Return To Rugby Update – October

We remain at Stage D on the Roadmap. However RFU Guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines, must be followed. Where local lockdown restrictions are in place, local authority guidelines must be followed.

Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director at the RFU gives an update below on the continuing plans to get rugby returned to normal.

Due to the rise in the number of positive Covid-19 cases, as well as an increase in hospital admissions, the Government has announced its intention to introduce a new three tier system of local lockdown measures, effective Wednesday 14 October 2020. Clubs must follow the current guidance until then.

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.
Return to community rugby – age grade regulations

Any mixed age non-contact activity under Regulation 15.6.2, must be risk assessed appropriately and follow best practice as outlined in the Codes of Practice, which includes ensuring parental consent is in place. Where 17 year olds are participating in contact training, Regulation 15.6.1 must be followed. Therefore you must also complete an online ‘Player Approval ‘ Form and received approval before the player is allowed to train with adults.

Adult Male Future Competition Structure Review – Update

Once again, we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the many webinars and surveys that have been conducted over the last 12 months regarding the future competition structure (English Club Championship Level 3 and below). Click below to read the plan.

A detailed summary of responses from the Future Competition Structure Survey conducted over the summer, separated by player and non-player feedback, can be accessed here. In addition, the results from the survey conducted in February 2020 are available here.

As Covid-19 restrictions are still with us, and we remain uncertain of the timing and nature of the 2020/21 season, the Community Game Board have taken the decision to pause implementation of any changes to league structures (should these be approved at a future date by RFU Council) to season 2022/23. Work on the review remains a priority and will be discussed again at the RFU Council meeting on 27 November, where it is likely a vote on some key matters of principle will be taken. 

We will also contact Honorary Secretaries at adult male clubs (levels 3-12) in the near future to ask for their input into a survey which aims to help us better understand the level of interest from clubs to entering Lower XVs teams into the RFU Leagues Pyramid to up to Level 7. At the same time we will share some draft criteria for this happening. The outcome of the survey will assist the FCS Group in understanding the number of teams coming into the pyramid. Whilst there is no commitment from clubs at this stage, the information will provide an important steer in assessing the level of interest from clubs and any potential impact on future structures.

We thank you for your continued support in this important process. The majority of people agree that we have a significant opportunity for rugby to develop in order to provide an optimal playing offer and structure that protects the future health of the adult male game while meeting the needs of current and future players. Players are looking for a balance of quality of experience, welfare needs and less travel. Meanwhile, we must also ensure we protect the sustainability of clubs.