Distribution list: Tuesday 20 July
Return to Rugby
This edition includes:
1. Reminder of gradual return to full contact and updated off-field guidance
2. Return to scrummaging guidance
3. Travel Funding - 23 July deadline
4. Game Leadership Diversity and Inclusion update
5. Community Game Insurance
6. Data tidy-up extension and player affiliation
7. News round-up with County Championship review
Return to Rugby – on-field and off-field reminder
We hope that clubs and players are enjoying the return to full contact training.
While we’re all excited about being able to reintroduce scrums and mauls in training, we want to make sure that all players return safely. We remind coaches and players to follow an incremental approach in training and ahead of full contact matches, which are permitted in the adult game from Saturday 7 August for clubs that wish.
Coaches are responsible for working with all players to assess and develop their physical and technical readiness before progressing to matches against other teams. This is especially true for front 5 players given the period of time the game has been operating without scrum and maul.
Players should also be encouraged to follow the Activate Injury prevention exercise programme.
You can find our updated Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.
Key return to full contact dates are summarised here.
Age Grade rugby still follows the Summer Activity Guide.
This Summer Activity Framework includes provision for friendly matches to be played under adapted contact laws during August. These can start from Saturday 7 August, following a period of development in training sessions from Monday 19 July.
Activate - All Age Grade players are encouraged to follow the Activate Injury prevention exercise programme with coaching sessions planned and delivered around the FITT principles (Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type).
Global Law Trials
As communicated last week, World Rugby has released the Global Law trials that will apply to competitions beginning on or after Sunday 1 August 2021. These are available here.
We are eager to provide more detailed communication around these law trials, but are awaiting clarification from World Rugby on a couple of areas. As you will be aware, the timeline for the release of the Global Law Trials is set by World Rugby and these are effective from 1 August. We will provide further detail in next Tuesday’s Community Game Update when clarification has been received.
We continue to update our Club Support Helpdesk FAQs as we receive more information, for example around Test and Trace, self-screening and how to deal with a positive case.
On Monday 16 August, the rules on self-isolating as a contact will change for people who are fully vaccinated and for under 18s. Those not fully vaccinated will still need to isolate if they are contacts, and everyone will still have to isolate if they test positive, to protect themselves and others. The current NHS Test & Trace remains in place until Monday 16 August.
There will inevitably be a rise in cases of Covid-19 as measures relax. We must, therefore, manage any risks as best we can by remaining vigilant, supporting the vaccination effort and reminding members to self-isolate if they have a positive Covid test.
With millions of us now protected by the vaccine, you are less likely to become seriously ill or go to hospital. Getting your Covid-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus. To get maximum protection, you must get a second dose after 8 weeks. If you’re over 18, Go to nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/ to book, or visit your local walk-in centre.
Returning to scrummaging guidance reminder
Return to scrummaging should be introduced incrementally, with the initial emphasis on individual scrum specific conditioning and technique work.
When players are ready, they can move to 1 v 1 building to 5 v 5 before finally practising 8 v 8 in a controlled environment.
We recommend keeping the number of match intensity scrums to a minimum. Instead, the focus should be on individual and unit body position/posture and building time in players respective positions.
For coaches looking for hints and tips we have a three stage Return to Scrummaging Guide available:
As part of the ongoing support for getting players back to rugby safely, we have the following webinars that we hope match officials, coaches, players and club officials will find useful.
Mauling - Players will also need to be reintroduced to mauling incrementally. The focus should be on individual body technique first before ‘live’ mauling is introduced.
A final reminder that applications for travel funding support for season 2021/22 close on Friday 23 July.
The document below provides information for:
• Clubs travelling to play teams on Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey – women and men
• Mainland clubs travelling to the Isle of Wight - men
• Needs based travel funding
Needs Based Travel Fund criteria, how to apply and the application form is also contained below.
Game Leadership Diversity & Inclusion update – 2020/21 progress
We’re keen to update you on the progress being made as part of the RFU’s commitment to improving diversity and inclusion in rugby union.
The RFU has been focussing on four key areas of the game:
1. Game Leadership – volunteer leaders within clubs, Constituent Bodies (CBs) and Council.
2. Game Play – players, coaches, match officials and club volunteers
3. Fans, Followers and Partners
4. Employees and Board
Further background on each area can be found here.
Over the next year, we will provide regular updates in each of the four work streams. In this communication, we begin by focussing on an area in which you play such an integral role and look at how we can support you in this capacity.
Game Leadership - supporting volunteer leaders at clubs, CBs and Council.
Below you can find:
• An overview of plans that will be delivered by the RFU Council D&I Implementation Working Group. The link includes a progress report on each of the 10 recommendations approved by RFU Council that this group will focus on implementing.
• A shareable jpeg visual that summarises the four key RFU D&I work streams can be downloaded here.
We will also shortly launch our Diversity and Inclusion Hub on EnglandRugby.com and will promote this in upcoming Community Game Updates.
On the hub, you will find further information on plans to improve diversity in all areas of our game as we continue to create an inclusive environment for all. The hub will also house links to training and education resources to support CBs, clubs and their members.
Community Game Insurance
We have been working with our insurance partner Howdens to compile details for RFU community club insurance. The document below covers clubs, players, match officials, coaches and CBs. This also includes a risk assessment tool that will help clubs to ensure they are providing a safe environment for their members and visitors.
Additional information can also be found on the Howdens website.
Insurance will be in place as long as clubs and coaches follow RFU guidelines and government guidelines. Please be aware that you may not be covered if you begin full contact rugby before the dates specified above, or do not follow the guidelines communicated.
Data Tidy-up Extension and Player Affiliation
A big thank you to clubs working through the data tidy-up and sharing feedback with us.
We know that some clubs have encountered challenges and would like longer to work through the details, and hence we have removed the July deadline. Alongside this, we will initiate more consultation with clubs. As voluntary player affiliation, see below, will commence in August, we continue to encourage clubs to work through their data to help with this.
As communicated back in June from the upcoming 2021-22 season, Age Grade player registration will be replaced by annual affiliation.
All adult players will be able to voluntarily affiliate to their rugby clubs and take ownership of their record in rugby for life.
CBs and their clubs in Yorkshire, Surrey, Eastern Counties and Cornwall are engaged with us in a pilot to help us gain useful feedback on this process.
Click below for information on what affiliating to a club means and how it will help players and clubs.
News round up
County Championship Review
The County Championships Review Group (CCRG) continues to develop recommendations to present to the Community Game Board and the RFU Council.
Having completed a data gathering phase that included a survey, focus groups and written submissions from Constituent Bodies, the group are now formulating recommendations for each of the three County Championships, based on the insight received.
The CCRG would like to thank all those who have participated in the data- gathering stage and look forward to sharing information on their recommendations in the future. The group aim to provide recommendations to the CGB in September and RFU Council in October.
Teamwork Respect Enjoyment Discipline Sportsmanship