March 2021 - Return to Rugby
This edition includes:
1. Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund – Loans prospectus
2. Return to Rugby On-field guidance
3. Return to Rugby Off-field guidance
4. Adult Male Future Competition Structure
5. RFU Council
6. Warrior Camps to return in May – sign up now!
7. Richard Jones Legacy

Send photos and videos to @EnglandRugby of you gearing up for rugby; cleaning your boots, preparing the pitch and getting your kit ready with #ReturnToRugby.

Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund Loans update
We are now able to provide you with the advance prospectus alongside a video from RFU National Facility Development Manager, Ted Mitchell, that details the formats and the terms of asset loans available.

This can also be found on our loans page, with the application period is set to open in early April.
Advance Prospectus
Prospectus Video
Return to Rugby - on field guidance
Monday will see the return of rugby at Stage D1, with Stage D2 (from Monday 26 April). We have updated our Age Grade Document to now include the below.

Adaptations to Age Grade Rugby for 2021-22

Based on feedback we have made changes to Age Grade Rugby for 2021-22. These enable teams to be combined either up or down one age in the teenage years, if there are not enough numbers to field full sides in a single age group. We envisage this will be the exception, but the ability to do so could make the difference for these players who have been particularly disrupted by the pandemic; their safe transition to adult rugby is one of our highest risks. The 17 year olds playing adult changes have been revised to support this.

The Age Grade changes document, version three, is on the Return to Rugby page below.

Guidance includes advice for incremental contact training, building up to a max of 20 mins per session, excluding scrums and mauls, recommended coach to player ratio, equipment use and sanitisation advice.
Return To Rugby
Return to Rugby - off field guidance
Off field guidance can be found on the return to rugby page with some of the more common questions answered in our FAQs which can be found below.

All guidelines apply from Monday 29 March Government Step 1B until Government’s Step 2 comes into force, which will be no earlier than Monday 12 April.

Details on Easter camps and Summer activity can also be found on the return to Rugby page. The age grade out of season regulation (see 15.8) is suspended in 2021. This is replaced with an RFU Summer Training and Playing Framework this year to enable age grade players to catch up on missed rugby development opportunities safely.

On Friday 9 April the summer rugby training and playing framework for age grade players will be launched, including CB, DPP and rugby camps. The framework will be operational from June to the end of August and will include contact training and inter club activity.
Support Centre FAQs
Sport England FAQs
Adult Male Future Competitions Structure
Many thanks to all of those that have contributed over the last 18 months to the debate around the structure of future Adult Male RFU competitions.

Proposals have now been finalised which seek to address the principles below:

• Reduce travel (time, distance and cost).
• Increase the numbers of teams and leagues at certain levels, without significantly reducing quality of league rugby.
• Retain the principle of automatic league promotion.
• Reduce the churn (of teams) in leagues and increase stability through amended relegation.
• Establish a protected two week break over the Christmas period and protected weekend breaks at points through the season to support player welfare and availability.
• Remove conflict of league and cup competitions during the season.
• Provide additional home match options and excitement through cup competitions after the league season has concluded.
• Provide a mix of competitions that players/coaches/clubs requested in surveys and consultation.

The next stage in the process is the April 16th RFU Council meeting where your Council members will cast their votes on the proposals.
What is the RFU Council?
The Rugby Football Union Council of 62 members is drawn from many different backgrounds and walks of life. All have devoted years to the sport and most have been voted in by those who know the impact of their efforts on rugby and their communities. The RFU is keen to have a diverse range of talent to represent the game and the wider rugby community and encourages applications from female candidates and members of under-represented groups.

The RFU Council represents the views and voices of the members who elected them. They channel feedback and information between their clubs and the RFU. They also make some decisions on behalf of the RFU, putting in place regulations and policies relating to the playing of the sport. Importantly, they also provide monitoring and oversight of the Board on behalf of the game as a whole.

Council members come from across the nation, mostly from geographic areas made up of a single county, or group of counties, depending on the number of local rugby clubs in the area.
RFU Council
Inner Warrior sign up open
Allianz Inner Warrior returns in May! We are thrilled to be able to invite you to host a Warrior Camp to welcome female players back to your club.

Back in January, 169 clubs signed up to host a Warrior Camp before the pandemic sadly necessitated a postponement. We encourage those clubs to rebook and many more to join them. It will be even more fun in the summer weather which should help to attract more new players to give rugby a try.

We’ve been looking at how best we can continue to support our clubs with running Warrior Camps. We are delighted to have Allianz on board as a partner, who will help us to increase visibility and reach more new participants in the future.

If your club is new to Warrior Camps, click below for more information on what the camps involve, what you need to do and how we can support you.
Find Out More
Sign Up
Continuing Richard Jones’ legacy at Wetherby
Wetherby Rugby Club had no mini and junior section when, aged 11, Richard Jones and four other schoolboys turned up for the first-ever training session.

Forty years on, junior membership runs at over 300. Richard went on to represent Wetherby over 100 times, including as first XV captain, before taking on coaching duties and becoming Vice Chairman of the Minis & Junior section after he hung up his boots.

With his boundless energy and willingness to help others, it came as a tremendous shock to family, friends and Wetherby club members when Richard died, aged just 50, from leukaemia.
Richard Jones
Teamwork   Respect   Enjoyment  
Discipline   Sportsmanship

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