News Archive

Coronavirus update

December 3rd, 2020 by
We are pleased to be able to provide an update for you
From Wednesday 2 December, we will be advancing to Stage E on the Return to Rugby Roadmap. This means that clubs can resume 15-a-side contact rugby with adapted rules, briefly summarised below:
  • Clubs can resume adapted training for 15-a-side contact rugby again from Wednesday 2 December
  • Clubs can resume friendly fixtures from Friday 18 December – this is to allow players to prepare properly and safely, having not been training over the past month
  • Clubs can still play Ready4Rugby if they have matches coming up from 2 December to 18 December and beyond
  • There is no obligation to play adapted 15-a-side contact fixtures
Information on what is permitted within each tier system including return to play, facilities and travel can be found within our Helpdesk FAQs and Coronavirus Resources
Community Game Update

England Rugby Awards Webinars

November 28th, 2020 by

The England Rugby Awards, formerly known as L1/2, now have a different format. Please visit ER Coach-Referee Award 2020-21 for further information.

RFU advice is to book early.

Free RFU Kids First U11 Rugby webinar

November 18th, 2020 by

Please find below, the link to the England Rugby Kids First U11 Rugby, FREE on demand webinar.

The course will help coaches and referees to understand the rule progressions for their age group and give them some coaching and refereeing tips to help to provide a safer, more enjoyable experience for their players. 

Please be aware that depending on the stage of the Return to Rugby Roadmap we return to, some of these activities may not be permissible until we are playing the full version of the U11 rules again. 

Click here to get started. 

Free RFU Safeguarding Training

November 18th, 2020 by

Whilst we take a break from coaching and refereeing Age Grade Rugby in November please take 30 minutes to complete the FREE England Rugby Introduction to Safeguarding eLearning course.

The course will make you aware of your responsibilities when working with children in rugby and help you to provide a safer, more enjoyable experience for your players.

To access the course you’ll just need your RFU login details.

Click here to get started.

NLD New Appointments

November 13th, 2020 by

Karl de Groot was appointed the new Head of NLD Representative Rugby this week. Karl has extensive experience in the playing and management of the game and we are looking forward to working with him when the Rep Rugby programme restarts.

NLD would like to express our sincere thanks to Lee Slack, the outgoing Head of NLD Rep Rugby, for all the hard work he put in to the role in recent years.

Karl said, “It’s a huge honour to be appointed to follow Lee as the Head of NLD Representative Rugby. It’s a significant challenge in challenging times and I look forward to managing the changes that will be needed ahead.

The CB has a huge talent pool with significant opportunities to progress and key to this will be ensuring a fair and open transitional pathway to Representative honours across all the age grades.”

Karl is now the main contact for all matters relating to Rep Rugby and can be reached by email: [email protected] or telephone: 07787408544

The role of Deputy Head of NLD Representative Rugby went to Rhuari Pike, who again has significant experience of playing and coaching the game at many levels and is looking forward to working with all throughout the Rep programme.

Rhuari was also appointed as Lead for RugbySafe for NLD, and his professional background working within the NHS makes him ideally suited to this role. He is now the first point of contact for all matters relating to RugbySafe in NLD. His email address and ‘phone number are: [email protected] and 07525 135 440.

Congratulations to both Karl and Rhuari.

Send your shirt to Twickenham!

October 27th, 2020 by
You may not be able to take your seat at Twickenham in person this autumn but we want to create a visual representation of all of clubs and CBs standing together at this time.

To be able to do this, we’re asking you to send us one of your shirts to fill a seat at Twickenham as England men and the Red Roses compete in the Quilter Internationals 2020, part of the Autumn Nations Cup.

You can read a letter below from Jeff Blackett, RFU President, giving some more detail on the reasons behind the project.

What shirt do we want?

• Your club colours – the shirt would ideally be in Large or X-Large and washed/clean
• Please enclose a note detailing the name of the club along with contact details

How to post your shirt to us?

• Place your shirt in a large jiffy bag or small box – the package needs to be under 1kg in weight.
• Print the attached label off and secure onto the parcel.
• Drop the parcel off at any Post Office.

By sending your shirt you are not only getting your club or CB be represented at Twickenham throughout the Autumn but you will be in with a chance to win one of ten signed England shirts.

The deadline for shirts to be sent is Monday 9 November 2020. If you are having any difficulties with postage or any other questions then please contact [email protected].

Read Letter

Print Label

Rugby Safe

October 13th, 2020 by
  • In January there will be some information from the RFU regarding an update to the minimum standards required under Regulation 9 (Player Safety). Would all clubs please ensure that their RugbySafe details on GMS are up to date and correct so that we can be sure this information reaches the correct person. Should you have any questions regarding RugbySafe and Covid 19 the there is a new email address which should give you the answers. [email protected]
  • You could also try
  • First Aid update
  1. Courses are now running again
  2. Should a club wish to set up a course it will need to provide a Covid Safe environment for delivery. Deliverers will refuse to proceed if they deem it unsafe. The position regarding RFU staff organising these courses is still unclear. Should a club wish to run a course then they should contact me on [email protected] and I will try to find a deliverer.
  3. First Aiders requiring requalification are still allowed to provide cover with RFU insurance until they are able to update.

4 Please note that some of the requirements regarding cover at Age Grade rugby have been modified to read “per Age Group” rather than “per Team”.

  • “Headcase”

There is now one generic version which covers all, whether player ,coach, parent etc.

It is still available online and can be accessed through GMS. There is an “Open” version if you don’t have access to GMS.

  • “Activate”…Injury Prevention Programme is now available through a new online module.

Dave Andrews Acting Rugby Safe Lead for NLD

NLD Coaching Development

October 13th, 2020 by

The question arises “How do I develop my coaching now that Covid has shut down all RFU CPD and Award courses?”

There is still a lot of information available as long as you know where to look.  There are several places on You Tube where it may be worth looking. Try the videos available on “Keep Your Boots On”  “Kids First” or “ Gamechangers” which offer examples of good practice.

One platform that has recently come to my attention is “Inspiring Coaching” at which offers 1to1 mentoring and development. If you do nothing else take a look at the free video featuring Bryan Ashton, former Bath and England Head Coach and hosted by Paul Westgate, which covers Ashton’s growth as a coach and the development of his Coaching Philosophy. Other contributors include Kevin Bowring former Head of Elite Coach Development at the RFU and Stuart Lancaster former England Head Coach and current Leinster Rugby Head Coach.

Dave Andrews Head of Game Development for NLD.

Community Game Update October 2020

October 9th, 2020 by

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

We have provided an update on the organisation structure of the Rugby Development team and guidance in respect of running half term rugby activities during the pandemic.

Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access coronavirus information and resources.

Past editions of these weekly updates can be found on this part of the website. Click here to find a previous edition

Organisation Chart


Supporting the rugby community

We are pleased to provide an update regarding the Rugby Development team. As a result of financial impact of Covid-19 we’ve had to reshape this team to ensure we use the resource we have available as effective and efficiently as possible. Click the link below view the team’s organisation chart. We will provide more detailed information on what this means for community rugby next week.

Running half term rugby camps and activities

Clubs wishing to run half term camps (or similar events) may do so, providing all appropriate guidance, safeguarding and approval requirements of Regulation 15 are followed. The Age Grade Codes of Practice (section 6) provides information on standard good practice for running camps. Due to Covid-19, additional social distancing and hygiene measures must be in place and all activities must remain within the Stage D guidelines of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.

Please note, the specific Stage D guidance overrides that of the ‘usual operating practice’ in the Codes of Practice & Regulation 15, e.g. maximum playing/training time is limited to 75 minutes, as per Stage D guidelines.

Organisers of half term camps (or similar events) should complete a specific risk assessment to consider any potential risk mitigations and additional requirements for the event to run safely.

The following should be included in the event/camp planning:

• Permitted contact activity (as per Stage D guidelines) should be limited to a maximum of 15 minutes per day.
• All group* rugby activity (including 15 minutes permitted contact) should be limited to a maximum of 75 minutes per day. *Group activity includes groups of two or more players.
• Individual skills and non-rugby/multi-sport activity is permitted (in addition to rugby activity) providing it meets with government/sport specific guidance and is risk assessed.
• Social distancing between sessions, measures should be taken to minimise players congregating/standing together.
• Regular equipment cleaning and personal hygiene breaks.
• Use of the facilities, changing rooms, food arrangements etc.
• Safe travel guidance (e.g. no car sharing).
• Approval from the relevant body as per Regulation 15.9.

Codes of Practice           Regulation 15


Test and Trace and handling of COVID-19 positive cases

Clubs are reminded of the need to have a Test & Trace system in place. You can find out more about NHS Test & Trace below, or read about Howdens Test and Trace here.

In the event of positive tests occuring within a club, including retrospective cases, each case should be registered via the Positive Test Notification Form, which can be accessed on the link below. This information is requested to allow us to monitor the number of confirmed positive Covid-19 tests occurring in clubs and ensure clubs have the appropriate support.

NHS Test and Trace

Notification Form

Local lockdown guidelines

Clubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with their local authorities.

We are advised that unless local restrictions specifically mention restrictions on team sports and/or rugby, clubs should follow the NGB guidelines. In all cases, clubs must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with Covid-19 secure guidance.

This currently includes the following areas, however, clubs in each of the areas below need to be aware of the impact of any local restrictions applicable to their individual area. More information regarding the impact on each area is available in a detailed schedule via the link below.

Greater Manchester
Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen
Merseyside, Halton and Warrington
North East of England
West Midlands
West Yorkshire

Clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and all are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt. Information regarding any new local lockdown restrictions will be posted on the government’s website below.

We will provide an update to the game if there is any change in guidance to playing rugby union. You can read more information on the Government local lockdown updates.

Rule of 6       Local restrictions

Community rugby – current status

With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, we continue at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap, which you can see below. RFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines must be followed.

We have today announced that the Allianz Premier 15s season is starting under the Government’s Elite Sport Return to Play Guidance. Law variations have been approved, however, it is important to note that these law adaptations are applicable to the women’s elite game only.

We continue to work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport regarding a return to full contact community rugby.

Roadmap         Allianz Premier 15s


Understanding corporation tax for rugby clubs

This webinar, at 7pm on Thursday 15 October, will explore how corporation tax applies to rugby clubs. Including what income is taxable, what reliefs are available and how clubs can comply.



World Mental Health Day – Saturday 10th October

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10 October every year.

It is estimated that one in four people suffer from mental health issues each year. However, this year the numbers are believed to have increased substantially due to Covid-19.

The links between good physical health and mental health are well recognised. Physical activity such as playing rugby following Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap can be very beneficial for mental health and wellbeing, as well as bringing physical benefits.

When someone is experiencing a mental health problem, supportive and reliable information can change his or her life. Mind, one of the leading mental health charities in England and Wales, provides information and guidance for anyone involved in rugby who may be dealing with mental health problems and those supporting them.

Guidance for clubs and the rugby community on how they can support anyone suffering from mental health issues, and/or information for those who may be suffering themselves, is available on the Simplyhealth Rugby Safe webpages below or on the World Metal Health Day campaign page, which you can also find below.

Simply Health Page     World Mental Health Day

Rugby community doing great things

Today we’ve highlighted the fundraising efforts that are taking place at Chipping Sodbury RFC to support a former player who was injured in an accident, as well as the activities that took place last weekend to support the virtual London Marathon and the Injured Players Foundation.

In addition to clubs helping their communities, we are now highlighting on clubs’ self-help initiatives, as well as activities to improve diversity and inclusion at clubs.

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 [email protected] or [email protected].

Click below to find out more about the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme.

Chipping Sodbury RFC      Recognition Programme

Nottingham Rugby Girls Camps

October 6th, 2020 by

Nottingham Rugby are really pleased to be able to host one of the first girls rugby camps with England Star Rachel Burford.  It will be an amazing day for any of the girls locally and something Rachel hopes will help support and shape the future of girls rugby.  Macesport (one of Nottingham Rugby’s ex-players and company who work with Nottingham Rugby ) are supporting this nationally and have provided some links below for use as appropriate to help get the message out to clubs, schools, etc locally.  Feel free to pass the info on and we hope to be able to further support the development of girls rugby in the future.

The website:

Camps can be found at: