Latest RFU Community Game update

14 Nov 2020 13:05 | Devon RFU

Check out England Rugby social media channels this weekend

On Saturday community rugby clubs will be recognised at England v Georgia in the Quilter Internationals 2020, part of the Autumn Nations Cup, including the club shirts we’ve received so far as part of the Show Your Shirt campaign.

On Sunday we’ll kick off the #GetYourShirtsOn campaign, which aims to keep age grade players active and engaged with their clubs during the national lockdown.

We will be live streaming fitness and rugby activities for 6-18 year olds on the England Rugby YouTube channel on Sunday mornings throughout November. These sessions, led by England legends, will include a mix of fun activities for all age grade players (and their parents!) to enjoy.

RFU Cluster Fixture Proposals

Following the decision from the RFU Council to cancel the 20/21 League Season for Men’s (Level 3 and below) and Women’s (Level 2 and below) RFU Leagues, plans have been developed to instigate local cluster fixtures, to help facilitate a return to contact rugby when permitted to do so (hopefully in the New Year). This local cluster competition would not be used to determine League positions for the 2021/22 season.

The proposal is based around five principles:

• Providing clubs with structured local competitive fixtures
• Based on contact rugby (either full contact or adapted variations dependent on Government advice)
• Minimised travel times
• Local clusters of up to seven teams (this number will vary according to specific regions and agreed local needs)
• Relaxed regulations to remove barriers to participation

All teams in RFU Leagues (Men's level 3 and below / Women's level 2 and below) will have been contacted by their Organising Committee on Friday 13 November with more detailed information about local clusters and how you can sign up. Equally, clubs are free to opt out if they wish to play in another locally organised model, or to simply arrange matches on an ad-hoc basis

Age grade playing calendars seasons 2020/21 and 2021/22

We are pleased to confirm the following points relating to the Age Grade Playing Calendar this season, as outlined to RFU Council on Wednesday, November 11.

1 The Age Grade season, as previously communicated, is extended and will end on Monday, May, 31, 2021.

2 Flexibility is permitted and encouraged in the approved 2020/21 calendars to keep as many players engaged and included as possible. This requires local collaboration and decisions by CBs with CSUs and other age grade stakeholders. There is no need for national approval

3 Once we recommence contact rugby, CB representative rugby activity will pick up from that point – there is no regression to, or rearrangement of, what has not happened this season. However, what remains scheduled can still go ahead, including, at this point, the under-17 male and under-18 and 15 female programmes after Christmas.

4 The under-18 Academy league programme has been revised for this season, reduced from 8 matches to 4 in a shorter window. The dates are the weekends of 12/13/14 & 19/20/21 February 2021 and 5/6/7 & 12/13/14 March 2021.

5 For clarity, the only exemptions for elite play in Academies is in the 13 RFU licensed academies – any other activity titled “academy” has no exemption and must return under the community rugby protocols.

The staging of all these activities and format of play must be in line with our Return to Rugby Roadmap and the Government Covid-19 guidance in place at the time.

2021/22 Age Grade Playing Calendar

Due to the impact of Covid–19 it has not been possible to release the Age Grade Playing Calendar for 2021/22. We are aiming to have this out in December to enable planning for next season.

Age Grade Registration – GMS Data Tidy-Up

To help with preparation, we will be assisting clubs with tidying up their data, starting with the removal of the duplicated email addresses against age grade records. This process will involve removing a duplicate email address against a record that is under the age of 15 where the email is shared with the parent/guardian linked to their account.

Postponement of 2020/21 Level 3 Coaching Award

Due to the recent Government lockdown announcement, the uncertainty this brings regarding a full return to rugby and potential future local restrictions, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone the 2020/21 England Rugby Advanced Coaching Award (formerly Level 3 Coaching).

The course requires participants to demonstrate a range of coaching knowledge, skills, experience and behaviours that they might not get the opportunity to demonstrate in what remains of this season, through an amended game format or via a remotely delivered course. We therefore believe postponing gives the participants the best opportunity to develop and enjoy the experience the full course would offer.

It is our intention to start the 2021/22 course in May 2021, all eligible participants will be contacted and offered the opportunity to apply in the spring. The pre-requisite courses and work for applicants who were intending to apply for the 2021/22 course will run in the New Year. This will be communicated directly to clubs, schools, colleges and universities, via and social media channels.

University Clusters and Partners Update

We are working directly with 40 universities across the country through our Cluster and Partnership Programmes; and providing online information and support to the other core institutions alongside the Students RFU and BUCS. The main focus during this extraordinary year is on retaining players who are at university, to keep them engaged and link them into the pipeline to our community clubs.

Emergency First Aid in Rugby Union Courses from Friday, January 1

A new booking process is in place in which clubs will liaise directly with the tutors to organise courses, allowing for some local flexibility and better engagement between the club and the tutors.

Clubs/venues hosting a course will be required to ensure they can provide a Covid-safe environment. One-day closed events, i.e. all attendees are from the same club, and held in a room booked for exclusive use that allows for appropriate social distancing to help mitigate risk of Covid transmission and reduce the additional cleaning, administration, etc. as per the RFU’s community club guidance and facility re-opening guidelines

Please note that the ability for clubs to host courses and tutor availability may be affected by local/national government restrictions in place at the time of a course.

NatWest Rugby Club Finance Guide

Following the Natwest RugbyForce weekend in September, NatWest have produced The NatWest Rugby Club Finance Guide, which is a practical guide to help support your club.

The guide covers: creating a budget, looking at the bigger picture, boosting your income and a support toolkit and resources for long term sustainability.


Warrior Camps return

The successful Inner Warrior campaign will return in January, when we will encourage clubs to host a Warrior Camp to welcome players back into the club environment. Further information about how to sign up to host a Warrior Camp will be available in early December. In the meantime, get in touch via for advice and support.

Key dates and where to watch

We are delighted to confirm that England Women’s Autumn Internationals against France will be shown live on BBC TV.


14 – England Women v France Women (1.15pm) (Stade des Alpes, Grenoble) – BBC Two and BBC iPlayer
14 – England Men v Georgia Men (3pm) (Twickenham Stadium) – Amazon Prime
21 – England Women v France Women (12pm) (Twickenham Stadium) – BBC Two and BBC iPlayer
21 – England Men v Ireland Men (3pm) (Twickenham Stadium) – Amazon Prime and Channel 4
28 - Wales Men v England Men (4pm) (Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli)– Amazon Prime