• Durham County RFU Admin

RFU Community Game Updates

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

Distribution list: Tuesday 8 December

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

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

1. Steve Grainger video update on Return to Rugby, including travel

2. Return to Play guidance

3. Facilities guidance

4. Club Cluster Competitions

5. Inner Warrior

Other Updates

6. Webinars and podcasts

7. #ShowYourShirt reaches 600

8. Dursley’s new strip

We are now at Stage E which means tag and contact training can now continue under adaptations with matches allowed from Friday 18 December. There is no obligation to return to matches straight away and we would encourage a staged return to contact for players.RoadmapRFU HeadlinesReturn to Rugby updateRFU Rugby Development Director Steve Grainger gives an update on the return to rugby and travel guidance.Watch VideoRFU HeadlinesAllianz Inner Warrior ReturnsAs we return to rugby, we bring you even more good news with the return of the Warrior Camps from January 2021. Clubs will have until Friday 18 December to register their interest using the form below and if you have any questions please get in touch via innerwarrior@rfu.com or check out our Facebook page.More InformationRegister TodayReturn to Play updateLast week’s return to rugby has been welcomed and appreciated at all levels. Linked below is a reminder video of the new adaptations approved from Age Grade to adult rugby, as well as webinars supporting the Return to Play.

Alongside this, we will be hosting a live Webinar with Steve Granger, Director of Rugby Development, on Tuesday 15 December at lunch time so please send us your questions. You will be able to register below from Friday on the Coronavirus page via the link below.

A reminder that clubs and players are under no obligation to return to contact matches from Friday 18 December.

Return to Play support is also available below, and click for Club Support Centre FAQs.Webinar ResourcesCoronavirus PageFacilities guidanceWith current guidance from DCMS and Government being updated regularly, we will be helping our clubs to stay up to date around travel, bar and social space guidance, as well as that for changing rooms and other facilities. Using our FAQs section, alongside an easy to use infographic that can be found below, we hope to see rugby clubs returning to a more normal state in the coming weeks and months.

If you do not find an answer to your query there, please contact clubsupport@rfu.com and we will respond as quickly as we can.Support CentreQuick GuideClub Cluster CompetitionsWe are considering options for managing the potential issues caused by clubs being in a Tier that doesn’t permit travel outside of their area. More information will be sent to clubs this week via their local organising committee so please keep an eye out. Start dates for these are still to be confirmed.Webinars and PodcastsReturn to Play Webinar support is available below:

Stage E - U7-U13

Stage E - U14-U18

Stage E - Adult

Return to Stage E with Steve Grainger

This live webinar with Steve Granger, Director of Rugby Development, at midday on Tuesday 15 December, is being held to answer your questions on the return to rugby and Stage E on the Return to Community Roadmap. Please send questions to clubsupport@rfu.com or register and tune in to ask them live.

Coaching the game

An England Rugby panel will take questions from coaches focusing on coaching the game and the opportunities the adaptations might bring for player development in Stage E - Wednesday 9 December 7pm – 8pm. Register here.

Preparing Players for a Return to Rugby

Tim Hall – England U18s Strength & Conditioning Coach will be leading this Webinar on preparing players for a return to rugby – Thursday 10 December 7:30pm – Register here

You can see all our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars online.Other important updates#ShowYourShirts hits 600This weekend, not only did we see England’s men win the Autumn Nations Cup in a climatic finish in front of 2,000 fans, but 600 of your clubs shirts also showed the community game was behind the team as well as reminding people of the efforts of volunteers around the country who have worked so hard to keep their clubs going during the pandemic. Thank you to all the clubs that sent us their shirts.

You can see photos of them using the below link. If you wish to use them in any advertising all we ask is you credit “RFU collection via Getty images”.Shirt ImagesDursley’s new stripDursley RFC have been doing some exceptional stuff during the pandemic not only shaving their heads for NHS Combined Charity Fund but also decided on a Year of Fundraising for the British Heart Foundation after the loss of their Colts Coach which saw them scale Mount Snowden in their budgy smugglers.Dursley RFCWe want to highlight 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.

Information on Travel between Tier 3 Areas

Following the RFU and Government guidance regarding the return of community rugby, we have received an update from DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) on the issue of travel within and between Tier 3 areas:

Currently the majority of the North East is in the Tier 3 category. This is split into two distinct areas:

• North East Combined Authority (Tier 3)

Consists of the seven councils: County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

• Tees Valley Combined Authority (Tier 3)

The five local authorities of Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland.

Government regulations state that there should be no travel outside of or between Tier 3 Combined Authority areas.

Therefore, clubs and individuals can travel and play within their Combined Authority Tier 3 area, but they cannot travel to another Tier 3 Combined Authority area to play rugby.

For example, if you live in County Durham, you are free to travel to Northumberland to play rugby because both locations are in the same Combined Authority area.

However, if you live in Hartlepool, you cannot travel to County Durham to play because this would mean you are travelling between Tees Valley Combined Authority and the North East Combined Authority.

This will clearly have implication for some clubs and individuals who play/reside across the different Tier 3 areas and you should ensure you fully understand and comply with the travel restrictions for your own circumstances.


Travel is permitted where it is necessary to enable sport for disabled people, sport for educational purposes, or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, to take place, but should still be minimised and kept to short distances only.

Further information

More details can be found on our Coronavirus Hub.

FAQs can be found here and will continue to be updated.

Latest UK Government Guidance can be found here.

Rugby Activity

We are now at Stage E on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.

Summary of law variations can be found here.

Return to Play webinar support can be found below:

Stage E - U7-U13

Stage E - U14-U18

Stage E - Adult

Return to Rugby

Following Thursday’s tier announcement, we know clubs have a number of questions to address and we want to reassure you that we are working hard with Governme

As you will appreciate, the return to grassroots sport in the covid landscape is a complex and fast-moving world for Government to manage. We will continue to support their efforts to provide clarity for clubs as quickly as possible.

As soon as we are in a position to do so, we will provide Clubs and CBs with on field and off field guidance for each tier, so you are confident about returning to play safely and excited about rugby restarting.

Guidance for each tier will include:

• Which stage on The Return to Community Rugby Roadmap clubs will be able to play.

• Equipment that will be permitted.

• Facilities guidance (for clubhouses, bars, changing rooms, showers, toilets)

• Travel implications

• Spectators management

• Group mixing rules

Until Wednesday 2 December, we remain in national lockdown and at Stage A on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. This means that no competitive or formal rugby activities can be undertaken.

Please keep an eye out for communications in the coming days. We will share an update with you as soon as we have received and interpreted Government guidance

around sporting facilities, so that we can provide clarity on what it means for clubs in each area.

Pre-send Distribution list: Wednesday 11 November

Council Members, Rugby Development

Distribution list: Friday 13 November

Constituent Bodies Chairs, Constituent Bodies Honorary Secretaries, Constituent Bodies Treasurers, Club Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersCommunity Game Update – November 2020Content:1. Check out England Rugby social media channels this weekend

2. RFU Cluster Fixture Proposals

3. Age Grade Playing Calendars 2020/2021 and 2021/2022

4. Age Grade Registration – GMS Data Tidy-Up

5. Postponement of 2020/21 Level 3 Coaching Award

6. Emergency First Aid in Rugby Union Courses are back

7. NatWest Rugby Club Finance Guide

8. Warrior Camps return

9. Information - England Men’s and Women’s forthcoming fixtures

Welcome to the November 2020 Community Game Update. We hope you find the update useful, and if you have any feedback, queries or content that you would like to feature, please email Chris Dodd, Communications Executive (chrisdodd@rfu.com).

Our communications to you are based on the data held in the Game Management System (GMS). Please check the information held on this system is up to date and active.

This communication is only sent to the roles highlighted in the distribution list above. Please share it with others in your club who need to see it.Check out England Rugby social media channels this weekendOn Saturday community rugby clubs will be recognised at England v Georgia in the Quilter Internationals 2020, part o

f the Autumn Nations Cup, including the club shirts we’ve received so far as part of the Show Your Shirt campaign, you can read more below.

On Sunday we’ll kick off the #GetYourShirtsOn campaign, which aims to keep a

ge grade players active and engaged with their clubs during the national lockdown.

We will be live streaming fitness and rugby activities for 6-18 year olds on the England Rugby YouTube channel on Sunday mornings throughout November. These sessions, led by England legends, will include a mix of fun activities for all age grade players (and their parents!) to enjoy.Club ShirtsRFU Cluster Fixture ProposalsFollowing the decision from the RFU Council to cancel the 20/21 League Season for Men’s (Level 3 and below) and Women’s (Level 2 and below) RFU Leagues, plans have been developed to instigate local cluster fixtures, to help facilitate a return to contact rugby when permitted t

o do so (hopefully in the New Year). This local cluster competition would not be used to determine League positions for the 2021/22 season.

The proposal is based around five principles:

• Providing clubs with structured local competitive fixtures

• Based on contact rugby (either full contact or adapted variations dependent on Government advice)

• Minimised travel times

• Local clusters of up to seven teams (this number will vary according to specific regions and agreed local needs)

• Relaxed regulations to remove barriers to participation

All teams in RFU Leagues (Men's level 3 and below / Women's level 2 and below) will have been contacted by their Organising Committee on Friday 13 November with more detailed information about local clusters and how you can sign up. Equally, clubs are free to opt out if they wish to play in another locally organised model, or to simpl

y arrange matches on an ad-hoc basis.Age grade playing calendars seasons 2020/21 and 2021/222020/21 Age Grade Playing Calendar

We are pleased to confirm the following points relating to the Age Grade Playing Calendar this season, as outlined to RFU Council on Wednesday 11 November which you can read on the button below.

The staging of all these activities and format of play must be in line with our Return to Rugby Roadmap and the Government Covid-19 guidance in place at the time.

2021/22 Age Grade Playing Calendar

Due to the impact of Covid–19 it has not been possible to release the Age Grade Playing Calendar for 2021/22. We are aiming to have this out in December to enable planning for next season.Age Grade CalendarAge Grade Registration – GMS Data Tidy-UpTo help with preparation, we will be assisting clubs with tidying up their data, starting with the removal of the duplicated email addresses against age grade records. This process will involve removing a duplicate email address against a record that is under the age of 15 where the email is shared with the parent/guardian linked to their account.GMS Help PortalPostponement of 2020/21 Level 3 Coaching AwardDue to the recent Gove

rnment lockdown announcement, the uncertainty this brings regarding a full return to rugby and potential future local restrictions, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone the 2020/21 England Rugby Advanced Coaching Award (formerly Level 3 Coaching).

The course requires participants to demonstrate a range of coaching knowledge, skills, experience and behaviours that they might not get the opportunity to demonstrate in what remains of this season, through an amended game format or via a remotely delivered course. We therefore believe postponing gives the participants the best opportunity to develop and enjoy the experience the full course would offer.

It is our intention to start the 2021/22 course in May 2021, all eligible participants

will be contacted and offered the opportunity to apply in the spring. The pre-requisite courses and work for applicants who were intending to apply for the 2021/22 course will run in the New Year. This will be communicated directly to clubs, schools, colleges and universities, via EnglandRugby.com and social media channels.Emergency First Aid in Rugby Union Courses from Friday 1 JanuaryA new booking process is in place in which clubs will liaise directly with the tutors to organise courses, allowing for some local flexibility and better engagement between the club and the tutors.

Clubs/venues hosting a course will be required to ensure they can provide a Covid-safe environment. One-day closed events, i.e. all attendees are from the same club, and

held in a room booked for exclusive use that allows for appropriate social distancing to help mitigate risk of Covid transmission and reduce the additional cleaning, administration, etc. as per the RFU’s community club guidance and facility re-opening guidelines.

Please note that the ability for clubs to host courses and tutor availability may be affected by local/national government restrictions in place at the time of a course.First Aid CoursesNatWest Rugby Club Finance GuideFollowing the Natwest RugbyForce weekend in September, NatWest have produced The NatWest Rugby Club Finance Guide, which is a practical guide to help support your club.

The guide covers: creating a budget, looking at the bigger picture, boosting your income and a support toolkit and resources for long term sustainability.Read GuideWar

rior Camps returnThe successful Inner Warrior campaign will return in January, when we will encourage clubs to host a Warrior Camp to welcome players back into the club environment. Further information about how to sign up to host a Warrior Camp will be available in early December. In the meantime, get in touch via innerwarrior@rfu.com for advice and support.Key dates and where to watchWe are delighted to confirm that England Women’s Autumn Internationals against France will be shown live on BBC TV.


14 – England Women v France Women (1.15pm) (Stade des Alpes, Grenoble) – BBC Two and BBC iPlayer

14 – England Men v Georgia Men (3pm) (Twickenham Stadium) – Amazon Prime

21 – England Women v France Women (12pm) (Twickenham Stadium) – BBC Two and BBC iPlayer

21 – England Men v Ireland Men (3pm) (Twickenham Stadium) – Amazon Prime and Channel 4

28 - Wales Men v England Men (4pm) (Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli)– Amazon Prime


06 – England Men v TBC (Twickenham Stadium)

Distribution list: Tuesday 10 November

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

Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersCoronavirus (Covid-19) updateIn this week’s edition, we bring you an exciting opportunity to watch England Rugby for free in the Quilter Internationals 2020, part of the Autumn Nations Cup, on Amazon Prime. We also share a new Sunday morning streamed activity to keep our age grade players active and connected with their clubs during the national lockdown.

We will mark Remembrance Day in a number of ways this week. A poppy has been painted on the training pitch at the Lensbury, where a one minute silence will be held at 11am tomorrow. In addition, both the England Men and England Women will wear poppies at their matches on Saturday 14 November to pay tribute to the men and women who served and sacrificed to defend our nation and to secure our freedom.RFU HeadlinesHow your rugby communities can watch England's fixtures for free this autumnWe have been working with Amazon to provide an opportunity for fans to take advantage of a free one-month trial with Amazon Prime so you can watch England Rugby during the Quilter Internationals 2020, part of the Autumn Nations Cup, while also supporting your club.

To help grassroots clubs generate revenue, Amazon are opening up registration for clubs to become Amazon Associates.

The club will receive £3 for every member of the community who signs up to Amazon through the club’s unique Associates link.

This money will be paid directly to the club and, while there may not be a huge cash injection, every little helps during these challenging times.

The registration process will take 5-10 minutes. We will share templates to help clubs promote this offer in the coming days. Click below to read the step by step guide.

If you want to see how the England squad have been preparing for the upcoming fixtures, watch the below episode of the Next Level, and please share the link on your channels.

We will advise clubs of the broadcaster for both fixtures in the Women’s Autumn Internationals in the November edition of Community Game Update on Friday ahead of England playing France in Grenoble on Saturday 14 November (KO 1.15pm), and then at Twickenham on Saturday 21 November (KO 12pm).Amazon GuideNext LevelCalling on age grade players to #GetYourShirtOnDespite the community club game being suspended due to the national lockdown, we want all our age grade players to stay active and connected with their clubs.

So, we will be starting weekly Sunday fitness and rugby activity live streams for U6s - U18s on the England Rugby YouTube channel throughout November. These sessions, led by England legends and experts, will include a mix of fun activities for all age grade players (and their parents!) to enjoy. We want everyone joining in wearing their club shirts and sharing their pride on social media using #GetYourShirtOn.

Keep an eye on the England Rugby social media channels for the build-up.England Rugby TwitterCommunity rugby - current statusDue to England being in national lockdown, we are at Stage A on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. This means that no competitive or formal rugby activities can be undertaken until at least Thursday 3 December, including club age grade and adult rugby activities below Championship and Premier 15s.

While group training sessions are banned, a maximum of two players (or one player and one coach) can participate in socially distanced (two metres plus), individual training sessions, without sharing equipment, in a public outside space, but not a garden.Government GuidanceRoadmapRugby in schools, colleges during national lockdown – Department for Education (DfE) ClarificationWe have been able to update our statement on school and college rugby following Government clarification last week as follows:

Schools and colleges are able to play rugby but must follow the DfE guidance for schools and FE settings. This has been further clarified here. In summary, this means:

• Rugby can be played as part of the curriculum, i.e. in PE and games lessons, timetabled activity during the school day and as part of courses, such as BTEC Diplomas in Sport and GCSE/A-Level PE.

• No extra-curricular rugby clubs, training and activities (outside of the DfE guidance on childcare provision for parents) or inter-school/college matches are permitted.

• Activity must continue to be played to the RFU Government-approved action plan, i.e. play the formats and follow off-field logistics as permitted before half term and lockdown (Ready4Rugby, O2Touch and limited contact training in approved group sizes).

We continue to encourage schools and colleges to provide rugby union for the health and wellbeing of their students during lockdown, in particular with community sport being unavailable. However, we also recognise that there are a large number of additional factors for Headteachers/Principals to consider and that it is ultimately their decision whether they can play in line with the Government guidance.

Further RFU resource, guidance and support is available below.DFE GuidanceR2R KitbagOther Important UpdatesTime’s running out to show club shirts at TwickenhamGiven the popularity of the initiative for clubs to have their shirts on seats at Twickenham during the Quilter Internationals 2020, part of the Autumn Nations Cup, to help create a visual representation of clubs at the stadium, the deadline has been extended to the end of November.

We want to have as many club shirts as possible during the matches, particularly for the final fixture on Sunday 6 December. Don’t miss the opportunity to have your club involved!