RFU 2nd Lockdown Update

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update RFU Headlines

Community rugby – current status

England is now in national lockdown until Wednesday 2 December and all team sports have been suspended, including club age grade and adult rugby activities below Championship and Premier 15s.

With effect from today, we return to Stage A on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. This means that no competitive or formal rugby activities can be undertaken until at least Wednesday 2 December. While group training sessions are banned, a maximum of two players (or one player and one coach) can participate in socially distanced (two metres plus), individual training sessions in a public outside space, but not a garden, without sharing equipment. FAQ’s from Sport England are available below.

Club facilities

Although leisure and sports facilities must stay closed, clubhouses can remain open to provide take away, click and collect and food delivery services up until 10pm. They may also be used in other limited circumstances including:

 education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where that is part of their normal provision)
 childcare purposes and supervised activities for children (i.e. parent and baby sessions or play groups)
 blood donations and food banks
 to provide medical treatment (i.e.. for flu vaccines or mobile testing centres)
 for elite sports persons (including indoor and outdoor sports facilities) – only if the facilities are used by Premiership, Championship or Premier 15s sides.

Please contact the Club Support Centre if you have any questions.

Rugby in schools, colleges and universities during national lockdown

Following the confirmation of Department for Education guidance on Wednesday 4 November, we can confirm what the national lockdown means for rugby in schools, colleges and universities. 

University rugby is subject to the same restrictions as our community clubs, i.e it returns to Stage A on the Return to Rugby Roadmap until Wednesday 2 December.

Schools and colleges are able to play rugby but must follow the DfE guidance for schools and FE settings. In summary, this is: 

 Rugby can only be played as part of the curriculum – i.e. in PE and games lessons and as part of courses, such as BTEC Diplomas in Sport and GCSE/A-Level PE

 Activity must continue to be played to the RFU government-approved action plan – i.e. play the formats and follow off-field logistics as permitted before half term and lockdown (Ready4Rugby, O2Touch and limited contact training in approved group sizes)

 No extra-curricular rugby clubs, training and activities or inter-school/college matches are permitted. 

We believe there are major health and wellbeing benefits in schools and colleges providing rugby union and physical activity to their students during lockdown; in particular with community sport being unavailable. However, we also recognise that there are a large number of additional factors for Headteachers/Principals to consider and that the expertise they have developed in the last six months will ultimately guide their decision to play. Further RFU resource, guidance and support is available below.

Rugby 365 update

All Rugby 365 facilities will be closed until Wednesday 2 December. Customers and host clubs who had bookings have been contacted, and credits will be made for all cancellations. Please contact Rugby365 below if you have any enquiries.

Other Important Updates

RFU Training Courses for Coaches and Match Officials

Due to the national lockdown, RFU coach and referee training courses planned for November and December have been pushed back to January and February 2021. Those who have booked will automatically be transferred to a new date and updated course details will be issued. We will also contact club venues to re-arrange dates.

Watching rugby this Autumn

The national lockdown means that clubs cannot open their doors for members to watch the November Quilter Internationals 2020 matches, part of the Autumn Nations Cup. We are, therefore, in discussions with Amazon regarding a possible revenue generating offer for clubs. We will provide further details next week. 

Also, next week we will advise clubs of the broadcaster for both fixtures in the Women’s Autumn Internationals as England face France at Twickenham and away in Grenoble.


Webinars and Podcasts

The following webinars will take place on Thursday 12 November:

10am – Crowdfunding webinar

Could you successfully raise £60,133 with 519 supporters in 45 days? Hull Ionians have done so during the pandemic to save their clubhouse. Sign up to our Crowdfunding webinar below to find out exactly how you could benefit as a club. 

10am – England Colleges Rugby Football Union Members Live Webinar 

Join the ECRFU, RFU and AOC Sport live for the latest webinar, including interactive discussions on the college game and a live panel Q&A session. To sign up, please click below.

7pm – Preparing, planning and dealing with severe wet weather and problem areas on your pitch.

This Rugby Groundsmen Connected webinar gives ideas and tips that clubs can consider now, prior to the really wet weather hitting. It will include ideas and guidance on dealing with problem areas of pitches and offer some advice on what to do following heavy rain and intensely wet periods.  Register for the webinar.