• Durham County RFU Admin

RFU Community Game Updates

Updated: a day ago

Distribution list: Thursday 24 September

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


Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersCoronavirus (Covid-19) updateThis week’s edition of the Covid-19 Community Game Update has been delayed from Tuesday to provide up to date information on the revised coronavirus guidelines announced by the Government this week.


Most importantly, we have provided an update on the decision made today to delay the return to competitive play for the 2020/21 season until January 2021 at the earliest.



You may also want to read RFU CEO Bill Sweeney’s statement, issued on Tuesday, regarding the financial impact on the RFU and the wider game if matches at Twickenham Stadium are played behind closed doors. Read Bill Sweeney's statement.


Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access coronavirus information and updates here.



Past editions of these weekly updates can be found on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.RFU HeadlinesReturn to competitive play in 2020/21 season delayed to January 2021 earliestUnder powers delegated by Council, the RFU Governance Committee today made a difficult decision that, with the exception of Premiership, Championship and Premier 15s rugby, no organised* RFU or non-RFU Leagues including merit tables, adult or age grade competitions will be


played before January 2021 at the earliest.


With the increased uncertainly caused by Government’s additional restrictions to curb the increase in Covid-19 cases across the country, the decision has been made so that we can provide clubs with some certainty over the next few months.


The rugby community can continue to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby and other touch rugby activity. Limited and restricted contact rugby training can also be continued.




The RFU continues to be in active dialogue with government about moving to Stage E on the Roadmap should we reach this point at any time before Christmas, competitive friendly matches could commence.


The Adult and Age Grade Competitions Groups will be making recommendations to Governance on what they can do to ensure that any competitions from January


are meaningful, including whether to make changes to the structured season.


Governance also agreed that any decision to suspend promotion and relegation for the 2020/21 season would be referred to Council once the nature of the competitions is known.


Further guidance will be provided in due course to support clubs, schools, colleges and universities in playing to the relevant stage of the appropriate Roadmap stage.




Jeff Blackett, RFU President, comments: “We are very keen to see competitive rugby being played again. However, given the introduction of further restrictions to curb the increase in Covid-19 cases, we will not be able to move to Stage F on the Roadmap until a later date. This announcement gives clubs clarity over the immediate term to help them with their planning. We will continue to liaise with the Department for Digital,


Culture, Media and Sport and Public Health England to accelerate a return to competitive play as soon as it is safe to do so.”


Although social gatherings of more than six people were banned in England from Monday 14 September and a number of local lockdown restrictions put in place in some areas of the country, the Government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue. With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, we continue at Stage D on the Roadmap.


Clubs in areas where additional local lockdown measures have been introduced m


ay need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions. All are advised to consult with their local authority should they be in any doubt.


*Organised competition in this instance includes any competition organised by the RFU, its delegated competition organising committees, or any other league or cup organiser.Return To PlayOther important updatesUpdate regarding revised Covid-19 guidelinesIn addition to local lockdown measures already in place, the Government announce


d further restrictions this week aimed at curbing the rise in coronavirus cases in England. Once we have fully assessed their impact, we will provide more detailed guidance to support clubs.



In the meantime, we wanted to highlight the following important changes to these guidelines, which you can read via the link below:




From today, Thursday 24 September:


• With the exception of those clubs impacted by restrictions already in place in local lockdown areas, in licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.

• Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to


consume indoors, on site.

• The wearing of face masks is compulsory for bar staff and waiters. In addition, customers will need to wear a mask when inside a club, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.

• Clubs selling food or drink must be closed between 10pm and 5am each day until further notice. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm.

• Clubs will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using the app rolled out nationally as an alternative to providing their contact details.


From Monday 28 September:




Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises Covid-19 Secure:


• Clubs must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required t


o self-isolate to come to work.

• Clubs must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

• A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the Covid-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.Updated GuidelinesLocal RestrictionsLocal lockdown guidelinesClubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with their local authorities.





We are advised that unless local restrictions specifically mention restrictions on team sports and/or rugby, clubs should follow the NGB guidelines. In all cases, clubs must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with Covid-19 secure guidance.


Spectators, including parents, must abide by the Rule of Six, as defined by the Government’s current advice on staying safe and social distancing, which you ca



n read below.


This currently includes the following areas, however, clubs in each of the areas below need to be aware of the impact of any local restrictions applicable to their individual area. More information regarding the impact on each area is available in a detailed schedule via the link below.


Bolton

Leicester

Greater Manchester

Northampton

North East of England

North West of England

West Midlands



West Yorkshire


Clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and all are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt. Information regarding any new local lockdown restrictions wil


l be posted on the Government website below.


We will provide an update to the game if there is any change in guidance to playing rugby union. You can read more information on the Government local lockdown updates.Rule of SixLocal RestrictionsHandling positive Covid-19 casesWe continue to liaise with Public Health England (PHE) to seek additional clarity on the process and requirements for a club to follow in the event of a positive Covid-19 case within their club.


Currently, in the case where a positive test is a player, providing all rugby activities that the player participated in were within RFU Return to Community Rugby and Stage D guidelines, then there is no requirement for other players to self-isolate.




For any non-playing positive cases, e.g. spectators, the general Government guidance must be followed – see link below.


Further information will be published in due course. In the meantime, following a


positive test, a representative from the club should contact the local PHE centre to inform them of the development and seek further advice. Clubs should also ensure that they have an appropriate risk assessment in place and are operating within Government and RFU guidelines for all facility usage and rugby activity.Test And Trace GuidanceCommunity rugby - current statusAlthough social gatherings of more than six people were banned in England from Monday 14 September and a number of local


lockdown restrictions have been put in place in some areas of the country, the Government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been t


hrough return to play protocols can continue. With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, we continue at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. The rugby community can continue to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby, which you can read more about in the link below, and other touch rugby activity.


Limited and restricted contact rugby training can also be continued. Details of the permitted training activity are available in the return to contact training guidance link below.





Clubs should continue to follow current guidance of no more than 20 players per half pitch in training.


RFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines must be followed.Contact GuidanceReady4RugbyWebinars and podcastsEddie Jones Co



aching PodcastThis week Joe Roff, Rugby World Cup winner and ex-Australia back, is featured on the Eddie Jones Coaching Podcast, and you can listen below.Listen NowGood Club Governance Webinar | Thursday 1 October at 7pmThe next webinar in the Club Support legal series with Irwin Mitchell will cover good club governance. During this event we will discuss what good governance looks like, as well as providing top tips for your club - you can register below.Governance WebinarCatch up on previous webinarsFor those who want to catch up on previous webinars, these are available on the England Rugby website. Please click on the links below:


Club Webinars

Referee Webinars

Coach WebinarsOther newsCovid-19 Business Interruption InsuranceA decis


ion was handed down by the High Court last week in favour of policyholders in the FCA business interruption test case. The FCA brought the case on behalf of policy holders against 8 insurers to try to resolve the lack of clarity in business interruption claims due to Covid-19. The decision considers 21 different policy wordings and could help clubs making claims under business interruption insurance.


Following the recent judgement, clubs that have/had business interruption insurance and affected claims should have been contacted by their Insurance Broker / Insurer as to how they intend to respond to the judgment. If clubs have not heard then it wo


uld be worthwhile making contact. Please note that the test case was not intended to encompass all possible disputes, but to resolve some of the key contractual uncertainties and causation issues to provide clarity for policy holders and insurers.


There is a chance that the judgement will be appealed but this does not stop policy holders seeking to settle their claims with the insurer before the outcome of any appeal is known.


Please find a link below to a document that has been provided by Howdens that g


ives further detail and information regarding this judgement – however please note th


at clubs should make contact with their own insurer or insurance broker direct if they don't use Howdens.Read DocumentRugby community doing great thingsToday we highlight some of the activities that took place over the Pitch Up for Rugby Weekend when rugby returned to more than 300 clubs across the country.


In addition to clubs helping their communities, we are now highlighting on englandrugby.com: clubs’ self-help initiatives, as well as activities to improve diversity and inclusion at clubs.


Mitsubishi Motors in the UK are proud supporters of the rugby volunteers ac


ross England who make up an integral part of the game. Help us recognise your work by sharing your club and individual stories and videos with veemontebello@rfu.com or patriciamowbray@rfu.com.




Click below to find out more about the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme.

Pitch Up WeekendRecognition Programme



Distribution list: Tuesday 15 September



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

Club Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersCoronavirus (Covid-19) updateWe have provided an update on the handling of positive Covid-19 cases by clubs and of current local lockdown restrictions.


Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access coronavirus information and updates here.



Past editions of these weekly updates can be found on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.RFU headlinesHandling pos


itive Covid-19 casesWe are currently liaising with Public Health England (PHE) to seek additional clarity on the process and requirements for a club to follow in the event of a positive Covid-19 case within their club.



In the case where a positive test is a player, providing all rugby activities that the player participated in were within RFU Return to Community Rugby and Stage D guidelines, then there is no requirement for other players to self-isolate.


For any non-playing positive cases, e.g. spectators, the general Government guidance must be followed – see link below.


Further information will be published in due course. In the meantime, following a positive test, a representative from the club should contact the local PHE centre to inform them of the development and seek further advice. Clubs should also ensu


re that they have an appropriate risk assessment in place and are operating within Government and RFU guidelines for all facility usage and rugby activity.Test And Trace GuidanceCommunity rugby - current statusAlthough social gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England from Monday 14 September, the Government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue. With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, we continue at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. The rugby community can continue to organise non-contact fixtures with other cl


ubs using Ready4Rugby, which you can read more about in the link below, and other touch rugby activity.


Limited and restricted contact rugby training can also be continued. Details of the permitted training activity are available in the return to contact training guidance link below.


We are working to see whether guidance on numbers permitted on training ar


eas can be increased to reflect the age of participants. Until we have secured approval for this, clubs should follow current guidance of no more than 20 players per half pitch in training.


RFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines must be followed.Contact GuidanceReady4RugbyLocal lockdown guidelinesClubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with their local authorities. We are a


dvised that unless local restrictions specifically mention restrictions on team sports and/or rugby, clubs should follow the NGB guidelines. This currently includes the following areas:


Government guidance - Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull

Government guidance - Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle

Government guidance - Bolton

Government guidance - Leicester

Government guidance - North of England




Clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and all are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt. Information regarding any new local lockdown restrictions


will be posted on the Government website below. We will provide an update to the game if there is any change in guidance to playing rugby union. You can read more information on the Government local lockdown updates.


The following local restrictions may impact rugby clubs in Northampton:


As highlighted previously, an outbreak of Covid-19 has been identified at certain Greencore factories. Any club member who has undertaken work in affected areas listed in the guidance, and the people they live with (or have formed a support bubble


with), should self-isolate at home for the recommended periods specified and should not visit a rugby club. Read the detailed Northampton Guidance issued on Monday 31 August.Other important updatesPitch Up for Rugby WeekendThank you to all the clubs up and down the country that got involved in the Pitch Up for Rugby Weekend. You can find out more in the links below about North Dorset RFC’s and Barnes RFC’s Pitch


Up for Rugby weekends, as well as the fundraising activities that both clubs undertook during the lockdown.


There are also some great stories on our Twitter page. #PitchUpforRugbyBarnes RFCNorth Dorset RFCWebinars and podcastsEddie Jones Coaching PodcastsThere are two Eddie Jones Coaching Podcasts this week, which you can listen to below.




The first is with World Cup winners Michael Lynagh and John Gallagher who joined England head coach Eddie Jones and RFU director of performance Conor O’Shea to reminisce about their early rugby experiences.


The second is with the Australia men’s cricket head coach Justin Langer, who is also Australia’s all-time leading first class runs scorer.Early ExperiencesLanger podcastPreparing & planning your pitches for Spring 2021Usage, budgeting & sc


ope of works through Covid - 19


This webinar, from 7-8pm on Thursday 24 September, will talk through what the potential implications are for your pitch maintenance programme as we move through the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. It will look at how you manage your pitches, how to develop a pitch usage policy and share examples from an RFU Pitch Advisor and other club grounds teams - you can register below.Register TodayCatch up on previous webinarsFor those who want to catch up on previous webinars, these are available on the England Rugby website. Please click on the links below:



Club Webinars

Referee Webinars

Coach WebinarsOther newsCelebrating UK Coaching Week | 14–20 September 2020Eddie Jones thanks coaches for their contribution to rugby during UK Coaching Week, you can watch his message via the link below. Today we’ve highlighted the Head Coach of Witney Wolves, Kate Nicholls, who says the role is so rewarding that she can’t understand why more coaches don’t seek to run Special Educational Needs (SEN) teams. Read her story below.


Your coaching team may also be interested in registering for the UK Coaching Me


ntal Health Workshop, which is free until Wednesday 30 September 2020, they can register here.Eddie's MessageNicholls' StoryRugby community doing great thingsThis


week England legend and World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont commented on the importance of the community game and his involvement with Flyde RFC. You can read his story in the link below.


In addition to clubs helping their communities, we are now highlighting on englandrugby.com: Pitch Up for Rugby weekend activities, clubs’ self-help initiatives, as well as activities to improve diversity and inclusion at clubs.


Mitsubishi Motors in the UK are proud supporters of the rugby volunteers across England who make up an integral part of the game. Help us recognise your work by sharing your club and individual stories and videos with veemontebello@rfu.com or patriciamowbray@rfu.com.



Distribution list: Tuesday 01 September



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

Club Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersCoronavirus (Covid-19) updatePlease find below the thirty-eighth edition of our coronavirus (Covid-19) update.


We have provided an update on the move to Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap and, as promised, the latest update (Tuesday 1 September) on adult and age-grade competitions.


Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access coronavirus information and updates here.


Past editions of these weekly updates can be found on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.RFU headlinesCommunity Rugby – moved to stage DWith the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, effective today, Tuesday 1 September, we have moved to Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. Clubs are now able to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby and other touch rugby activity.


Limited and restricted contact rugby training is also now allowed. Varied training conditions will allow the return of tackling, lineouts and rucks, ensuring that players are prepared to perform these skills safely and effectively with some restrictions. Mauls, scrums, opposed lineouts or upright tackles are still not permissible as the transmission exposure risk remains high. Contact training sessions have to be carried out in small groups of no more than six players. Detail of the permitted training activity is available in the return to contact training guidance.


Recently updated guidance on physical activity issued by the Department for Education (DfE) permits rugby union to be played in line with our government-approved action plan, and therefore means that schools and colleges can also move to limited contact training under Stage D of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.


We know there are multiple decisions required on student bubbles, extra-curricular trips/enrichment, transport and physical activity before committing to playing rugby, particularly with other schools and colleges. Whilst we encourage a return to rugby activity as soon as possible, the decision to do so will ultimately rest with each school or college.


RFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines should be followed.


You can read more detailed information.


Competition Update - Adult and Age Grade Season


As previously communicated in the Community Game Update of Tuesday 4 August, we have to reach Stage F (which will not be reached until at least four weeks after Stage E) before full contact competitive rugby can commence. In line with the above announcement regarding move to Stage D, and with no set date on when we will reach Stage F, we can confirm that there will be no competitive rugby restart in October for adult or age grade rugby unless there is a dramatic improvement in the prevalence of the virus in the community. Specifically this means the following for the 2020-21 season:


Age Grade Rugby


The move to Stage D takes us into Playing Window three on the Age Grade competition model, and therefore:


1. All national RFU Age Grade Competitions for 2020-21 will be cancelled. This includes the National Schools Cup & Champions Trophy, Under 18 Clubs Cup (Boys), Under 15 and 18 Clubs Cups (Girls) and ACE League.

2. The Age Grade Season can be extended and will end on 31 May 2021 as a one off.


This early confirmation will help clubs, schools and colleges with their current planning and scheduling. There will be further information and guidance to support competitive playing opportunities and local fixtures for the Age Grade game shortly.


Adult Rugby


The adult league season (Level 3 & below for men, Level 2 & below for women) will not commence in October. The next announcement about when league rugby will commence for these levels will be on 2 October.Other Important UpdatesManaging visitors to your clubIt is important to recognise the different requirements of managing other attendees at your venue.


The below supplementary information regarding spectators and visitors has been made available by the Government. This aligns to the restarting of grassroots rugby guidance we issued on Saturday 8 August. Clubs must continue to work within these guidelines to ensure that all facility, pre-activity and other general operation practices are safe and appropriate.


Clubs should also ensure they are appropriately set up and prepared for safely welcoming other clubs, supporters, parents, and other spectators to their venues, following the Government’s social distancing guidelines, which you can read below. Outdoors you can meet in a group of up to six people from different households, or in larger groups if everyone is exclusively from one or two households – although social distancing must still be maintained with people who you do not live with unless they are in your support bubble.


Where it is anticipated that an activity will attract spectators, there should be a named person or persons with responsibility for ensuring adherence with these guidelines and ensuring the facility is Covid-19 Secure. The person(s) should carry out and publish a risk assessment for the activity which limits the number of spectators and focuses on the need to maintain social distancing on arrival, for the duration of the activity, and on departure.


Arrangements should also be put in place to support test and trace efforts by collecting information from spectators which is detailed enough to allow NHS Test and Trace to contact them if necessary. Read the maintaining records guidance section below for further information.Government GuidelinesRecords GuidanceHiring out your venueClubs are reminded that they are responsible for ensuring that anyone hiring their venue adheres to the Government’s coronavirus (Covid-19) and RFU guidelines. In addition, all rugby activities undertaken must be restricted to what is permitted at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. Clubs in enhanced lockdown areas must also comply with any additional local restrictions. Any breach of the guidelines may invalidate insurance and could be in breach of both RFU and government regulations.Join the NatWest Rugby Force and Pitch Up for Rugby weekends in SeptemberThe countdown is on to prepare for the forthcoming NatWest Rugbyforce weekend, which takes place on 5/6 September. More than 800 clubs will use this activity to improve their facilities ready for the Pitch Up for Rugby weekend on 12/13 September, when club members and visitors can enjoy playing and/or watching touch and Ready4Rugby on the pitch. You can register for the weekend.


More information on the NatWest Rugby Force and Pitch Up for Rugby weekends is also available below, along with a helpful guide. You can also view the on demand webinar which provides tips on how to successfully promote your event. Our top five tips include:


Tip 1 - Understand your audience

Your marketing plan should be understanding of your audience and how your product, service or in this case, event will appeal to them.


Tip 2 - Connect with your local community

An important audience is the wider local community and in particular local businesses.


Tip 3 - Start talking about the event

Once you know you're going to run an event then get the information out there as soon as you can.


Tip 4 - Be part of the big moments

Local media is a great way to promote your event and reach new people in your local community.


Tip 5 - What's next

There will be plenty of activity on all England Rugby channels from now until after the Pitch Up for Rugby weekend, so make sure you’re part of the conversation.Helpful GuideMore InformationGet involved in the #PitchUpForRugby Photo ChallengeAs part of our #PitchUpForRugby celebration we’re asking the rugby community to celebrate the sport’s return by sharing their best grassroots photos. We’d like clubs, players and fans to get involved in our #PitchUpForRugby photo challenge. All you need to do is post your favourite grassroots rugby photo on Twitter or Instagram, tag a friend to do the same and use the hashtag #PitchUpForRugby between 8-13 September.


Please also ask your players to post their photos too as throughout that week we will be sharing lots of the photos that are posted on England Rugby’s social media channels.Local lockdown guidelinesClubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with their local authorities. We are advised that unless local restrictions specifically mention restrictions on team sports and/or rugby, clubs should follow the NGB guidelines.


Clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and all are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt. Information regarding any new local lockdown restrictions will be posted on the Government website below. We will provide an update to the game if there is any change in guidance to playing rugby union. You can read more information on the Government local lockdown updates.


The following local restrictions are currently in place:


Clubs in Leicester City are currently restricted to groups of no more than six in socially distanced activity and hence must remain at Stage B on the Return to Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. Read the Leicester City detailed guidance.


In Northampton, an outbreak of Covid-19 has been identified at certain Greencore factories. Any club member who has undertaken work in affected areas listed in the guidance, and the people they live with (or have formed a support bubble with), should self-isolate at home for the recommended periods specified and should not visit a rugby club. Read the detailed Northampton Guidance issued on Monday 31 August.


Currently, all clubs in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, Preston, and West Yorkshire can continue to operate at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap as the Government website makes it clear that sports that have action plans approved by Government may continue to operate as per NGB guidelines. Read the North of England guidance.


It is important that clubs in Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle read local authority guidance as different restrictions may apply, depending on the location of a rugby club. Read the Government guidance.


In Oldham and the following parts of Blackburn with Darwen, clubs can operate at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap: Blackburn South & Lower Darwen, Blackburn South East, Darwen East, Darwen South, Darwen West, Ewood, Livesey with Pleasington, Mill Hill & Moorgate, West Pennine.


There are wider restrictions in place in Pendle, but the Whitefield, Walverden, Southfield, Bradley, Clover Hill, Brierfield, Marsden areas in the wards of Nelson and Brierfield have additional restrictions and clubs are currently restricted to groups of no more than six in socially distanced activity and hence must remain at Stage B on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.


However, additional restrictions have been introduced in the following areas of Blackburn with Darwen which mean that residents should not socialise with people that they do not live with and, therefore, no rugby activity should take place outside your family bubble until local authority advice changes.


Blackburn with Darwen - (areas affected): Audley & Queen’s Park, Bastwell & Daisyfield, Billinge & Beardwood, Blackburn Central, Little Harwood & Whitebirk, Roe Lee, Shear Brow & Corporation Park, Wensley Fold.


Please see local authority guidance below:


Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Oldham Council

Pendle Borough CouncilWebinar, workshops and podcastsRunning your Club – Virtual Workshops September to November 2020The first of the next round of Club Matters Workshops will take place tomorrow, Wednesday 2 September. This Volunteer Experience Workshop will provide top tips on recruiting, retaining and rewarding volunteer, and you can register below.


The second workshop, Planning for the Future, will take place on Wednesday 16 September. This workshop identifies how to effectively plan and develop specific objectives to enable your club to tackle key issues and become sustainable, register below to take part.


Each workshop will take place between 6.30pm to 8.30pm and places are limited to 18 attendees, allocated on a first come, first served basis. You can discover all the details of the workshops.Club MattersPlanning WorkshopUsing GMS for Start of the Season Club Tasks - 3 September at 7pmThis webinar will build on last month’s introduction to Player Profile & Age Grade Registration. We will update progress since the July Webinar and also on further enhancements to the Help Portal. We will also discuss how clubs can utilise GMS effectively for online membership payments, club communications and team management tasks.


Register below both to join the event and to view on demand after the webinar has finished.RegisterCatch up on previous webinarsFor those who want to catch up on previous webinars, these are available on the England Rugby website. Please click on the links below:


Club Webinars

Referee Webinars

Coach WebinarsThe Eddie Jones Coaching PodcastIn this latest podcast, Joe Schmidt, former Ireland and Leinster head coach, speaks about his journey from being an English teacher who also coached some basketball to coaching at the highest level leading Ireland to three Six Nations titles.Listen Now

Rugby community doing great thingsIn addition to clubs helping their communities, we are now highlighting clubs’ self-help initiatives, as well as activities being undertaken to improve diversity and inclusion at clubs, on englandrugby.com.


Mitsubishi Motors in the UK are proud supporters of the rugby volunteers across England who make up an integral part of the game. Help us recognise your work by sharing your club and individual stories and videos with veemontebello@rfu.com or patriciamowbray@rfu.com.


Click below to find out more about the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme.


Distribution list: Tuesday 18 August

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

Club Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersCoronavirus (Covid-19) updatePlease find below the thirty-sixth edition of our coronavirus (Covid-19) update.


We have provided a reminder that we are at Stage C on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap, of our advice to clubs in local lockdown areas and that in September the NatWest Rugby Force weekend will take place on the 5th/6th, followed by the Pitch Up for Rugby weekend on the 12th/13th.


There’s also a last call for the rugby community to take part in our Diversity and Inclusion Survey.


Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access coronavirus information and updates here.


Past editions of these weekly updates can be found on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.RFU headlinesUpdate on the return to community rugbyWe remain at Stage C on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.


If they wish to, the rugby community can now recommence some larger group rugby activity, initially non-contact, subject to adherence with RFU guidance and also continuing to follow Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines.


The return is initially through Ready4Rugby, a non-contact game, enabling two teams of up to 10 players to engage in training and match activity in their own club environment. Other touch rugby activity (including O2 Touch centres) will also be able to recommence.Join the NatWest Rugby Force and Pitch Up for Rugby weekends in SeptemberHaving reached Stage C on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap, let’s celebrate in September, with NatWest Rugbyforce on weekend of 5th and 6th, when more than 800 clubs will improve facilities ready for the following weekend’s Pitch Up for Rugby on 12th and 13th.


During the Pitch Up for Rugby weekend players will enjoy touch and Ready4Rugby on the pitch. Make sure you register here and read this helpful guide.


Clubs should only take part in these activities if they feel ready to do so.


Join our webinar at 7pm on Thursday 20 August to get advice and tips on making both of the September weekends a success. Click below to register.


More information on the NatWest Rugby Force and Pitch Up for Rugby weekends is also available below.WebinarMore InformationLocal lockdown guidelinesClubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with local authorities. We are advised that unless local restrictions specifically mention restrictions on team sports and/or rugby clubs should follow the NGB guidelines.


Currently, all clubs in North lockdown areas can continue to operate at Stage C on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap as the government website makes it clear that those sports that have action plans approved by government may continue to operate as per NGB guidelines.


North of England local restrictions - read


However, clubs in Leicester are currently restricted to groups of no more than 6 in socially distanced activity and hence must remain at Stage B.


Leicester local restrictions - read


All clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt. Information regarding any new local lockdown restrictions will be posted on the government website below. We will provide an update to the game if there is any change in guidance to playing rugby union.Lockdown NewsOther important updatesDiversity and InclusionTime is running out to complete the survey before the deadline of 11.59pm on Wednesday 19 August 2020. If you haven’t already done so, please give your feedback by clicking on the link below and also share it with other members of your club or constituency.


Findings from our survey will inform the development of a new Diversity and Inclusion Plan, which will be published in the autumn.Take SurveyAdult Male Future Competition StructureThe Future Competitions Structure Group (FCS) has released a Recommendation Paper regarding the adult male competitions structure (English Club Championship Level 3 and below), for implementation in the 2021/22 season. This follows frequent engagement with the game over the last nine months and the collection of extensive evidence, both providing critical insight into the challenges identified. Click below to read the plan.


Your feedback is welcomed ahead of any RFU Council decision on 2 October 2020. Please click below to give your views. Please also share with your members so that they can have their say too.


Please contact Competitions-Development@RFU.com if you have any questions.Read PlanTake SurveyOther important updatesTraining Course Updates - August 2020Face to face training courses will re-start when it is safe to do so, and when the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap has progressed sufficiently for us to carry out components of the training courses such as use of tag belts, simulated tackle and scrummaging.


As we have not yet progressed into any contact or tag rugby, the Kids First webinar courses planned for August have been pushed back.


TackleSafe and new Headcase eLearning courses are due to go live by the end of August.


As announced last week, the new Introduction to Safeguarding eLearning course is live. Please register below.RegisterEddie Jones’ webinar series - Leading High Performing and Effective Rugby Environments in the Adult GameJoin Eddie Jones, England Head Coach; Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO; Steve Grainger, RFU Rugby Development Director and John Inverdale, the newly appointed Chairman of the NCA and a RFU Council member, on one the following webinars – just click on the date to register:


24 August 7-8pm Level 5/6

26 August 7-8 pm Level 7-12


Eddie will chat to John about his experiences in managing and adapting to change and how to stay ahead of the game.


Given the level of interest in the webinar we ask that there are no more than five representatives from each club. Please share the invite with those who might be interested.


Once all the events have taken place, an on demand version will be made available on englandrugby.com.Running your Club – Virtual Workshops September to November 2020The first of the next round of Club Matters workshops will take place on 2 September between 6.30-8.30pm. Titled Volunteer Experience, this workshop will aim to provide top tips in recruiting, retaining and rewarding volunteers. Places are limited to 18 attendees, allocated on a first come, first served basis. Click below to discover details of all of the workshops and also to register for the 2 September event.Workshop DetailsRegisterCatch up on previous webinarsFor those who want to catch up on previous webinars, these are available on the England Rugby website. Please click on the links below:


Club Webinars

Referee Webinars

Coach WebinarsOther important newsRe-open right with BritvicBritvic, Official Soft Drink Supplier to England Rugby want to Pitch In and help rugby clubs across the country to re-start their businesses by ensuring they have all the support and information at hand, making the re-opening of on-trade and bar operations as smooth as possible. Just click on the Britvic Sensational Drinks portal below to access the latest trends, guides and advice to help your club recover from lockdown and move towards growing your business, making more money from your returning players and supporters.Britvic PortalRugby community doing great thingsToday we highlight the merger of East Dorset RFC and Dorset Dockers who have become East Dorset Dockers, a development which will help grow the player pool. Click here to read more.


In addition to clubs helping their communities, we are now highlighting clubs’ self-help initiatives, as well as activities being undertaken to improve diversity and inclusion at clubs, on englandrugby.com.


Mitsubishi Motors in the UK are proud supporters of the rugby volunteers across England who make up an integral part of the game. Help us recognise your work by sharing your club and individual stories and videos with veemontebello@rfu.com or patriciamowbray@rfu.com.


Distribution list: Tuesday 11 August

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

Club Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersCoronavirus (Covid-19) updatePlease find below the thirty-fifth edition of our coronavirus (Covid-19) update.


We have provided an update on the return to community rugby following a move to Stage C on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap and advice for clubs in local lockdown areas .


We have also announced two weekends of celebration in September – the NatWest Rugby Force Weekend on the 5th/6th, and the Pitch Up for Rugby Weekend on the 12th/13th.


There’s also a call for the rugby community to take part in our Diversity and Inclusion Survey.


Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access coronavirus information and updates here.


Past editions of these weekly updates can be found on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.RFU headlinesUpdate on the return to community rugbyLast Saturday we announced a positive step forward on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap, which has been updated to move from Stage B to Stage C.


Our roadmap was first published ahead of the Government releasing its framework for return to recreational team sport. When that Government guidance was issued there was a requirement to provide a detailed assessment of exposure risk through face to face contact across both contact and non-contact rugby together with evidence of mitigations put in place to allow for safe return in some format of the game. The latest roadmap reflects those discussions and provides further guidance to clubs on acceptable rugby activity within Stage C, as defined


The fact based medical assessment highlighted a significantly increased risk in transmission when playing full-contact rugby and therefore any form of contact rugby is still NOT permitted. Premiership Rugby will return this week but they are operating under Elite Sporting Guidance and strict Covid-19 testing regimes.


In order to move from group training in teams of six, we undertook an extensive process of submitting detailed fact based medical proposals to be scrutinised by the Government - including DCMS, Public Health England and N0 10. These proposals were approved last week and clubs can now play Ready4Rugby. Subject to satisfactory operation through August we hope to be able to move to inter-club Ready4Rugby in September. Other Touch Rugby activity (including O2 Touch centres) will also be able to recommence.


The introduction of these options is in addition to non-contact skills based group activity, carried out following the Government’s social distancing guidelines, which clubs would normally develop as part of their pre-season training. Guidance on acceptable training activity is provided in the Guidance on Restarting Competitive Grassroots Rugby, and also in this on-demand webinar. We would encourage coaches and clubs to share their best practice with others.


We are continuing to undertake detailed analysis on potential adaptations to the key high risk contact areas in the game, and will be seeking Government approval to bring back contact training when it is deemed safe to do so. We will keep you informed on this, in the meantime.


In the meantime, thank you to everyone who has provided feedback on their experience of Ready4Rugby. We are now calling on clubs to send in videos of their players engaging in Ready4Rugby activities to jamesmaden@rfu.com, and/or post the videos on their social media channels using #Ready4Rugby. Please ensure anything you post on social media reflect fully the approved format of the game.Local lockdown guidelinesAs more areas of the country are entering local lockdowns, clubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with local authorities. Clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt.Future Competitions Structure – CB opportunityThe Future Competitions Structure Group (FCS) are preparing a Recommendation Paper that will be shared with the Game (including CBs) on Friday 14 August.


We would also like to offer CBs the opportunity to speak directly with members of the FCS Group about the proposed recommendations to the adult male competitions structure (English Club Championships Level 3 and below).


CBs can sign up to one of ten sessions via an invitation which will be sent by email direct to the CB Honorary Secretary. The sessions will provide an opportunity for CB officials to ask questions and discuss the proposed changes. The sessions dates will take place on the following dates in August:


- 19th: 7pm

- 20th: 3pm and 7pm

- 21st: 3pm

- 24th: 3pm and 7pm

- 25th: 3pm and 7pm

- 27th: 3pm and 7pmRugby is back - we call on clubs across the country to join the celebrationsThe rugby community is now able to recommence some larger group rugby activity, initially non-contact, subject to adherence with RFU guidance and also continuing to follow Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines, together with any local government lockdown restrictions that may be implemented.


With the move to Stage C on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap confirmed, there will be two weekends of celebration in September.


NatWest Rugbyforce will kick things off on September 5 and 6, enabling over 800 clubs to make improvements to their facilities. Now in its 12th year, a record number of clubs are getting involved with the nationwide initiative developed with the RFU. With the programme now able to return safely, NatWest is offering more support for the rugby community than ever before. Grants awarded to clubs have ranged from £500 to £3,000 to help clubs remain sustainable for longer in these challenging times.


Just a week later, we are calling on communities to ‘Pitch Up for Rugby’ and join their local clubs during the weekend of September 12 and 13. There will be action back on the pitch in the form of touch and Ready4Rugby, the new non-contact game which enables two teams of up to 10 players to engage in match activity.


Click below for guidance and information on the NatWest Rugby Force and Pitch Up for Rugby weekends.More InformationWe want to hear your views about Diversity and InclusionOur sport is founded on inclusion and being open to all and we want rugby to reflect the diversity of society. We acknowledge that there are many great examples of inclusivity in our sport, but we believe that overall there is more we should be doing.


We are committed to a step change in tackling diversity and inclusion. As part of this, we are conducting a survey among our stakeholders as we really want to listen and hear your views and experiences. We want to understand what is already working, what we need to do to accelerate change and how we can do that. Your input is invaluable to help us achieve this.


We will be using the findings from our survey to inform the development of a new Diversity and Inclusion Plan, which will be published in the autumn. We know this is not a quick fix, this is the start of a continual drive to ensure our sport is open to all.


If you haven’t already done so, we’d really appreciate you taking some time to complete the survey, as well as sharing it with other members of your club or constituency.Take SurveyOther important updatesWebinars: Volunteers and law & zero hour contracts - Thursday 13 August 7pm - 8pmThis webinar run by our legal partner, Irwin Mitchell, will cover the key legal issues in relation to volunteers and those engaged on zero hour contracts at your club.


Register now for the webinar and you will be automatically entered into a competition to win a signed England Rugby shirt.RegisterEddie Jones’ webinar series - Leading High Performing and Effective Rugby Environments in the Adult GameWe would like to invite you to join Eddie Jones, England Head Coach, Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO, Steve Grainger, RFU Rugby Development Director and John Inverdale, the newly appointed Chairman of the NCA and a RFU Council member, on one the following webinars, which have been organised for the community game – just click on the date to register:


17 August 7-8pm NCA Level 3/4

24 August 7-8pm Level 5/6

26 August 7-8 pm Level 7-12


Eddie will chat to John about his experiences in managing and adapting to change and how to stay ahead of the game.


The invitation is for the roles of Club Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers, coaches and players’ representatives at clubs at level seven and below. Given the level of interest in the webinar we ask that there are no more than five representatives from each club.


Once all the events have taken place, an on demand version will be made available on englandrugby.com.


Places are limited so please book early.Making Pitch In & Pitch Up a success - Thursday 20 August 7pm-8pm


Distribution list: Tuesday 28 July

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

Club Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, TreasurersCoronavirus (Covid-19) updatePlease find below the thirty-third edition of our coronavirus (Covid-19) update.


Having submitted our Return to Community Rugby Action Plan to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport ('DCMS'), we hope to announce a move to Stage C on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap soon. We have also announced dates for the NatWest RugbyForce Weekend.


Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access coronavirus information and updates here.


Past editions of these weekly updates can be found on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.RFU headlinesReturn to community rugby updateWe remain at Stage B on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. However, we have submitted our Return to Community Rugby Action Plan to the DCMS so we hope to have some positive news soon about the potential move to the next stage.NatWest RugbyForce confirmed for 5 & 6 SeptemberWe are pleased to announce that NatWest RugbyForce Weekend is returning on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September to support clubs as they get ready for the return of rugby.


NatWest RugbyForce Weekend provides the perfect opportunity to call on your volunteers to help get your facilities in great shape, to welcome back the community as we work towards a return to play.


This year, NatWest is offering more help to support the rugby community. If you haven’t already registered, by pledging to get involved, your club could be eligible for a grant of up to £500 to support your NatWest RugbyForce weekend. Just click the link below and register by midnight on Sunday 9 August. If your club is already registered, we’ll have been in contact with details of your grant. All that’s left to do is start planning.


Rest assured, we will continue to monitor government updates and all activities will fall within guidelines present at the time of the event and we will provide support and guidance in the coming weeks on how to run your event safely.RegisterOther important updatesWebinars and podcastsEmployment basics for rugby clubs - Thursday 6 August at 7pm-8pmThis webinar run by our legal partner, Irwin Mitchell, will answer your employment law questions on the basics of employing and engaging people at your club.


Please note, as the official legal partner to England Rugby, Irwin Mitchell will be taking over the Legal and Tax Helpline from Saturday 1 August. The new legal and tax helpline number is 0333 0100337.


Register for the webinar below and you will be automatically entered into a competition to win a signed England Rugby shirt.RegisterCatch up on previous webinarsFor those who want to catch up on previous webinars, these are available on the England Rugby website. Please click on the links below:


Club Webinars

Referee Webinars

Coach WebinarsUK Coaching launches its new coach learning Duty to Care ToolkitUK Coaching this week launched its new coach learning Duty to Care Toolkit package, designed to give coaches the confidence to embrace and adjust to the changed coaching landscape.


The toolkit will ensure the nation’s coaches are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide great coaching experiences to others, and support them as coaches to better look after themselves as they return to coaching after Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed.


Coaches will also be able earn a free nationally recognised ‘digital badge’ to demonstrate to the public they are committed to the principles of Duty to Care (Diversity, Inclusion, Mental Health, Safeguarding and Wellbeing), which underpin great coaching.


Click below to access through the learning and development platform.Duty to Care ToolkitRugby community doing great thingsRugby communities and their members continue to provide support to local their local communities. Today we highlight Wheatley Hills RUFC’s Fin Garner who cleared up the shattered glass from a local bus shelter.Fin Garner

In addition to clubs helping their communities, we are now highlighting clubs’ self-help initiatives, as well as activities being undertaken to improve diversity and inclusion at clubs, on englandrugby.com.


Mitsubishi Motors in the UK are proud supporters of the rugby volunteers across England who make up an integral part of the game. Help us recognise your work by sharing your club and individual stories and videos with veemontebello@rfu.com or patriciamowbray@rfu.com.


Click below to find out more about the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme.

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