NLD W&G’s Open Letter around Changes to 2021-22 Season


This open letter is addressed to all clubs with Female Rugby provision within NLD, whatever the level. I wanted to outline to you all a few changes to various programmes/events that have been necessitated by the extra ordinary circumstances we have found ourselves in over the past 18 months.

On the back of the recent W&G’s meeting hosted by the RFU there was a consensus for some form of structured/organised events throughout the season specifically aimed at the Girls. Pitch Up and Play’s seemed to be the preferred choice. I have already posted a draft W&G’s playing calendar onto the NLD W&G’s website showing PuP’s, RFU Cup and CB U15/U18 events. My apologies but this calendar will most likely have to be amended following clarification from the RFU around the Girls National Cup competition.

The RFU have amended the Girls Cup Competition to ensure it is more competitive in the opening rounds. The changes are as follows:

  1. Clubs have registered their intent to enter a team/teams within the time frame set by the RFU.
  2. Teams must have 18 GMS registered players to qualify.
  3. Teams must be able to field a min 12 players in all rounds.
  4. Teams must be able to field a competent Front Row.
  5. NO cluster teams allowed to enter.
  6. There is a limit of 64 participating clubs in each age group.
  7. NLD are tasked to nominate “up to” 3 teams in each age group, (U15/18), from the list of teams who have registered with the RFU to play in the cup and who meet the above criteria.


In order to make any team selection as fair, open and transparent as possible we have decided on the following:

For the past 5 years NLD W&G’s have hosted a Girls Only 10’s Festival on the 3rd Sunday in September. This has always served several purposes but this year we are adding another. We propose to use the festival to look at all the clubs who have registered to play in the RFU Cup Comp at U15 and U18’s. In order to align the festival with the RFU criteria we are proposing that this year we host a Girls only 12’s Festival. The teams will be assessed by NLD W&G’s U18 Head Coach alongside a team of independent assessors. The teams best able to compete within the RFU Cup Comp will be selected to go through.

The festival is still intended to be a season opener for all clubs, where friendly, competitive rugby can be played. Clusters are encouraged amongst those teams not able to field a full 12 a side on the day and players are encouraged to fully participate throughout the afternoon. In effect this is the 1st PuP of the season.

As the RFU have become stricture on their eligibility criteria fewer clubs will naturally qualify for entry. I believe this makes the PuP sessions more important than ever in getting structured events into club diaries, encouraging player activity and development. We are looking for people to get involved in the PuP’s for U13/15 and 18’s. There could now be an element of coaching aligning with the U15/18 Head coaches programmes. There will be a strong element of admin. The positions can be shared to even workloads/commitments across the season. It is important that we have sufficient volunteers to enable the PuP’s to go ahead. If you are interested please drop me a line/text.  You will need to have a RFU Enhanced DBS check which can be done free of charge through your club or potentially NLD. Coaches would need to be L2 qualified or higher.

Player selection for the RFU Centre of Excellence programme 2021-22 has been amended. CB’s, (NLD), have been asked to nominate a maximum of 15 players to go through to C of E assessment. There is a planned process for this to happen in the fairest, most open and transparent way as possible. The 1st stage was to ask clubs to nominate players for NLD/C of E assessment. The 2nd stage is to invite these players to 2 x “invitation only” assessment sessions. The 3rd stage will be for NLD W&G’s to nominate their players to go forward to the C of E assessment in September. Those players nominated by their clubs will be receiving an invitation with the next 2 weeks. C of E have stated that they have changed there usual selection process and will this year be looking to take a small initial squad of players and then relook at those unsuccessful players later in the season to reassess them and hopefully bring them into the Player Pathway.

My apologies but at the time of writing this open letter I have not had any communication from the RFU as to the provision of CB rugby for the Women’s sides 2021-22. Hopefully this will change over the next week or 2.  It is still our intention is to extend the Women’s CB programme through from Oct 21 to May/June 22. We are currently looking for qualified coaches to help in the Women’s CB programme. If you are interested, please drop me a line/text in the first instance.

My apologies for the long letter but it is information you need to be aware of. Keep well, play safe.


Neil Clack

NLD W&G’s Chair

07734179339/[email protected]