In light of the positive announcement by the Prime Minister, outlining the government’s plan for Covid restrictions to lift from Monday 19 July, we are anticipating this will enable us to re-instate scrums and mauls and to start next season as normal.
However, it is important to note that we are awaiting government’s confirmed position on sport and, in our case, permission to return to full contact rugby. We hope to receive guidance from government over the next week and will share further details as we get them.
Government will continue to monitor data and we should therefore be prepared to adapt should an increase in cases or emergence of a new variant require us to do so.
Over the coming week, we will work with government to interpret what any new guidance means for community sport and community rugby clubs specifically.
As information is confirmed, we will update our Helpdesk FAQs and issue further guidance in next week’s Community Game Update.
A new chapter for Touch Rugby
O2’s 25-year partnership with England Rugby moves into a new phase from the start of the 2021/22 season following its pledge to equally fund the men’s and women’s game.
The increase in investment to support the growth and development of the women’s game marks the start of an exciting new chapter of the partnership. Together, England Rugby and O2 aim to boost the profile of women’s rugby, grow the army of Red Roses’ fans, build crowd attendance, increase broadcast reach and inspire more women and girls to play rugby.
What this means for O2’s sponsorship of Touch?
The revised focus means O2’s title partnership of Touch rugby will draw-to-a-close after 10 hugely successful, exhilarating years in which O2 has helped to grow support for non-contact rugby. We look forward to building on the legacy that O2 has created to encourage even more people to take up and enjoy Touch Rugby.
What comes next?
O2 Touch will be known as The Touch Union from 1 September. There are a few proposed changes based on feedback from players, but these will be flexible so that rules that can be adapted to best suit your club or players, subject to final approvals.
More details will follow over the next few weeks but we know change often brings about questions and we hope to have answered any you have today in our frequently asked questions section
Sky Sports for RFU affiliated rugby clubs
We have been in touch with Sky as we know many clubs are keen to install Sky Sports to enable members to watch the Lions’ Tests together.
Following the positive signs around Covid restrictions lifting, clubs may also be keen to offer members a variety of sports to watch in the clubhouse throughout the year.
Some clubs have encountered financial challenges around the subscription fee, so we wanted to let you know that a specially negotiated rate is available to RFU affiliated rugby clubs as follows:
• £313 per month, exclusive of VAT, for a 12-month agreement. This is followed by a 30-day rolling agreement. This rate represents a saving of just over 50% per month.
If you are interested in finding out more, please call Sky on 08448 244244 or visit sky.com/business and say you are an RFU affiliated club.
As part of your subscription to Sky Sports you receive access to MySkySports, an online hub providing you with marketing support to promote live sport. To find out about how MySkySports can help your club please see the below user guide or watch this video
Pitch Up For Rugby
During the England vs USA match on Sunday, you may have seen the pitch branding – Pitch Up For Rugby 4-12 September.
Clubs are reminded to register their interest in taking part, and should they wish, to nominate a social media lead via the link below. This doesn’t commit clubs, it simply gives us an indication of numbers.
Your club could be like so many others that enjoyed great success at last year’s Pitch Up For Rugby:
It brought the club together at a critical time and provided unity throughout out all age groups.
Barnes RFC – President
It was a key recruitment tool, particularly for age grade rugby.
Bletchley RUFC – Chair
We found ‘Pitch Up For Rugby’ a really useful focus for bringing all our sections together post-Covid and for the start of the season. It was the first time we had run an event with all three sections involved. We also had BBQ, bar, ice cream, raffle, and Touch Rugby. Loads of fun was had by all. It gave the club a great atmosphere.
Lewes RFC – Chair
Below are examples of last year’s Pitch Up events
News round up
Keep Rugby Clean
Wednesday 7 July marks Keep Rugby Clean day. We hope that clubs can show their support to World Rugby’s Anti-doping campaign by adding #keeprugbyclean on any social media posts or across your media channels.
Vaccination centres need our help
Local communities across the country will already appreciate the inspirational support provided by members of the rugby family during the pandemic. Would you like to go one step further to help the NHS #TackleCovid by volunteering at local vaccination centres? More information is available below. Hopefully, with the vaccination programme in full swing, we will see restrictions lift in the coming months and rugby can get back to normal.