RFU Community update

Overall, we are constantly working with Government to return to rugby but as a reminder that we are still at Stage D on the Roadmap

Resumption of England Rugby Training Courses
We intend to resume England Rugby Training courses from November. Coaches and referees working with Kids First Rugby age groups and those new to contact rugby will start first, with Player Welfare and Award courses shortly afterwards.

A webinar explains how we intend to implement the training programme, with resources to share with clubs, education and referee societies. It also outlines the plans for the 2020/21 England Rugby Advanced Coaching Award (formerly Level 3 Coaching) course (If you want the link for the webinar please contact Kelvin by email.

Courses will be available to book through the online course booking system, and you can also find a range of free webinar and eLearning courses below.

Digital coaching and refereeing resources can be found on our Keep Your Boots On YouTube channel.

Courses will only run where it is safe to do so, following local and national guidance from Public Health England and practical activities on courses aligning with the RFU guidance

wearing of gloves

Players wearing gloves – the latest guidance from the RFU
Having had numerous queries on players wearing gloves, our previously communicated position was that gloves should not be worn. However, we understand that players may wish to wear them during the cold weather. Our advice is that they are changed for a different pair at least every 15 minutes. Players that wear gloves cannot effectively sanitise the surface of the gloves, increasing the risk of infection and transmission. The key way to reduce the risk of infection and transmission during rugby activity is through regular sanitising of hands.

wearing goggles

The key change here is the codification of the RFU’s sports goggles trial into regulation. The trial has now ended and any Player wishing to wear sports goggles should refer to Regulation 9 and Regulation 15 if they are an Age Grade Player.

In summary this means…..

Players are now permitted to wear sport goggles in all forms of contact rugby without obtaining the RFU’s prior consent where the conditions set out in Regulation 9 are met. The additional requirement for Age Grade Players is that they must have the consent of their parent(s) or guardian. Ø Players should note that the RFU’s approach to sports goggles differs from that of World Rugby and the other Home Unions, so if a Player wishes to use sports goggles outside of England, they should consult the rules of the relevant Union.

Goggles Regulation 9 & 15 – detail

Goggles 9.7 Subject to the extra conditions specified for Age Grade players by RFU Regulation 15.10, players are permitted to wear specifically designed sports goggles in all forms of contact rugby where the following conditions are satisfied: a. the sports goggles must be dispensed by a General Optical Council (“GOC”) registered dispensing optician or an optometrist registered with the GOC; and b. the player must have written confirmation from the registered dispensing optician or optometrist that: i. the goggles are required to correct the vision of the player or are required to protect the player’s eyes due to a medical or optical condition, to enable the playing of rugby union; and ii. the goggles do not substantially restrict any normal field of vision and are suitable for use in evasion contact sports; and iii. the goggles do not constitute a physical danger to the player or other players; and iv. the player is not capable of wearing contact lenses and why this is the case. 9.8 Clubs must report any injuries caused as a result of the sports goggles to the RFU Community Medical Team by emailing rugbysafe@rfu.com and the player must report the injury to the dispensing optician or optometrist who prescribed the goggles.

Age Grade Players can now wear sports goggles in all forms of contact rugby where the conditions set down in Regulation 15 are met. These are the same conditions as for Adult Players except for the additional requirement for parental/guardian consent.

refereeing the junior game

Just a reminder……………………………..

The Society will not be appointing any referees to games, practice sessions etc. for the foreseeable future. When we are able to do so you will be told.

If you are approached by a club to referee an event of any sort, and you agree, that is a direct arrangement between you and the club. I am sure that our clubs are following all the latest safety guidelines but ultimately it is for you to decide on your safety and whether or not to participate.

Kelvin Roberts

Chair of Society

Community game delay

Return to competitive play in 2020/21 season delayed to January 2021 earliest
Under 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 may 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.