News Archive

NLD U17 Training – CANCELLED

March 5th, 2018 by

Due to the pitch conditions and recent bad weather this evening (Monday’s) NLD U17 Training Session at Newark RFC has been CANCELLED.

The next session will be on Monday 12th March.

Community Game Update

March 2nd, 2018 by

Please see below the latest RFU Community Game Update – 2nd March 2018.

RFU’s GDPR toolkit for clubs, referee societies and Constituent Bodies currently in trial and due for release very soon
For info: CBs & Clubs

Rugby clubs, referee societies and Constituent Bodies use individuals’ data in almost everything they do.  This includes obtaining and using data about players, referees, administrators, other volunteers, employees and website users.

On 25th May 2018, the UK will adopt new laws to bring into effect the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  GDPR builds on existing data protection law to give individuals more rights in relation to their data, and places an increased onus on all organisations, whether commercial companies or not-for-profit organisations such as rugby clubs, to secure individuals’ data.

In simple terms, GDPR will help protect our players, members and clubs by ensuring better governance and transparency around management of data.  Organisations holding personal data will need to give more information to people about what they do with those people’s data, why, and for how long.  They must also keep the information secure.  One safe way to store and use data is through the RFU’s Game Management System (GMS).  If you store data in other ways, you will need to think carefully about how this data is secured.

The RFU has created a toolkit to help clubs, referee societies and CBs in the following ways:

  • to understand what the new data protection laws require;
  • to provide practical steps to achieve compliance; and
  • to signpost to further resources to help achieve compliance.

Further information about the GDPR can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Website.

The toolkit will be divided into five sections:

  1. A summary of the practical steps you can take now
  2. Data governance
  3. Collecting and using data
  4. Data security
  5. Other rights for individuals

The toolkit will also provide practical examples of policies and procedures that a club, referee society or CB will need to have in place.

The toolkit is currently being trialled by a small number of clubs, referee societies and CBs, and will then be hosted on An email will be sent to clubs, referee societies and CBs with a link to view or download the toolkit, when it is available.

For any general queries relating to data protection, please contact the RFU Legal Helpline on 0330 303 1877.  The RFU is not able to give specific legal advice to clubs, referee societies or other bodies.

Join the RFU’s Community Club ‘Health of the Game’ Consultation Roadshow 2018
For action: CBs & Clubs

During April and May this year we will be embarking on a community club consultation roadshow around the country, speaking to club committee members, international ticket officers, and members of constituent body executive committees / boards. The roadshow, which will visit twelve different venues across England, will provide clubs with the opportunity to consider the latest National Rugby Survey results, discuss the health of the community game, and review proposals as to how international tickets may be allocated to clubs in the future based on the amount of rugby being played.

The format of the each event will be as follows (please note tea, coffee & sandwiches will be provided):

6.30pm Arrival and opportunity to view host venue’s RugbyTurf AGP (where applicable)
7.00pm Introduction
7.10pm Headline overview of National Rugby Survey
7.30pm Input from attendees on context of the next National Rugby Survey
7.45pm ‘The Health of the Community Game’ – how do we measure it?
8.15pm ‘Consultation on allocation of international tickets to clubs and Geographic CBs’ proposals and discussion of options
9.15pm Final remarks
9.30pm Venue to close

The roadshow has been designed to allow those involved within club rugby in England to attend a regional evening event and discuss the above, thus providing a voice from those responsible for the administration of the community game. The roadshow will be visiting the following clubs (all events running from 6.30pm – 9.30pm):

Monday 16th April Billingham RFC, Co.Durham
Tuesday 17th April Doncaster RFC, Yorkshire
Wednesday 25th April Preston Grasshoppers RFC, Lancashire
Thursday 26th April Stourbridge RFC, West Midlands
Monday 30th April Aylesbury RFC, Buckinghamshire
Tuesday 1st May Twickenham Stadium, Middlesex
Tuesday 8th May Bournemouth RFC, Dorset
Wednesday 9th May Sidcup RFC, Kent
Monday 14th May Leicester Forest RFC, Leicestershire
Tuesday 15th May Shelford RFC, Cambridgeshire
Tuesday 22nd May Plymouth Albion RFC, Devon
Wednesday 23rd May Lockleaze Sports Centre, Bristol, Avon

To register for your place at a local event, please click here, enter your details in the available fields, and select the event you would like to attend. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you have any questions, please contact Tom Ainscough ([email protected]).

Regulation change around ‘Out of Season’ activity
For info: CBs & Clubs

Following approval by RFU Council we wanted to make you aware of important changes to regulation concerning Out of Season activity which is effective immediately and therefore covers Summer 2018.

These regulation changes enable us to provide a rugby offer during the summer months for those new to the game and who have had limited playing opportunities. It is not aimed to provide additional training or competitive opportunity for those players who have had a full season with their club, school/college, CB, DPP or academy. Indeed, these players should have a break from rugby during the summer, to avoid overplaying burnout and develop transferable multi-sport skills.

Regulation 15 and the Age Grade Codes of Practice have been updated.  These changes apply also to summer camp activity which is also covered in the Codes of Practice.

In summary the following is permitted:

  • At U11 and below, non-contact training only;
  • At U12 and 13, in addition to the above, non-contact matches and competition (if approved by the CB or CSU);
  • At U14, 15 and 16, in addition to the above, XRugby7s contact matches and competition and preparation* (if approved by the CB or CSU);
  • At U17 and 18, in addition to the above, 7-a-side contact matches and competition and preparation* (if approved by the CB or CSU).

* Preparation is to ensure new players are ready and able to participate in matches and competition safely.

For more information, please contact Chris Sigsworth ([email protected]).

RFU offering insurance support for clubs’ tour programmes
For info: CBs & Clubs

With many clubs planning their tour programmes it’s essential they have the right policy in place for on and off field activities. Whether it’s a common issue like a travel delay or lost baggage, or a more serious event such as a player needing emergency medical treatment it is vital comprehensive cover is in place before you travel.

Full details of the specialist travel cover Howden have designed with the RFU, to dovetail with club combined liability and personal accident insurances, can be found at:

For more information, please contact Dave Stubley ([email protected]).

Tickets on sale for inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s Final
For info: CBs & Clubs

England Rugby has announced the inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s final will be held at west London club, Ealing Trailfinders on 29th April (3pm kick off, live on Sky Sports Action & Sky Sports Mix).

The top four teams in the competition will progress to semi-final play-offs, played over two legs on the weekends of the 7th/8th April and 14th/15th April with the finalists competing for the title on the 29th April.

In addition to the Tyrrells Premier 15s final, it has been confirmed that the National Girls U15 and U18 Cup finals will also be played earlier in the day with kick offs scheduled for 11am and 12:45pm respectively.

Tickets are on sale now with a limited early bird offer available at £5 adult while kids under 16 go free. For more information visit

Join ‘The future of Girls CB rugby and player pathway’ roadshow
For action: CBs

Following previous communications to CB Honorary Secretaries on 12th February, we are pleased to provide more details on the roadshow, to discuss the future of Girls CB rugby and player pathway.

The recently published W&Gs Action Plan recognises the significant growth in the female game over the last four years and sets out a series of interventions that will be made over the next four years as we continue to grow the number of women and girls engaging in rugby. The action plan sets out how a clear, easily understood single player pathway providing appropriate competition & training in both 15s & 7s will be established. This pathway will include a progression from club & school and CB Rugby into Centres of Excellence and will see the most talented players feed into England age grade programmes and Tyrrells Premiership competition. The following documents provide more information:

The task has been to create a pathway which complements school, college and club rugby with a dedicated training and playing window to create and reinforce the social and team bonds that are so important in retaining players in team sports whilst providing clear guidance on how it is delivered and interacts with the Centres of Excellence.

Five key objectives have been the identified as the key enablers in achieving this:

  1. Develop a clear pathway that is easily understood with placement of the programme within the Age Grade Calendar ensuring a varied diet of rugby for all
  2. Club, college and school playing programmes strengthened by providing more playing opportunities and development prior to nomination.
  3. Allow players more opportunity to play, be developed and gain confidence in their current environment prior to any nomination for pathway activity
  4. Support the identification and nomination of players suitable for further pathway activity by leaving selection until later in the year
  5. Develop current coaches alongside increasing the number of coaches, particularly female coaches involved in female game

The format for the evening will be (please note tea, coffee & refreshments will be provided):

6.30pm Arrival & refreshments
7.00pm Introduction
7.10pm Headline overview of Women & Girls action plan and player pathway
7.20pm Delivery model and formats
7.45pm Opportunities
8.15pm Actions
8.45pm Final remarks
9.00pm Venue to close

The roadshow has been designed to allow those involved in the delivery of Girls CB rugby in England, to attend a regional evening event and discuss the above. The roadshow will be visiting the following clubs:

Monday 19th March Fireways Old Edwardians RFC
(North Midlands, Staffordshire, Warwickshire)
Wednesday 21st March Taunton RFC
(Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset)
Wednesday 21st March Darlington Mowden Park RFC
(Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland)
Saturday 24th March Allianz Park
(Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex)
Monday 26th March Newbury RFC
(Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire)
Wednesday 28th March Old Reigatians RFC
(Hampshire, Kent, Surrey, Sussex)
Wednesday 28th March Kettering RFC (Eastern Counties, East Midlands, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire)
Monday 9th
Broughton Park RFC
(Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire)

To register for your place at a local event, please click here, enter your details in the available fields, and select the event you would like to attend. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

For more information, please contact Martin MacTaggart ([email protected]).

2018-19 NLD Age Grade Calendar Released

March 2nd, 2018 by

NLD are pleased to release the 2018-19 Age Grade Rugby Calendar which includes key dates for the Age Grade game next season.  The calendar has been produced in discussion with a number of key stakeholders throughout NLD including the Heads of Competitive Rugby, Education, Representative Rugby, Women & Girls as well as Tigers Academy.

The calendar sits fully within the RFU’s Age Grade Rugby framework and has been approved by the RFU for the coming season.

Please share this information within your clubs and institutions and encourage dialogue with each other in the next couple of months to get well ahead of any potential conflicts for next season.  The Calendar particularly aids planning for players who play in more than one environment.

Block or friendly fixtures can be played throughout any part of the season and the Calendar signals how player availability for these will be affected by other activities.

NLD Age Grade Rugby Playing Calendar 2018-19 – FINAL

Please also remember to share and promote the Age Grade Codes of Practice which support coaches and teachers with the application of regulation and delivering Age Grade Rugby –

If you have any queries regarding the calendar then please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will be happy to help you.


NLD RFU Council Members Re elected

March 1st, 2018 by

Following the recent NLD RFU Council Member Elections we are pleased to announce that Mike Waplington & Tracy Edmundson have both been re elected to be NLD’s representatives on the RFU Council until the end of the 2020-21 season.

Mike continues in his role as the Chair of the revised Education & Age Grade Sub Committee, a member of the Community Game Board and the RFU Audit committee. Tracy will continue to sit on the Education & Age Grade Sub Committee and Chair the Age Grade Club Advisory Group which gives the club Age Grade game an equal voice alongside the Schools, Colleges and Students Unions in developing strategy in the Age Grade game.

In accordance with the revised Rules of the Rugby Football Union, Representatives to the RFU Council are now elected for a term of up to 3 years by each Constituent Body and the Clubs allocated to it. Following the RFU SGM in November and the revised Rules being adopted, RFU Council members are now subject to a maximum of 3 terms of 3 years although there are exceptions which can extend this and there are some transitional arrangements so that many Council members do not all finish immediately.  Under these transitional arrangements this will be Mike’s final term of office on the RFU Council.

Tracy commented, ‘It is a real privilege to be able to represent the clubs in NLD on the RFU Council, we are the voice of NLD and are looking forward to being able to make a positive impact in the coming seasons’.

Both Mike & Tracy are available to talk to any clubs regarding any questions or concerns they may have, their contact details are available below.

Mike Waplington – [email protected] / 07917 182201

Tracy Edmundson – [email protected] / 07970 727683



February 27th, 2018 by

Following a pitch inspection today, it would appear that the Belgrave RFC pitches are frozen in parts and in order to provide as much notice as possible to players and parents please be aware that the NLD U17’s game against Leics. U17’s scheduled for Wednesday 28 February 2018 is:


The match will be rescheduled on a date to be confirmed, probably later in March.

IN THE MEANTIME, players should note that there will be a further session on:




This session will include those players present last night from both U16’s and U17’s together with the returning U17’s from last year’s Squad.

Players are asked to arrive for registration from 18:00 and be ready to train by 18:30

As usual, any player who is unavailable, ill or injured should advise the Squad Manager, Lee Slack, as soon as possible.

Contact details are:

[email protected]
Mobile: 07739 295 182

Nottingham’s Steve Smith named a Real Rugby Hero

February 27th, 2018 by

Nottingham Rugby’s Steve Smith has been named as England Rugby ‘Real Rugby Hero’ for his work within Schools Rugby.

Steve has organised and implemented hundreds of festivals in schools from Tag Rugby to Secondary Schools and implemented central venue leagues around Burton Rugby club for 15+ years and also in areas of Nottinghamshire.  He has previously coached rugby in Granville, Pingle, William Allitt and John Port Secondary schools in Derbyshire and most recently to Edge Hill Junior School while running some of the largest primary school rugby festivals in the country.

He currently continues to support festivals and events in Nottinghamshire in his role as Chief Operating Officer at Nottingham Rugby to support School Sport Partnerships and local clubs. Steve has over 30 players registered in his club side at Burton U11’s with more players joining on a regular basis and continues to support the link between club and school.

Steve will be presented with his award at Schools Finals Day at Twickenham in March.

NLD Game Development Conference 2018

February 27th, 2018 by

NLD are delighted to confirm that Russell ‘Rusty’ Earnshaw, England U18 Coach, will be the key speaker at this year’s NLD Game Development Conference.  The Conference, will be at held at Samworth Church Academy on Saturday 2nd June 2018.

The theme for the day will be ‘Game Zone / Skill Zone & developing core skills through games.’ In addition to Russell Earnshaw there will also be Skills Clinics delivered by some Professional Players as well as a CMOD for NLD Young Match Officials.

NLD Head of Game Development Dave Andrews commented, ‘The conference has been growing year upon year and we are delighted that Russell will be joining us in 2018.  It promises to be an event not to be missed!’

Places for the Conference will be limited and will open in April – be sure to save the date in your diary now!



Lincolnshire Volunteers Take a Trip to Twickenham

February 27th, 2018 by

School teachers and club coaches from Market Rasen and Sleaford were invited guests of Community Rugby Coaches Nathan Smith and David Cotton-Betteridge to Twickenham on Friday 16th February to watch England train in a rare open session at Twickenham stadium. Over 10,000 spectators attended the session which ran from 09:45 to 11:45. The team from Lincolnshire were treated on arrival with World Cup winning legend Jonny Wilkinson sharing his kicking expertise with the current goal kickers Owen Farrell and George Ford. The remaining squad players were all busy with their individual preparations before a very thorough and intense warm up period started shortly after 10:00am. Several clubs in Lincolnshire have now taken part in the Activate workshop and it was great for those present to see international players replicating this initiative.

Throughout the warm up period we were given a running commentary on England’s week including feedback on an intense couple of days training against Georgia. As the players left the field to hydrate and prepare for their main session the crowd were treated to Head Coach Eddie Jones taking 5 minutes to explain the format for the session as well as feeding back on why the players had warmed up in a specific way. Eddie explained in detail that the session would focus heavily on kick chase into defence and would last for exactly 40 minutes at an intensity higher than game pace.

As the words of Jerusalem rang out around the stadium the England squad re took the field, already split into teams and ready for what was certainly a frantic 40 minutes of activity. The players never stopped once as they covered every inch of the Twickenham turf, running, tackling, sprinting, kicking and replicating moves that they believe will see them undefeated throughout the current 6 Nations. For the second time in the day we met another World Cup winning legend as former back rower Richard Hill took to the mike explaining what the players and coaches were trying to achieve and the attention to detail was incredible. The training was refereed by world renowned ref Wayne Barnes and each player wore GPS trackers that Hill explained would be reviewed intently by the fitness experts attached to the squad. Whilst the warm up was done with England match balls from Gilbert the game was played with Scottish match balls ahead of England’s visit to Edinburgh.

Towards the end of the session the forwards and backs split after their 40 minutes and were joined in the stadium by His Royal Highness Prince Harry who spent time with Wilkinson and Hill before meeting a group of under privileged players who’d been invited to join some of the injured squad members. We didn’t join the massive queues for autographs but enjoyed listening to players being interviewed before eating lunch in the Twickenham Marriot Hotel and returning to Lincolnshire tired but full of new ideas.

Nathan Smith commented ‘ Our thanks to Mike, Tracy and NLD in general for their very kind donation of lunch and to Gareth Short for supplying our guests with a goody bag each.’


NLD U16’s Finish 2017-18 Programme v Staffordshire

February 27th, 2018 by

Leek RFC hosted Staffordshire v NLD on a cold but sunny afternoon in the final U16 game of the 2017-18 programme, rescheduled after the weather had thwarted the original match date in January.

Staffordshire started the better of the two teams using a well drilled pack to crash over the NLD try line following a line out, NLD responded with some good running play resulting in a penalty which was slotted over from almost in front of the posts.  They followed this up with a well worked move off a scrum with the backs showing how devastating straight running can be which resulted in a try under the posts which was duly converted.  Then within sight of halftime Staffordshire scored twice converting one to take a 19-10 lead into the break.

The second half saw both sides ringing the changes and the NLD backs started strongly running the Staffordshire defense ragged for a well worked converted try, this drew an equally well worked converted try by Staffordshire.  Another NLD try out wide closed the gap to within 4 points and with time running out NLD tried running from deep only to spill the ball.  From the resulting scrum the Staffordshire pack went back to the tactic that brought their first try and they were rewarded with a try. Staffordshire then controlled the ball from the kick off and ran the clock out to take the win.

A great effort by a much changed NLD team, a big thank you to the players called up during the week, one only 48hrs before the game.

A special mention this week to the parents who took the honors on the side line being far more vocal than the Home supporters.  Also thank you for chauffeuring the lads to training and matches this season it is much appreciated.

As the NLD U16 Programme concludes for 2017-18 we would like to thank the Coaching & Management Team, all of the Players involved in the Squad, Parents & Supporters as well as the Clubs for their support of the Programme.

Information regarding the 2018-19 NLD U16’s Programme will be released in due course.

NLD U17’s Trial – Pitch Update

February 26th, 2018 by

Following a pitch inspection at Newark RFC and with a weather forecast showing a slight temperature drop but no snow, it has been decided that the NLD U17’s Trials/Training session planned for this evening


Players should report for registration as normal at 18:00 with a view to being ready to train at 18:30.

Any player who is unavailable to attend should contact Lee Slack (Squad Manager) at [email protected] or 07739 295 182