News Archive

2019 NLD Colts Festival

January 15th, 2019 by

On Sunday 6th January 2019, seven teams competed in the NLD Colts Festival.


This year the newly formed NLD RFU Youth Council took charge of organising and running the tournament which was kindly hosted at Kesteven RFC, with players visiting from Newark, Lincoln, Sleaford, Mellish, Oundle and Spalding.


The teams competed in a round robin tournament which was officiated by a team of referees from the NLD Referee Society. The team included three Young Match Officials demonstrating their fitness and management skills, which contributed to a fantastic day. Many thanks to Owen Baines, Sam Yates, Aidan Baker-Johal and David Hurst for their help.


Throughout the day the players demonstrated all the core values of rugby, often lending players to other teams. All players competed at an impressive standard and are a credit to the NLD RFU.


The Youth Council would like to thank all the volunteers at Kesteven for their help on the day, and it hopes to host future events across the region. They are keen to here from clubs with new ideas and schemes, and if you want to reach out please contact [email protected]

NLD U20s 2019 Campaign

January 11th, 2019 by

NLD Under 20s campaign 2019 kicks off with a friendly against Staffordshire on Sunday 13th January, at Derby RFC. Kick off 2.15pm

Around 30 players from 12 clubs and universities will take part in a training game against Staffordshire.

This is the second gathering for this season’s players looking to enhance their rugby with potential representative honours going forward.

This season the squad has been promoted to Division 1 in the Jason Leonard Under 20 County Championship, having reached the final of Division 2 last season. This was the best result the age group has had for many years.

Head coach Matt Derbyshire said; “I am really excited about this campaign and, looking at the quality we have, I’m hoping for some strong results. We welcome as much support as possible to come and watch some future stars playing. Indeed, NLD have had players feature in the full England counties Under 20 squad for each of the last 5 seasons.”

The competitions league matches coming up are on Sunday 3rd February at home against East Midlands and Sunday 24th February away against North Midlands. Venues are still to be confirmed.

RFU Community Game Update – January 2019

January 11th, 2019 by

January 2019 Community Game Update contains important information on the following:

  • Payment of Players update
  • How NatWest RugbyForce has helped Alton RFC
  • Clarification on Age Grade Law variations and Rules of Play
  • County Championship fixtures announced
  • Update on CB Age Grade player pathway consultation
  • Inner Warrior campaign returns
  • Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards – nominations open
  • Secure Trading Sevens Series 2019
  • Mitsubishi Motors volunteer hospitality – Guinness Six Nations fixtures

Payment of Players update

We would like to remind clubs that Payment of Player declarations are due to be submitted between 1 March and 30 June 2019. The declarations will include any Gross Payments of Material Benefits paid or payable, between 1 June 2018 and 31 May 2019. The declarations are mandatory for clubs who wish to be eligible for RFU benefits, and clubs that do not complete a declaration within the designated window will lose access to these benefits for the 2019/20 season.

Regulations pertaining to payment of players were introduced on 1 August 2018 as part of Regulation 7 – Players, Approaches, Contracts, Payments and Player Movement. The regulation can be found in full here, and a list of FAQs that we have produced can be found here. A guide on how to submit the declaration can also be downloaded here. For any further enquiries, please contact [email protected].


How NatWest RugbyForce has helped Alton RFC

NatWest RugbyForce is back for 2019 and clubs are invited to register online. 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 the on-pitch action.

One club who benefited from NatWest RugbyForce, was Alton RFC in Hampshire. We have produced a short case study, where Tom Gaynor, Chairman of Alton RFC, talks about how NatWest RugbyForce helped them as a community rugby club. They embarked on a project to improve the quality of pitches at the club. As a result, the club have not missed a training session and played all of their home matches on their own ground. Tom attributes this to NatWest RugbyForce, and the support the initiative offers. To watch the interview with Tom, please click here.

Register your club for NatWest RugbyForce 2019, by clicking here.


Clarification on Age Grade Law variations and Rules of Play

Please remember that all Age Grade matches must take place using the Rules of Play for that given Age Grade. The only Laws Variations permitted for Age Grade rugby are those already included in the Age Grade Rules of Play (Appendices 1 to 11 of RFU Regulation 15). No other variations to the Laws can be applied without the prior approval of the RFU.

The Rules of Play have been developed with player welfare in mind and to provide a progressive and staged development of the Laws which encourages the appropriate development of young players. All clubs, coaches and referees for Age Grade rugby should make themselves familiar with the applicable Rules of Play for their specific Age Grade and competition.


County Championship fixtures announced

The 2019 County Championship Finals will be taking place at Twickenham on the following dates:

Sunday 2 June:

Gill Burns Division 1 Final (10.00am)

Bill Beaumont Division 1 Final (5.30pm)


To purchase tickets, please click here.


Saturday 8 June:

Bill Beaumont Division 3 Final (11.00am)

Gill Burns Division 2 Final (1.00pm)

Bill Beaumont Division 2 Final (3.00pm)


Update on CB Age Grade player pathway consultation

Following speculation around a proposed removal of CB Age Grade rugby, David Ewing (Chair of the RFU’s Player Development Sub-Committee) has written to CBs and Clubs to provide an update on current positioning and an upcoming consultation process.

The delivery of Age Grade rugby alongside CB pathway activity is a complex process. The impact of participating in simultaneous programmes on player welfare, player retention and Age Grade rugby at clubs can be significant, including:


Inner Warrior campaign returns

Clubs around the country will be welcoming new women this January with the next wave of the Inner Warrior campaign taking place from 12-27 January. We’d like to encourage all clubs that are hosting camps, to spread the word amongst their male and female members – do they know a woman who hasn’t yet had the chance to play rugby that would be up for a new challenge for the new year? Women can sign up to attend their local camp at For any clubs looking for advice on how to maximise the impact of their camp, please see this video from Alban Barnes at Fullerians.


Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards – nominations open

Nominations for the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards will open on 8 January – please click here to nominate a deserving volunteer. Volunteers are key to our game and now in its third year, the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate the vital role that is played by our volunteers all over the country. The Volunteer of the Year Awards are aimed at recognising those who have impacted their communities in the last 12 months specifically. Nominations are open until 24 February and shortlisted nominees will be announced in March. For more information, please click here.


Secure Trading Sevens Series 2019

Calling all sevens teams – the Secure Trading Sevens Series is back for 2019 and teams can register in local qualifiers now. The format for this year has been streamlined – with the best men’s and women’s teams from across the local qualifiers progressing directly to the National Finals. The National Finals will then see the winning men’s and women’s sevens team crowned champions of England. For more information and to enter your team, click here.


Mitsubishi Motors volunteer hospitality – Guinness Six Nations fixtures

As part of the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme, club volunteers who already have match tickets for the Guinness Six Nations fixtures at Twickenham, are able to register up to four tickets for pre-match hospitality in the British Airways Fan Village.

The aim of this recognition incentive is to identify and thank grassroots volunteers for their valued contributions to the game. We will be serving hot food and a variety of beverages, opening two hours before each match and closing just before kick-off.

Registration is open for one game only, and to volunteers who did not attend hospitality at one of the Quilter Internationals in November 2018. To register for tickets, please click on one of the links below:


Sunday 10 February – England v France (3.00pm kick off)

Saturday 9 March – England v Italy (4.45pm kick off)

Saturday 16 March – England v Scotland (5.00pm kick off)


The next Community Game Update will be released on Friday 8 February.

Women’s & Girls Trials

January 10th, 2019 by

For information regarding the 2019 Women’s and Girls’ trials, including the joint application form, please view the Player Application Information

The skills criteria is available to view here.

If you have any questions about either of the Trials or the application process please get in touch with the Women’s and Girls’ Rugby contact, Neil Clack or Katherine Wells at the NLD RFU office.


NLD U20s Coach Opportunity x 2

January 10th, 2019 by

NLD would like to invite applications for 2 Coach positions in the NLD U20 Representative Squad.

This is fantastic opportunity to get involved with developing some of the best young players that the CB has to offer and be a part of the journey that has seen numerous players from NLD go on to represent Midlands & England.

The NLD U20’s representative squad play in the RFU Jason Leonard Division 1 Championship which runs from February to May.

The job description for the post can be found by clicking here. Interested parties should complete and submit this application form to [email protected] by the closing date of Friday 18th January 2019

For an informal chat regarding the role please contact NLD Head of Representative Rugby Lee Slack on 07739 295182.

Allocation of international tickets to the game

January 9th, 2019 by

The RFU Council recently endorsed changes to the method for allocating tickets to England internationals at Twickenham, to various sections of the game. The new system will be introduced ahead of the 2020 Autumn Internationals, with clubs required to input data via the Team Management tool on GMS across the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. The RFU will provide updated user guides and FAQs on the Team Management tool, in upcoming Community Game Updates.

Please note that the total number of tickets allocated to each section of the Game and the policy that at least 50% of the tickets for each match are available to the Game, remains unchanged.

From the 2020/21 season, changes are as follows:

1. RFU Voting Clubs
• Every club receives an initial allocation of six tickets (currently it is two).
• Each club with an aggregate total of 30 players or more at U13 and below correctly registered on GMS, will receive an additional two tickets.
• All remaining tickets to be divided between voting clubs, based on the number of matches played by all teams (men and women, U14s to adult) of the club.

2. The 28 Geographic CBs
• Every geographic CB receives an initial allocation of 20 tickets (as is currently the case).
• All remaining tickets to be divided between geographic CBs, based on the number of matches played by their clubs.

3. Referees Societies
• Every society receives an initial allocation of six tickets.

• All remaining tickets to be divided between referees societies, based on the number of matches the society appoints to.

4. Cambridge University, Oxford University and Student RFU CBs and their member clubs
• The allocation of tickets for these three CBs and their member clubs will remain unchanged at this time.

5. The three Armed Services’ CBs and their member clubs
• Each of these CBs have a set number of tickets to allocate to their members.

6. Schools and Colleges that are members of the ERFSU or England Colleges RFU
• The allocation of tickets for Schools and Colleges remains unchanged at this time.
• Schools and Colleges will now be required to demonstrate proof of rugby activity and that tickets are used by an individual who contributes to the rugby activity in that school or college.

In June 2019, we will provide RFU voting clubs, geographic CBs and referee societies with an indicative International ticket entitlement, based on the new process and data collected this season. This will provide an opportunity to compare with current allocations.

For examples of how entitlements will be allocated to the game, together with further information on the endorsed changes to the method, please click here.

NLD U18s Squad Announcement

January 8th, 2019 by

Last night saw the final training session for the U18s prior to the last Super Sunday event this weekend. Following the session and the subsequent Coaches’ meeting, the Squad to face East Mids has been selected:





Elliott CAUNT



Taran ELMS














VENUE: Loughborough University (East Entrance)

PARKING: Car Park 9

MEET: 13:30

KICK-OFF: 15:00

The match will be preceded by a minute’s applause in memory of Chris Hart of Warwickshire, who sadly passed away over the Christmas period.

This match represents the final opportunity for players to impress the Midlands Selectors before the provisional Midlands Squad is named for the initial development day on Sunday 27th January.

While it is always a disappointment to the players not selected, the Coaching & Management Team were keen to emphasise strongly how every player has contributed significantly to the success of the Squad over the previous two games. The cohesion and sense of belonging created by the players with each other has provided a great framework for individuals to thrive within. Everyone involved has been greatly impressed by the way all the players have continued to show commitment, not only to the programme but, more importantly, to each other, which is testament to the character and quality within NLD.

Every member of the Squad can return to their Club with something more to offer and, hopefully, they will continue to progress and challenge for inclusion in the U20s Squad in due course.

For those players not included in the Squad who would like feedback on their performance, please contact Lee Slack who will co-ordinate the requests and pass them to the Coaches for actioning.

We wish all those involved on Sunday all the best for their hopes of making the Midlands Squad and everyone in the Coaching & Management Team would like to pass on their sincere thanks to every player involved during this campaign.


Super Sunday 16 December 2018 – NLD U18s v Warwicks. U18s

December 18th, 2018 by


Following the deluge around the country on Saturday, it was a great relief to see the sun shining at Welbeck College and a firm pitch for the second Super Sunday matches.

After their successful outing against Staffs. two weeks before, the Squad were excited about matching themselves against the Warwicks. team and they started the game in great style.

Receiving the kick-off, the NLD side showed great composure and patience, moving the ball forward in phase play and finally crashing over the line to score after barely two minutes of play.

The restart by Warwicks. was gathered and returned in much the same manner and the first twenty minutes of the game followed a very similar pattern. With NLD playing a controlled off-loading game, the Warwicks. side found it increasingly difficult to gain any momentum and any forward progress was met with strong and determined defending across the field.

Within the first twenty five minutes, NLD had racked up four tries without a reply from the Warwicks. side and were cruising to an easy win. However, as is often the case, complacency crept into the play and Warwicks. made determined efforts to find inroads into NLD territory with some strong running through the Centres and from Full Back, and the lack of con

centration finally told, when the Warwicks. boys scored a well-deserved converted try right on half time.

With the compulsory changes being made at half time, NLD looked significantly less cohesive during the early part of the second half. Although they remained in control, Warwicks. began to assert some dominance in the break down and ran in a couple of tries with the NLD defence is some disarray. Time to regroup.

After a group huddle and strong words from the players to each other, the team began to re-establish the patterns and shapes from the first half and, again, concentrated on playing sensible rugby with close support and an off-loading game which one of the selectors noted was very hard to defend against.

In the end, NLD ran out winners at 42-22 and a number of players once again impressed and will have to cross their fingers that their efforts are rewarded in the grading.

From a purist’s point of view, the expansive but controlled running game played by NLD in the first quarter was outstanding and demonstrated that, with everyone involved, the whole squad was integral to the success enjoyed on the day.

The Squad have now scored over 80 points in the two Super Sunday games and yet the players wer

e astute enough to point out themselves the areas where they believe there is still room for improvement. Identifying those areas and working hard to correct the small inconsistencies has created a great environment for what Representative rugby is all about – player development.

NLD now have a Christmas break and the final Super Sunday will take place at Loughborough University on the AGP facility with the team playing East Mids. in the final game at 15:00.

Well done to everyone who has contributed so far – the togetherness of the Squad and their willingness to work for each other has been instrumental in providing a platform for individuals to shine upon. That just goes to show what real teamwork can produce!

Best wishes to all players, parents, supporters and Coaches for a great Christmas and a successful New Year!

Lee Slack



NLD Colts Festival Update

December 13th, 2018 by
The first Colts Festival of the season will take place at Kesteven RFC on Sunday 6th January 2019.
All NLD U18 Colts teams are invited to participate.
For further information, including how to enter, please contact the NLD Youth Council at [email protected]
If your team wishes to attend, please aim to get in touch with the Youth Council by Sunday 23rd December 2018.

Super Sunday 16 December 2018 – NLD U18s v Warwicks. U18s

December 12th, 2018 by

Following the last training session of the year on Monday evening, the following players have been selected in the match day squad for NLD U18s to play Warwicks. on Sunday:







Elliott CAUNT



















A number of players produced strong performances against Staffs. two weeks ago and Sunday represents another opportunity to impress the Selectors prior to decisions being made regarding the make up of the Midlands Squad following the final Super Sunday on 13 January 2019.


Venue: Welbeck Defence College, Forest Road, Woodhouse, Loughborough, LE12 8WD


Kick-off: 14:00


Meet: 12:30


NLD kit will be provided but warm clothing is advisable for when players are not on the pitch.