Community Game Update: November 2018

NatWest RugbyForce 2019 launches

NatWest RugbyForce is back for 2019 with clubs now invited to register online. This season, NatWest RugbyForce weekend will take place across 22nd & 23rd June 2019, and promises to be another great event bringing the rugby family and local communities together.


The programme offers a unique and carefully crafted programme for grassroots clubs across the country, including a wealth of advice and support, to ensure that clubs can thrive as strong and sustainable businesses away from just the on-pitch action.


It has never been easier to access support from NatWest RugbyForce, and the rewards for registering include:

  • the opportunity for 425 clubs to receive support packages of £500, NatWest RugbyForce t-shirts and additional promotional materials
  • the opportunity for a further six clubs to receive a grant of £3,000 and a legend visit
    online toolkits
  • marketing and communication advice for clubs
  • exclusive NatWest RugbyForce offers


Registration to be part of the NatWest RugbyForce 2019 weekend is open until 17th March 2019. To register your club, simply click here, before completing and submitting the provided form.



Electronic Match Card support update

The Electronic Match Card (EMC) extension to Level 8 in the men’s game and Level 4 in the women’s game has returned an average completion rate (clubs successfully submitting EMC’s) of 89% after week 7 of the 2018-19 season. We would like to thank all clubs for their successful completion of EMC to date.


Phone calls to the EMC Helpdesk have steadily decreased since week three, and over the past four weekends, the helpdesk has received single figure calls. This decrease in demand has led to a decision to scale back the hours the dedicated EMC Helpdesk will be available.


The EMC Helpdesk is now open between 4pm-7pm each Saturday.


The GMS Helpdesk (0208 831 6651) will continue to be available between 9am – 5pm from Monday to Friday and can deal with any EMC enquiries.



VAT helpline

Having reviewed the VAT accounting of numerous clubs over the past three years, the RFU’s Club VAT helpline have identified two common errors where clubs are paying VAT unnecessarily. The first error is for perimeter boards. These are exempt from VAT when they are in a fixed location, unless the clubs has opted to tax the ground. The second is operation of a gym and other sporting activities, as all sports activities at a not for profits sports club are exempt from VAT. This includes gym memberships, skittles and even pool tables. Where VAT has been declared on these incomes, clubs can (subject to certain circumstances), adjust their current VAT return to reverse the VAT they have paid in error.


Any club which is unsure over this position or is considering refurbishing or rebuilding its clubhouse should take advantage of 30 minutes free VAT advice by using the RFU Clubs VAT helpline on 07710 329317 or emailing [email protected]. If any club is embarking upon a facility improvement project they can call the VAT helpline for a discussion on whether the VAT to be incurred can be fully or partially recovered.


Making Tax Digital

HMRC have released further information on the new Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT requirements. Rugby clubs that are VAT registered with taxable supplies above £85,000pa, will generally have to keep records digitally, and provide information to HMRC using specialised functional compatible software for VAT reporting. There are generally no exemptions if a rugby club is a CASC or a charity, so these clubs (if applicable) should check their current accounting and record keeping procedures regularly. This will ensure that they will be in compliance with the requirements of MTD for VAT which is due to come into force on 1st April 2019.


For further information and frequently asked questions, please click here.



Online legal documents

RFU clubs are provided with online support for the creation of legal documents. This service allows clubs to draft their own legal documents instantly, simply by answering a series of easy-to-answer questions.


Many documents are available free of charge, and include such things as:

  • Employment agreement
  • Consultancy agreement
  • Website privacy policy
  • Health and safety policy creator
  • Agreement for the supply of goods
  • Debt collection letters


To access the system click here. Clubs will need to register by entering the RFU clubs’ voucher code – ARAG751BIZ.



Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme (MMVRP)

We would like to thank Mitsubishi Motors for their continued support of the Volunteer Recognition Programme. Their commitment to the volunteer network includes a number of opportunities (including a range of volunteer gifts) that clubs can utilise to recognise the volunteers who help at their clubs. A selection of Mitsubishi Motors volunteer recognition opportunities can be viewed here.



Reminder: England Rugby Grand Draw returns for 2018/19 season

The England Rugby Grand Draw has returned for the 2018/19 season. Since its launch 16 years ago, the draw has raised almost £7 million for the community game, with almost 600 clubs and schools participating every year. Clubs and schools must register to receive a starter kit, and once registered, have no costs or risks associated to the draw. All draw material is provided free of charge by the RFU, and for every £1 ticket sold, the club or school keep 85p with funds raised available to utilise on new kit, equipment, coaching or any other beneficial resource.


Raffle prizes this year include a £10,000 top prize, £1,000 and £500 cash prizes, signed shirts, tickets for Twickenham fixtures and more. The next draw will be made on 10th April 2019, with RFU President Chris Kelly officiating.


To register and order raffle books, please email ([email protected]).



Early years guidance

We have received a number of enquiries from clubs and third-party providers regarding rugby delivery at U6 and below. We have worked with a number of agencies, including the Youth Sport Trust and Centre for Reach in Early Childhood, to produce our Early Years Guidance and Activities and this will be shared in the December update. If you require any assistance until then, please do contact us via [email protected].



CB insurance cover update

As many CB activities are delivered in conjunction with clubs, it has been decided that it is most appropriate for Public Liability cover for CBs to be arranged as part of the cover provided to clubs. Therefore, with immediate effect, Public Liability (and Employers Liability) cover for CBs is arranged by Howden insurance brokers as part of the same policy that provides this cover to National League 1 clubs and below. Details of the cover can be found at and if you have any queries please contact Howden on 0121 698 8001.

Directors and Officers liability cover, which provides protection for CB committee members in respect of the management of the CB, remains in place under the RFU corporate insurance, managed by Marsh.