs and stay motivated during lockdown, so they are ready to play again when restrictions ease.


This digital toolkit has social media templates, images and editable posters.


Physical activity


A reminder of the rugby activity run in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust last


week, led by Nolli Waterman, can be found here. This session is aimed at school children.


Also, a reminder that Get Your Shirt On sessions are running on Sunday mornings on the England Rugby Youtube Channel.


Live Q&A with an England international


On Monday 1 February we will be joined by a member of the England squad as they dial in from camp to answer any questions from your players about staying motivated during lockdown and what skills you can practice at home.




The 15-minute Q&A will form part of a series of chats with members of the Red Roses and England Men’s squads to help clubs keep players engaged in rugby while they can’t play.


The live session will start at 19:10. We have a limited number of places available


at this first Q&A, so please book early via the link below. Please note, this session is dedicated to the community game, so players will need to include their club name to register.


England players we speak to during February will be confirmed on the day, so you can either post questions in the live chat function that evening, or send general questions in advance to ChrisDodd@rfu.com.Digital GuideLive Q&ALast call to #ShowYourShirtWe continue to recognise the community game and support from clubs, CBs and universities in our #ShowYourShirt Campaign during the Guinness Six Nations 2021. We’re looking to build on the 583 shirts that we received in the autumn, at our first 2021 Guinness Six Nations match against Scotland on Saturday 6 February. Please send


your shirt using the freepost label below by Friday 29 January.


We have also created a short video to share across your media channels if you would like, and you can find more information on it here.Watch VideoFreepost LabelGMS Help PortalThe Game Management System Help Portal is designed to make it easier for you to get the answers you need. The portal allows you to quickly find relevant help articles, supporting videos and announcements on product updates. If you require any assistance from the GMS Service Desk team, please use the “Submit A Help Request” option on the website below.GMSWebinars and on-demand videosDespite rugby being on pause, we still have some fantastic webinars on-demand that you can catch up on by following the links below.



RFU Council Elections and the Role of Council

Webinar and live Q&A to help CBs who are holding elections for RFU Council, as well as any individuals who want to stand in those elections and clubs that want to nominate a representative.

Thursday 28 January 7.30pm

Register here


Easyfundraising



A pandemic proof fundraising option for rugby clubs. A live demo, advice on how to sign up and chance to ask the easyfundraising team questions. Thursday 4 February 7.30pm – 8.00pm

Register here


Mental Health webinar


On Thursday 4 February we will be running a Mental Health Webinar. We are in the process of finalising our speakers for this but wanted to make everyone aware to book into their diaries with plenty of time. We will share the registration details in our CGU next week and across our social media channels before then.


You can see all our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars online.Crowdfunding success at Birkenhead Park RCBirkenhead Park, like the Rugby Football Union, is celebrating its 150th anniversary and has raised an impressive


£74,319 via their Crowdfunding Appeal. The Club has been overwhelmed by the support for the appeal through 338 donations, not just from current members but also from many past players, friends of the club, local businesses and the community.


To get ideas on how your club might follow suit, read more below.Birkenhead Park RCShare your ideasPlease let us know if there are any further resources or specific support Clubs and CBs could benefit from during lockdown, by contacting ClubSupport@RFU.com or emailing ChrisDodd@rfu.com.





We carry on highlighting the wonderful activities that our clubs and their teams are doing on our England Rugby channels. Please share your stories and videos with ChrisDodd@rfu.com or PatriciaMowbray@rfu.com.



Distribution list: Tuesday 12 January

Constituent Bodies



Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

This week’s headlines include:

1. Resources to support clubs and CBs through lockdown

2. Government financial support

3. Pause on DBS checks

4. Mitsubishi Motors Rugby Leadership Network

5. Webinars and on-demand videos

6. Digital Remembrance Wall

7. Leighton Buzzard RFC becomes a vaccination hubRFU HeadlinesResources to support clubs and CBs during lockdownAs promised, we have created a one-stop support centre to help clubs through lockdown. We have compiled information for you to use as and when it suits your club as we understand that clubs may need this information at different times, depending on individual circumstances. We will continue to update our resources in this area as we have more information.


While it sounds contradictory to suggest conducting a good governance health check during a pandemic, the national lockdown does provide a pause in the day-to-day running of clubs. This could serve as a time to assess good governance practices, so that clubs can be in as strong a position as is possible during these times, to be able to bounce back when rugby can return.


Alongside this, we have included a reminder below of funding options available to address more immediate concerns during lockdown. If you can’t find the information you need on the pages below, please get in touch with us via ClubSupport@RFU.com and we will respond as quickly as we can.Lockdown SupportFunding SupportGovernment Financial SupportLast week the Government announced various support packages, including one-off cash grants of £9,000 per property which can be topped up by local restrictions support grants of up to £3000 per month. Both are dependent on specific criteria.


Full Government information on the support available can be accessed here as well as what assistance is available here.


Criteria and all information can be found using the funding page below.Funding InformationPause on DBS checksFollowing the Government’s recent announcement that we are to stay at home, we are again implementing a temporary suspension of DBS checks while the national lockdown remains in force. This decision has been made in light of all rugby activity being suspended and the difficulties that come with in person ID checks required before volunteers can start.


The Safeguarding Team will keep this under constant review and intends to resume processing applications before the commencement of rugby activity.


Applicants who have already had their ID verified should complete their application.


Club Safeguarding Officers have received additional information by email. Please direct any queries to dbseapp@rfu.comMitsubishi Motors Rugby Leadership NetworkThe Mitsubishi Motors Rugby Leadership Network is an exciting and unique opportunity to acquire valuable skills and to network with other rugby leaders. To ensure our clubs are fit for the future and self-sustaining, we are looking for aspiring rugby leaders who can take their club to the next level.


We are looking for rugby leaders who:


• Don’t want to stand still and watch from the sidelines.

• Want to create sustainable clubs fit for the future.

• Have the enthusiasm and openness for learning and supporting others to do the same.

For further information on the Network and how to apply click below.Apply NowWebinars and on-demand videosDespite rugby being on pause, we still have some fantastic webinars on-demand that you can catch up with by following the link below.


This week our club workshops continue with:


Virtual Workshop – Club Leadership Teams

By the end of this virtual workshop you will have reviewed your clubs leadership structure and identified methods on how to achieve an excellent leadership team for your club.

Max capacity reached but will be available on-demand


Virtual Workshop – Volunteer Experience

Get top tips on recruiting, retaining and rewarding volunteers.

25 January – 6:30-8:30pm

20 places

Register here


You can also catch up on all the Allianz Premier 15s highlights below.


You can see all our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars online.Club WebinarsWatch HighlightsDigital Wall of RemembranceWe've created a digital Wall of Remembrance at a time when it has been difficult to mourn the deaths or celebrate the lives of those lost to their families, friends and the game. To find out more about those who have given so much to our sport, click on the link below.


If you or your club has lost a member who you would like to be celebrated at this time, please submit a Wall of Remembrance request below.Read MoreRemembrance RequestLeighton Buzzard RFC becomes a vaccination hubHaving supported the NHS through special T-shirts earlier in the pandemic, the rugby club is now set to become part of the country’s network of vaccination centres fighting Covid-19.


For the past few weeks, they have been working closely with their local Primary Care Network and the Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to transform the club into a community vaccination hub.Leighton Buzzard RFCShare your ideasWe want to continue to improve our communications to the game, so if you have any ideas or thoughts you would like to see then please share with us using the ChrisDodd@rfu.com email address. We carry on highlighting the wonderful activities that our clubs and their teams are doing on our England Rugby channels. Please share your stories and videos with ChrisDodd@rfu.com or PatriciaMowbray@rfu.com.



Distribution list: Tuesday 19 January

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

Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersCoronavirus (Covid-19) updateThis week’s headlines include:

1. Lockdown rugby activity

2. Government financial support update

3. #ShowYourShirt

4. Guinness supporting club re-openings

5. Webinars and on-demand videos

6. Rosslyn Park Slingbacks support NHS workers

7. Share your ideasRFU HeadlinesLockdown rugby activityDuring the lockdown period we have a range of activities to keep people engaged, some of which can be accessed below.


Coming up over the next few weeks there will be player and club challenges, activity for age grade players and virtual Inner Warrior sessions, support for teachers and parents, webinars for volunteer engagement and club development and regular content for schools, colleges and universities.


We will continue to post these across our social media channels so please keep an eye out.


In our on-demand videos, we also have a link to the Youth Sport Trust after school activities with Nolli Waterman.


For now, we have our #GetYourShirtOn videos and the School of Ruck from the World Rugby Museum to help support parents’ home-schooling by providing physical activities and also interesting trivia, reading, and spelling challenges.Online Training SessionsSchool of RuckGovernment financial support updateWe are continuing dialogue with Government and Sport England around the eligibility criteria and application process for impacted clubs to access funding support from the Winter Sports Survival package that was announced by DCMS in November, 2020. No funds have been issued yet, either to clubs or the RFU, and hence please don’t think you have missed out on anything yet. The fund was established to help ease the impact of the loss of revenue due to no spectators in the period October 1st to March 31st and we will update as soon as an agreement on eligibility and distribution is reached. This is likely to be an application process and will be needs based, it is not an automatic grant.


Sport England has also updated the Return to Play funding that was confirmed by Government last year. They have increased the available budget, as well as extending the deadline until Wednesday 30 June 2021.


In September, we also mentioned Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance. There has recently been an update from the FCA, and policyholders should expect to hear from their broker, insurance advisor or insurer in the coming days if this applies to them.


Further info can be found on our funding page below.Funding Information#ShowYourShirtFollowing the success of our #ShowYourShirt Campaign during the Quilter Internationals, part of the Autumn Nations Cup, we are bringing back #ShowYourShirt for the Guinness Six Nations 2021. In all, 583 clubs sent their shirts to be displayed at Twickenham Stadium and we are looking for even more to add to this number. To get your shirt shown before the first match of the Guinness Six Nations at Twickenham, shirts will need to be received by Friday 29 January.


If you were a CB, University or club that didn’t manage to send your shirt to us last time but would like to be represented, please use the freepost label below.


We have also created a short video to share across your media channels if you would like, and you can find more information on it here.Watch VideoFreepost LabelGuinness partnership helping club bars to reopenWe’re pleased to bring you an exciting initiative by England Rugby partner Guinness called Raising the Bar, which aims to help bars to be ready to welcome customers back when Covid -19 restrictions lift.


While we appreciate clubhouse bars are currently closed, this offer is on a first come first served basis while stocks last, so please book early to avoid disappointment.


Support includes Takeaway Execution Kits, Hygiene Stations, Digital Training and outdoor solutions including parasols.


For further details and to apply for support click below.Raising The BarWebinars and on-demand videosDespite rugby being on pause, we still have some fantastic webinars on-demand that you can catch up with by following the links below.


We’re also excited to be co-hosting Thursday’s #YSTAfterSchool Sports Club.


Join us live at 5pm on YouTube for half an hour of fun rugby activities with rugby’s very own Nolli Waterman. Find out more about the club below.


You can see all our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars online.Club Webinars#YSTAfterSchoolRosslyn Park Slingbacks NHS care packagesIn the most recent lockdown, Rosslyn Park FC has been putting together care packages for their local NHS workers during this challenging time.


The Rosslyn Park Slingbacks’ initiative gained traction throughout the club as well as wider support. England’s Marlie Packer and Owen Farrell are just two of many to have reposted their efforts.Rosslyn Park FCShare your ideasPlease let us know if there are any further resources or specific support Clubs and CBs could benefit from during lockdown, by contacting ClubSupport@RFU.com or emailing ChrisDodd@rfu.com.


We carry on highlighting the wonderful activities that our clubs and their teams are doing on our England Rugby channels. Please share your stories and videos with ChrisDodd@rfu.com or PatriciaMowbray@rfu.com.

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