RFU Updates

Below are a list of updates from the RFU in words or PDF format - please click the link to view PDF:

RFU Community Game Update - Aug 2018

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RFU Community Game Update - Jan 2018

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RFU Age Grade Newsletter - Issue 3

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RFU January 2018 Touchline

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RFU December Touchline

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RFU November Touchline

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RFU October Touchline

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Welcome to the latest Community Game Update
22 September 2017

The latest Community Game Update includes information on the following:
For Action
•    Head Injury Assessment
•    Age Grade Codes of Practice
For Information
•    National Rugby Survey
•    Referee Society RFU Voting Membership
•    Young Rugby Ambassador Regional Conferences 2017
•    Painting of Twickenham

Head Injury Assessment
We hope that start of the season has gone well for you. Player safety is an important area for all of us and we are grateful for all the work that is going on to manage any unfortunate incidents of concussion that may occur.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that while the effective use of the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) process is being seen at the elite adult level of the game, it should be noted that HIAs must not be carried out during games other than those in competitions and matches, as approved by World Rugby:

• Aviva Premiership
• England Senior team internationals (men and women)
• England U20 home internationals (men and women)
• A-League
• Greene King IPA Championship
• Anglo-Welsh Cup
• British and Irish Cup
• European Champions Cup
• European Challenge Cup

All other matches and training involving adult male and female players (including the new women’s Tyrrells Premier 15s League) and all age grade activities must adhere to regulation 9, which states “any individual who exhibits any of the signs or symptoms of concussion should be immediately and permanently removed safely from the field of play, should not return to play that day, and it is recommended that they are referred to a medical or healthcare professional for assessment and advice.”

To see Regulation 9 in full, click here.

This must be adhered to irrespective of the qualification/profession of the individual providing the pitch-side first aid and/or immediate care provision.

Following a suspected concussion players should follow the appropriate Return to Play protocols, whereby if they remain symptom free for 14 days, the player can gradually increase physical activity and can return to playing 19 days after the original incident if an adult, or after 23 days if in the U19 age group or younger.

More information regarding suspected concussion management and the return to play protocols can be found on the HEADCASE pages of the ER website here. There is a free 30 minute online concussion education module which everyone involved in the game is urged to complete, there are bespoke modules for players, coaches, match officials, parents/guardians and teachers.   

Age Grade Codes of Practice
Following the recommendations of the Age Grade Good Practice Group we are pleased to introduce the Age Grade Codes of Practice.

The delivery of these Codes ensures a focus on the wants and needs of the Age Grade player. They ensure that every player, regardless of ability, maturity or size, develops not only their rugby skills, but wider personal and social skills, increasing their enjoyment and supporting their transition to the adult game.  

The Codes provide support and guidance coaches and teachers in:
•    Developing the whole player – to ensure holistic player development  
•    Playing and training frequency – to address over and under playing and ensure a balanced rugby programme  
•    Grouping of players – to ensure inclusivity and support individual player development  
•    Playing out of age group – to enhance player development and confirm what is permitted in regulation  
•    Out of season activity, camps and tours  - clarifying regulation and requirements for camps and tours
•    Minimum standards for coaches and referees – detailing how coaches and referees can achieve best practice
The Codes of Practice are designed to help and support those working hard across Age Grade Rugby. They support the application of regulation and replace previous guidance documents and it is our intention that everyone who delivers the Age Grade game feels compelled to commit to them.

Over the coming weeks we will be releasing a series of videos to help promote these Codes and encourage coaches and teachers to buy into them by stating that they are “in”. Once released publicly, your support in promoting these Codes within your CB and encouraging commitment would be much appreciated in ensuring they become adapted and commonplace in the game – benefiting players as a result.

Should you have any further questions on these Codes please contact us on Agegraderugby@rfu.com


National Rugby Survey
Over 28,000 people completed the National Rugby Survey and Age Grade Player Survey earlier this year, making it the biggest community rugby survey of its kind.

The next wave of the National Rugby Survey, which is now combined with the Age Grade Player Survey, is set to open next week and we will be sending emails to players, volunteers, coaches, match officials and fans, across the game, encouraging them to tell us their views.

We will inform you as soon as the National Rugby Survey is live and would appreciate your time in completing the survey, telling us about your experiences across the game so we can continue to provide the best offering for all involved in rugby.
Referee Society RFU Voting Membership  
A further nine referee societies have recently been accepted as voting members of the RFU. Click here for full details.

This is part of implementing the recommendations of the Match Officials Blueprint and follows on from the Rugby Football Referees Union attaining CB status last year.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either Michael Patz, RFU Match Official Development Manager (michaelpatz@rfu.com) or your respective Match Official Development Officer (MODO).

Young Rugby Ambassador Regional Conferences 2017
Four regional Young Rugby Ambassador conferences are running this autumn. CB volunteers are invited to attend to get to know YRAs from their local area and understand more about the YRA programme.

The content of the workshop will focus on sustainable clubs, challenges faced in recruitment and retention of players and volunteers and solutions for how to overcome them.

The conferences aim to enable YRAs to meaningfully support their local clubs with a view to moving to committee positions as future leaders of the game.

The conferences will run on the following dates:  
•    29 October – Newcastle Falcons
•    19 November – London Irish
•    2 December – Wasps (Coventry)
•    2 December – Exeter Chiefs  
Each conference will include a 3-hour workshop, lunch and a ticket to a Premiership fixture.

If you are interested in attending a conference near you, please contact Jenny Box, Volunteer Engagement Manager, jennybox@rfu.com, for more information and venue details. Additionally, your support in promoting the conferences to young volunteers, coaches, referees and administrators in your CB is much appreciated.
Painting of Twickenham
In October 2014, the large painting of Twickenham that hung on the staircase in the Spirit of Rugby was replaced by the First World War painting of the 1914 England team. The painting of Twickenham by Jennifer Conley is now looking for a new home in the game. Click here for an image of the painting which is 9 foot squared.

Please write to julietlafferty@rfu.com by 13 October if you have a venue large enough to house the painting and are interested in giving it a new home. It would require collection from the stadium.

4th March 2016

Rugby Is Good For You!
Steve Grainger, RFU Development Director, on safety of junior rugby

In response to recent media coverage you may have seen around tackling in junior rugby, you may receive questions this weekend regarding the safety of rugby for young players.

The coverage originated from an open letter circulated by a group of academics and doctors, including Professor Allyson Pollock from Queen Mary University of London, who has previously been vocal about issues of concussion and injury surveillance in schools.

Below is some useful information which may help you respond to any concerns raised from club members, parents or teachers. We will continue to use England Rugby channels to reinforce key messages around the safety and enjoyment of our sport and you will find supporting materials referenced at the bottom of this email. This message has also been shared with schools and colleges in England.


Useful information:

The RFU takes player safety extremely seriously and this is at the core of all the training of coaches, referees, medics and the players themselves, at all levels of the game.

Rugby is a fantastic sport for children, bringing many physical and social benefits, including increased confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline, and enjoyable physical exercise as part of a team. Teachers constantly comment on off-pitch behaviour improvements when rugby is introduced in school.

Rugby for young people in England takes different forms, both contact and non-contact. Significant long-term work has developed a gradual progression to the game to ensure maximum possible safety, with a structured approach covering introduction, playing, teaching and refereeing from Under 7 to Under 18.

See the player progression chart in full >>>

This structured approach provides building blocks to the 15-a-side game, allowing players time to learn the basics before contact and specialism is gradually introduced.  These will be implemented across the country in both schools and clubs from September 2016.  Full 15-a-side rugby will begin a year later at Under 14. A gradual and managed introduction of the contact game around the tackle will take place from Under 9 to Under 12, instead of over two years at U9 and U10 as previously, giving players, teachers and coaches more time to master the techniques.

Rugby Union is a game played by many schools. Alongside well established rugby playing schools over 400 new secondary schools have taken up our sport since 2012 through the CBRE All Schools programme. We are committed to expanding this number to 750 by 2019 and it is already making its mark, increasing the amount of rugby in schools and encouraging new players to join local clubs. It aims to make school life happier and healthier, reducing anti-social behaviour, enhancing learning and increasing self-esteem for students, with research supporting this.

RugbySafe overarching programme encapsulates all the RFU’s player safety and wellbeing projects to support clubs, colleges, schools, universities and participants at all levels of the game.

High quality coaching, officiating, medical support and player behaviour, in line with rugby’s core values, all contribute to reducing the risk of injury occurring.  The RFU also runs one of the world’s  largest and longest running community level injury surveillance studies and has a clear process for translating injury research into coach, match official and player education. It is also currently running a large scale injury surveillance and prevention project in schools.

Related content:

CBRE All Schools: http://www.englandrugby.com/allschools
Rugby Safe: http://www.englandrugby.com/rugbysafe/
Age Grade Rugby: http://www.englandrugby.com/agegraderugby
Headcase: http://www.englandrugby.com/headcase

Best wishes,

Steve Grainger
RFU Rugby Development Director














Ticketing link for Open Training Session

Further to our note sent to you last Wednesday, 13th January, here are some additional details about applying for tickets to the England Open Training Session on Friday, 29th January.

Please use the link below for you and your members to get complimentary tickets for the England Open Training Session.

•    Link for your tickets:  England Open Training Session ticketing link.
•    Tickets are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
•    Tickets are complimentary and individuals can apply for up to four tickets each – please only apply for tickets that you know you will use, or others may not get the opportunity to attend.
•    Tickets are ‘print at home’ only.
•    Where possible please use public transport as although parking is available at the stadium, it will be limited and available on a first come, first served basis.
•    In addition, ticketholders will be entitled to a £10 discount on England O2 replica shirts (adults and children) and reduced entry into the World Rugby Museum (only £2 adults, £1 juniors) on the day.

Please note the following timings:

09.45  Gates open
10.00   Team arrival
10.30   Training session starts
11.30    Q&A session
11.40    Player autograph signings plus media interviews with 1 coach and 2 players.
12.00   Players leave

Community Game Update - January 2016
England Open Training Session
Your invitation

ACTION: Please communicate this exciting opportunity to all your club members

Thank you for all your support for England Rugby, the England players really do appreciate the backing they receive from their fans.

To show their appreciation, the England team would like to invite clubs to come along to an open training session at 10.30am on Friday 29 January at Twickenham Stadium.  The event is by invitation only and is an opportunity to watch the England team train as they prepare for the RBS 6 Nations competition under England’s new coaching team. 

Tickets will be limited and allocations made on a first come first serve basis [an individual will be able to secure up to 4 tickets]

To speed up the process once tickets go live, those interested should register on the e-tickets site as soon as possible to create an account (if you don’t already have one) – you can do so by clicking the link here.

Please note that all affiliated schools are also being invited to attend, so even though it is a weekday, we hope your junior members may have an opportunity to attend this exciting event through their school.

Further information on how you can secure tickets to this event will be issued later this week.


Community Game Update 15

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Rugby Shorts - Apr 2015

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O2 and England Rugby unveil the official send-off for the England Rugby team with Take That, plus special guests!

A unique celebration of both England and rugby, Wear the Rose Live will offer fans from across the country a once in a lifetime opportunity to wave off the England team in style and show how the power of support can give the squad a huge boost, ahead of the biggest tournament in English rugby history. 

Held in front of 14,500 fans at The O2, the England Rugby squad, coaches and management will be there, with players taking part in live interviews on the night. They will be joined by global pop sensations Take That as they perform an hour-long exclusive set of hits, complete with a full 48-piece orchestra for the first time ever. 

The O2 Priority customer ticket sale is now live, visit the Priority App for details, with tickets will going on general sale at 9am, 31st July 2015. To purchase tickets visit www.axs.com, www.seetickets.com or www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

For more information click here or watch the TV advert click here.

NROP and Player Progression Pathway 2015-16

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Rugby Shorts - Apr 2015

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Revised Structure Season

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17th April 2015

Adult Competitions Review Update

Further to the RFU Council meeting today, where the Adult Competition Review was discussed, we would like to update you on the following outcome.


While the Adult Competition Review and all its recommendations were passed by Council in June 2014, it was thought prudent to take into account recent feedback. This predominantly concerns 1st XV league and RFU Cup rugby. The Adult Competition Review also made recommendations, which were approved, regarding the organisation of rugby for 2nd and lower XVs, as well as for student competitions and other forms of the game, namely touch and sevens. 


As a result of the above, a resolution was passed to delay the implementation of the recommendations of the Adult Competition Review concerning 1st XV league and RFU Cup rugby by 12 months to undertake further consultation, including a detailed club and player survey. With this in mind the revised structured season for 2015/2016, with full details, will be forthcoming shortly.

 The RFU Council reiterated their commitment to recommendations concerning 2nd and lower XV rugby, student competitions, sevens and touch to continue to be implemented in accordance with the agreed original timetable.


Yorkshire U20s seal Twickenham return with big Cornwall victory

YORKSHIRE are through to a ninth National U20 Championship final in the last 12 years after producing a stunning performance in winning 63-3 away to Cornwall in the semi-finals.

The White Rose county suffered defeat at the hands of Northumberland in last season’s Twickenham showpiece.

But they will be hoping to be lifting the trophy for the seventh time this millennium when they face Berkshire in the final on Sunday 3 May. They last lifted the trophy back in 2012 when they defeated Gloucestershire at the headquarters of English rugby.

And team manager Colin Clark could not hold back his delight as he reflected on their 11-try romp at the Recreation Ground in Camborne on Sunday, that has given them another chance to play on the famous turf.

“I don’t think there are enough superlatives in the Oxford Dictionary to sum up the performance,” said Clark.

“Cornwall were one of the most physical sides we’ve played this season and they stuck at it so that we had to work hard for every single score, but we outplayed them in every single area. Everything clicked on the day.”

Six of the tries came from a potent back three of full-back Robbie Davidson and wingers Rob Rekis (2) and man-of-the-match Ben Magee, who claimed a hat-trick.

Captain Josh Burridge, centres Elliott Morgan and Ollie Fewtrell (2) and lock George Hedgley also got in on the act, while fly-half Chris Bell kicked four conversions. Cornwall’s solitary response came from the boot of Rhys Brownfield.

Berkshire, meanwhile, booked their place in the final by winning a much tighter affair away to Eastern Counties. They eventually emerged as 32-30 victors from a see-saw contest in Cambridge.

It means a swift return to Twickenham for Berkshire, who won the National U20 Championship with victory over Cheshire in 2013.

“I’m sure Berkshire will be a stern test but we won’t worry about that,” added Clark. “We knew nothing about Cornwall, we just focussed on ourselves and we’ll do exactly the same for the final.
“Everyone is delighted to be going to Twickenham again and the planning has already started.”

Community Game Update Supplementary March 15

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Rugby Shorts Feb 15

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Structured Season Illustrative - 2016-2017

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Community Game Update No 10 Clubs

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