The CB strives always to ensure that as many players as possible have the opportunity to play rugby as safely as possible, including to experience that through tours, training & development camps and festivals. Our objective is always to facilitate and increase participation in and enjoyment of our game in all of its forms. However, to ensure that this can happen, both the CB and clubs must, together, adhere to the Regulations that underpin our game, such that player (especially, young player) welfare and safety remain paramount.

Regrettably, there have been recent incidences of clubs that are either under investigation for alleged breaches or have been disciplined for actual breaches of RFU Regulation 15 and 21. These clubs have also applied to host or have been invited by the KCRFU to host its Age Grade festivals.

Such an approach could be seen as rewarding poor behaviour by clubs and is incompatible with the aims of Age Grade player safety.

To ensure better awareness and compliance with both Regulations, the KCRFU intends, with immediate effect, to make compliance a whole club issue, whereby, proven failings by a club, whether they stem from junior and minis sections or the senior sections, impact the whole club.

Underpinning this objective is the principle that it is the whole club which is responsible for the safety and welfare of its younger players. As such, the senior section of the club bears as much responsibility as its junior and minis sections in ensuring compliance with all RFU Regulations. It follows, therefore, that although disciplinary sanctions may fall on culpable individuals and the club as an entity, the consequences of a lack of compliance should fall on the whole club, too.

To this end, as a condition for CB approval to tour, hold a festival (either CB-sponsored or under the club’s own initiative) or camp, the KCRFU reserves the right to:

  • withhold permission to tour, stage festivals, camps, etc. if at any stage the RFU disciplinary process, undertaken under delegated authority through the KCRFU, has been invoked in an allegation against a club for breaches of Regulations 15 and/or 21, and that this process brings to light a conclusion that clearly warrants such action; or
  • to impose a sanction (under RFU Regulation 19 and Rule 5.12) that negates the financial advantage of a club wishing to tour, or stage a festival or camp, should it be impractical to impose the sanction in a), above.
  • The CB will retain this right for all applicant clubs that have been disciplined for a breach of Regulation 15 and/or 21 within the 12 months preceding the application. This condition will also be applied to those clubs seeking to host senior CB-sponsored events, such as competition finals. This same condition will also apply to camps and mini, youth or adult tours, where CB consent is required.

The policy, we believe, provides a proportionate and reasonable approach to mitigate further the CB’s concerns surrounding non-compliance with Regulations 15 and 21, setting minimum ‘barriers’ to approval for certain activities which are distinct and separate from the disciplinary process.

These proposals and their effectiveness will be kept under regular and frequent review.

Nigel Fray
Hon. Secretary & Director of Governance