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Latest RFU Community Game Update

12 Aug 2020 22:24 | Devon RFU

Update on the return to community rugby

Last Saturday we announced a positive step forward on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap, which has been updated to move from Stage B to Stage C.

Our roadmap was first published ahead of the Government releasing its framework for return to recreational team sport. When that Government guidance was issued there was a requirement to provide a detailed assessment of exposure risk through face to face contact across both contact and non-contact rugby together with evidence of mitigations put in place to allow for safe return in some format of the game. The latest roadmap reflects those discussions and provides further guidance to clubs on acceptable rugby activity within Stage C, as defined.

The fact based medical assessment highlighted a significantly increased risk in transmission when playing full-contact rugby and therefore any form of contact rugby is still NOT permitted. Premiership Rugby will return this week but they are operating under Elite Sporting Guidance and strict Covid-19 testing regimes.

In order to move from group training in teams of six, we undertook an extensive process of submitting detailed fact based medical proposals to be scrutinised by the Government - including DCMS, Public Health England and N0 10. These proposals were approved last week and clubs can now play Ready4Rugby. Subject to satisfactory operation through August we hope to be able to move to inter-club Ready4Rugby in September. Other Touch Rugby activity (including O2 Touch centres) will also be able to recommence.

The introduction of these options is in addition to non-contact skills based group activity, carried out following the Government’s social distancing guidelines, which clubs would normally develop as part of their pre-season training. Guidance on acceptable training activity is provided in the Guidance on Restarting Competitive Grassroots Rugby, and also in this on-demand webinar. We would encourage coaches and clubs to share their best practice with others.

We are continuing to undertake detailed analysis on potential adaptations to the key high risk contact areas in the game, and will be seeking Government approval to bring back contact training when it is deemed safe to do so. We will keep you informed on this, in the meantime.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone who has provided feedback on their experience of Ready4Rugby. We are now calling on clubs to send in videos of their players engaging in Ready4Rugby activities to jamesmaden@rfu.com, and/or post the videos on their social media channels using #Ready4Rugby. Please ensure anything you post on social media reflect fully the approved format of the game

Local lockdown guidelines

As more areas of the country are entering local lockdowns, clubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with local authorities. Clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt.

Future Competitions Structure – CB opportunity

The Future Competitions Structure Group (FCS) are preparing a Recommendation Paper that will be shared with the Game (including CBs) on Friday 14 August.

We would also like to offer CBs the opportunity to speak directly with members of the FCS Group about the proposed recommendations to the adult male competitions structure (English Club Championships Level 3 and below).

CBs can sign up to one of ten sessions via an invitation which will be sent by email direct to the CB Honorary Secretary. The sessions will provide an opportunity for CB officials to ask questions and discuss the proposed changes. The sessions dates will take place on the following dates in August:

- 19th: 7pm
- 20th: 3pm and 7pm
- 21st: 3pm
- 24th: 3pm and 7pm
- 25th: 3pm and 7pm
- 27th: 3pm and 7pm

Rugby is back - we call on clubs across the country to join the celebrations

The rugby community is now able to recommence some larger group rugby activity, initially non-contact, subject to adherence with RFU guidance and also continuing to follow Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines, together with any local government lockdown restrictions that may be implemented.

With the move to Stage C on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap confirmed, there will be two weekends of celebration in September.

NatWest Rugbyforce will kick things off on September 5 and 6, enabling over 800 clubs to make improvements to their facilities. Now in its 12th year, a record number of clubs are getting involved with the nationwide initiative developed with the RFU. With the programme now able to return safely, NatWest is offering more support for the rugby community than ever before. Grants awarded to clubs have ranged from £500 to £3,000 to help clubs remain sustainable for longer in these challenging times.

Just a week later, we are calling on communities to ‘Pitch Up for Rugby’ and join their local clubs during the weekend of September 12 and 13. There will be action back on the pitch in the form of touch and Ready4Rugby, the new non-contact game which enables two teams of up to 10 players to engage in match activity.

We want to hear your views about Diversity and Inclusion

Our sport is founded on inclusion and being open to all and we want rugby to reflect the diversity of society. We acknowledge that there are many great examples of inclusivity in our sport, but we believe that overall there is more we should be doing.

We are committed to a step change in tackling diversity and inclusion. As part of this, we are conducting a survey among our stakeholders as we really want to listen and hear your views and experiences. We want to understand what is already working, what we need to do to accelerate change and how we can do that. Your input is invaluable to help us achieve this.

We will be using the findings from our survey to inform the development of a new Diversity and Inclusion Plan, which will be published in the autumn. We know this is not a quick fix, this is the start of a continual drive to ensure our sport is open to all.

If you haven’t already done so, we’d really appreciate you taking some time to complete the survey, as well as sharing it with other members of your club or constituency. Take Survey