This week’s headlines include the Government Winter Sport Package funding and positive news that grassroots sport, including a format of rugby, will be allowed to resume from Wednesday 2 December across all levels, although there will be some restrictions across the tiers.
Both topics are discussed in more detail in our video below with RFU Rugby Development Director Steve Grainger.
You can also read a summary below. However, as we are awaiting confirmation from Government on tier, travel and contact implications, we will provide a more detailed update to the game later this week.
In today’s edition, we also bring you news on how immigration could affect rugby clubs, an update on the latest #GetYourShirtOn virtual rugby sessions and share a message from England players on why they love seeing your club shirts at Twickenham in #ShowYourShirt. Can you spot your club shirt in the gallery below?
Finally, there are reminders about our Club Support Centre during Covid, and how your friends and family can support your club by watching England for free on Amazon Prime Video
Please remember that until Wednesday 2 December we remain at Stage A on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap, meaning no competitive or formal rugby activities can be undertaken, including club age grade and adult rugby activities below Championship and Premier 15s.
Government Winter Sport Package
Last week Government announced a £300 million funding package for all sports, which will consist of £250m in loans and £50m in grants. Funding has been made available to help the survival of sports who have lost revenue due to spectators not being able to attend matches.
Rugby union has received an allocation of up to £135 million. Within this total amount, the RFU has been allocated up to £44 million, Premiership clubs up to £59 million, Greene King IPA Championship clubs up to £9 million and a further £23 million has been allocated to clubs below that level.
The news is a massive boost for the game. We are the only sport to have dedicated funding for our community game, which has been on hold since March and hit hard by the pandemic.
The funding must be applied for and justified against certain criteria to be defined and is, therefore, not guaranteed.
We will continue to work with Government to understand the details of the application process, the criteria under which submissions will be measured, and the composition of the independent panel and delivery mechanism. We will update you on this process in the coming weeks.
Our thanks go to everyone we consulted with in the game for your feedback, allowing us to provide clear and detailed submissions, and to Government for understanding the need to support rugby via a financial programme.
Return to Team Sports
We welcome Monday’s announcement from Government that grassroots sport will be able to resume from Wednesday 2 December and that spectators at non-elite sports will be able to attend events in line with Covid-secure guidance for each tier.
Tier levels for each region are due to be announced by Government later this week.
As you can imagine, there are a number of details which we need to confirm with Government regarding restrictions that apply to each tier, including permitted levels of contact, travel and implications for club facilities.
We will, therefore, provide a further game update when this information has been received and we are in a position to confirm which stage clubs will be able to return to on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.
We expect an update from Government soon, prior to the Wednesday 2 December recommencement, in response to our Return to Play proposals. Concerns remain around the close contact involved in scrums and mauls and we remain in discussion about how to mitigate this to be able to get the game played again.
You can read Monday’s Government announcement below
#ShowYourShirt – Can you spot yours at Twickenham
As you will have seen on Amazon Prime, Channel 4 and BBC TV coverage over the weekend, the club shirt display continues to grow at Twickenham, encouraging wider recognition of the incredible efforts made by clubs and volunteers during the pandemic.
See if you can spot your club colours in the image gallery below. Feel free to download an image to share with your shirt sponsor or use on your channels. Please make sure you include the photo credit: RFU Collection via Getty Images.
Don’t worry if you haven’t had chance to send in your shirt yet. You still have until the end of November if you would like it to feature at England Rugby’s final Quilter International in the Autumn Nations Cup on Sunday 6 December.
Click the #ShowYourShirt button below to find a free post label and to watch England players explain why they love seeing your club shirts at Twickenham.
Members and players are encouraged to wear your shirts and send messages of support to the team on social media using #ShowYourShirt
#GetYourShirtOn reaches over quarter of a million views
Watch the re-run of Rugby World Cup winner and former England full back Nolli Waterman in action as she led our latest virtual rugby session, keeping our age grade players active and connected to their clubs. Nolli and Ugo Monye’s first two Sunday mornings have seen a combined total of more than 260,000 views across England Rugby’s YouTube and Facebook channels. It’s fantastic to see our U10s-U18s enjoying these alternative rugby sessions so much.
Next up is England and Harlequins scrum half Danny Care. Make sure your U10s-U18s tune in on Sunday to take part.
Session 1 – 9:30am – U10 and below
Session 2 – 10am – U11 to U14
Session 3 – 10:30am – U15 to U18
Continue to help your rugby communities by just watching from home
We have two rounds left of the Autumn Nations Cup, with England in action against Wales this Saturday, before returning to Twickenham for their final Quilter International fixture of 2020.
Click below for a reminder of how to watch for free through our offer with Amazon to help clubs generate revenue while in lockdown and how to promote to your members and community.
Clubs are able to set up an Associates Account that their members can sign up to using their unique club code which will see their club get money back
Other Important Updates
How immigration changes could affect clubs
From Tuesday 1 December 2020, the Home Office will introduce changes towards a new modified points-based immigration system which intends to simplify and streamline the process of granting immigration permission to non-UK citizen workers, students, entrepreneurs, and investors.
The guidance document seeks to provide an overview of the forthcoming changes to immigration policy that may impact sportspeople (including players, coaches etc) in professional and semi-professional leagues within England, including those participating in those leagues on an amateur basis
Club Support Centre
We understand that sometimes navigating through the current coronavirus guidelines and legislation, or just finding the right answer to a question, can be difficult for clubs. Our Club Support Centre is a dedicated online hub for clubs to find up to date guidance and advice on today’s hot topics, as well as answers to the most frequently asked questions. Clubs are also able to access advice and support easily and quickly, direct from the experts by emailing email@example.com
Webinars and Podcasts
The England Rugby Podcast and The Next Level
Dylan Hartley speaks to players from inside the England Men’s and Women’s camps on the O2 podcast, while you can see behind the scenes in the Next Level. You can listen to the podcast and watch Next Level below, on our YouTube and Twitter pages.
Maximising non-contact game formats – help retain players and support their return to club rugby. Tuesday 1 December 7-8pm
Virtual Workshop – Volunteer Experience – top tips in recruiting, retaining and rewarding volunteers – 1 December 6:30-8:30pm
Leading the crowd to raise vital funds
Three community rugby clubs are at the top of the Crowdfunder sport leader board and others are following the example of the Hull Ionians, Stockport and Pocklington clubs to raise vital funds during the coronavirus pandemic.
The three clubs raised a combined £158,335 in 48 days. With more clubs following suit, see more information and see how your club could benefit below.
We want to highlight the wonderful activities that our clubs and their teams are doing on our England Rugby channels, and also on the England Senior teams’ news boards. So that we can recognise as many clubs as possible during the forthcoming games, please share your stories and videos with firstname.lastname@example.org or PatriciaMowbray@rfu.com