Coronavirus (Covid-19) update – August 4th
We are awaiting approval of the Return to Community Rugby Action Plan we submitted to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (‘DCMS’). We have today provided a reminder that we currently remain at Stage B on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. We have also provided an update on adult league rugby and age grade national competitions.
Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access coronavirus information and updates here.
Past editions of these weekly updates can be found on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition
Update on return to community rugby roadmap
In line with many other NGBs of sport, we have submitted our action plan to government in an effort to accelerate the return of some rugby activity. We are awaiting approval of this and hence we currently remain at Stage B on our Return to Community Roadmap. This means the only activity permitted is socially distanced non-contact activity in maximum group sizes of 6. For avoidance of doubt, this means no scrum training, tackle training or any other form of contact rugby and also means that touch and tag activity is not permitted. Any breach of this may invalidate insurance and is in breach of both RFU and government regulation. Clubs in enhanced lockdown areas must also comply with any additional local restrictions.
Having undertaken the required exposure risk analysis of face to face contact within game and training situations, our action plan to government is focused on a staged return, commencing with non-contact rugby – initially restricted to activity within individual clubs and focused on Ready4Rugby, a 10-a-side variant of touch rugby. We will monitor this over the first few weeks and, subject to satisfactory implementation, would then look to permit inter-club activity using approved non-contact formats. In parallel with this, we will be considering the potential for some adaptations to the high-risk elements of contact rugby to see whether appropriate mitigations can be introduced (a subsequent exposure risk analysis on this would have to be approved by government). If this proves possible we would again introduce this gradually, initially through training and subsequently in inter-club matches. This would then continue until it is deemed safe, and appropriate government permissions are in place, to move back to full contact rugby – at least four weeks being in place between commencement of full contact training and match play for full contact rugby.
Update on adult league rugby
As stated above, we are at Stage B on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. We have to reach Stage F (which will not be reached until at least four weeks after Stage E) before full contact competitive league rugby can commence. As a result of the current position, the adult league season (Level 3 & below for men, Level 2 & below for women) will not commence in September. Unless there is a dramatic improvement in the prevalence of the virus in the community, the next announcement about when league rugby will commence for these levels will be on 1 September. The fixtures previously published will be amended at the earliest opportunity and this will be communicated to clubs.
Update on age grade – national competitions
In line with the announcement about adult league rugby, there will be no age grade national competition matches in September. A further announcement will be made on 1 September.
Other important updates
Webinars: Volunteers and law & zero hour contracts – Thursday 13 August 7pm – 8pm
This webinar run by our legal partner, Irwin Mitchell, will cover the key legal issues in relation to volunteers and those engaged on zero hour contracts at your club.
Register now for the webinar and you will be automatically entered into a competition to win a signed England Rugby shirt
Catch up on previous webinars
For those who want to catch up on previous webinars, these are available on the England Rugby website. Please click on the links below
New Legal & Tax Helpline
We are pleased to be able to continue to offer free advice on any legal or tax related matter. As the official legal partner to England Rugby, Irwin Mitchell have taken over the Legal and Tax Helpline. The support also includes an online legal document service, including documents such as employment agreements and privacy notices for your club’s website.
The new legal and tax helpline number is 0333 0100337.
Register below to access the legal document service
Pitch In for Natwest RugbyForce
As announced last week, NatWest RugbyForce 2020 is back and will now be running on the weekend of 5/6 September. Players and volunteers are encouraged to ‘Pitch In’ and roll up their sleeves to carry out much needed repairs and upgrades to club facilities in preparation for the return to play. There’s still one last chance to register for a grant of up to £500 to support your NatWest RugbyForce weekend, just click the link below and register by midnight on Sunday 9 August. If you’ve already registered, no need to take action other than start the planning!
We will continue to monitor government updates and all activities will fall within guidelines present at the time of the event. We will also provide support and guidance in the coming weeks on how to run your event safely
International ticket allocations
We have updated Ticketing Secretaries about the new method for allocating international tickets that will come into effect for the 2021 Guinness Six Nations (subject to the fully opening of outdoor stadia in accordance with government guidelines) and apply for four series of internationals through to and including the autumn series in 2022.
The new club allocation will be based on the cumulative number of 15-a-side matches played across the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons and is fixed until 2023. Clubs now have details of their individual allocation, which has been derived from the data entered onto the GMS Team Management module as at 22 May 2020
Rugby community doing great things
Rugby communities and their members continue to provide support to local their local communities.
Today we highlight Henley RFC, who made sure that they used the lockdown to help themselves and their members.
In addition, Old Albanians and OA Saints were joined by other clubs in The Calorie Challenge to raise funds for the RFU Injured Players Foundation, the charity having helped a club player who fortunately made a good recovery from a potentially serious injury; NHS Charities Together COVID Appeal and Show Racism the Red Card. You can read more about both stories below
In addition to clubs helping their communities, we are now highlighting clubs’ self-help initiatives, as well as activities being undertaken to improve diversity and inclusion at clubs, on englandrugby.com.
Mitsubishi Motors in the UK are proud supporters of the rugby volunteers across England who make up an integral part of the game. Help us recognise your work by sharing your club and individual stories and videos with firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Click below to find out more about the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme