Coronavirus _ RFU Instructions

September 2, 2020
RFU headlines
Community Rugby – moved to stage D
With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, effective today, Tuesday 1 September, we have moved to Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. Clubs are now able to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby and other touch rugby activity.

Limited and restricted contact rugby training is also now allowed. Varied training conditions will allow the return of tackling, lineouts and rucks, ensuring that players are prepared to perform these skills safely and effectively with some restrictions. Mauls, scrums, opposed lineouts or upright tackles are still not permissible as the transmission exposure risk remains high. Contact training sessions have to be carried out in small groups of no more than six players. Detail of the permitted training activity is available in the return to contact training guidance.

Recently updated guidance on physical activity issued by the Department for Education (DfE) permits rugby union to be played in line with our government-approved action plan, and therefore means that schools and colleges can also move to limited contact training under Stage D of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.

We know there are multiple decisions required on student bubbles, extra-curricular trips/enrichment, transport and physical activity before committing to playing rugby, particularly with other schools and colleges. Whilst we encourage a return to rugby activity as soon as possible, the decision to do so will ultimately rest with each school or college.

RFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines should be followed.

You can read more detailed information.

Competition Update – Adult and Age Grade Season

As previously communicated in the Community Game Update of Tuesday 4 August, we have to reach Stage F (which will not be reached until at least four weeks after Stage E) before full contact competitive rugby can commence. In line with the above announcement regarding move to Stage D, and with no set date on when we will reach Stage F, we can confirm that there will be no competitive rugby restart in October for adult or age grade rugby unless there is a dramatic improvement in the prevalence of the virus in the community. Specifically this means the following for the 2020-21 season:

Age Grade Rugby

The move to Stage D takes us into Playing Window three on the Age Grade competition model, and therefore:

1. All national RFU Age Grade Competitions for 2020-21 will be cancelled. This includes the National Schools Cup & Champions Trophy, Under 18 Clubs Cup (Boys), Under 15 and 18 Clubs Cups (Girls) and ACE League.
2. The Age Grade Season can be extended and will end on 31 May 2021 as a one off.

This early confirmation will help clubs, schools and colleges with their current planning and scheduling. There will be further information and guidance to support competitive playing opportunities and local fixtures for the Age Grade game shortly.

Adult Rugby

The adult league season (Level 3 & below for men, Level 2 & below for women) will not commence in October. The next announcement about when league rugby will commence for these levels will be on 2 October.

Other Important Updates
Managing visitors to your club
It is important to recognise the different requirements of managing other attendees at your venue.

The below supplementary information regarding spectators and visitors has been made available by the Government. This aligns to the restarting of grassroots rugby guidance we issued on Saturday 8 August. Clubs must continue to work within these guidelines to ensure that all facility, pre-activity and other general operation practices are safe and appropriate.

Clubs should also ensure they are appropriately set up and prepared for safely welcoming other clubs, supporters, parents, and other spectators to their venues, following the Government’s social distancing guidelines, which you can read below. Outdoors you can meet in a group of up to six people from different households, or in larger groups if everyone is exclusively from one or two households – although social distancing must still be maintained with people who you do not live with unless they are in your support bubble.

Where it is anticipated that an activity will attract spectators, there should be a named person or persons with responsibility for ensuring adherence with these guidelines and ensuring the facility is Covid-19 Secure. The person(s) should carry out and publish a risk assessment for the activity which limits the number of spectators and focuses on the need to maintain social distancing on arrival, for the duration of the activity, and on departure.

Arrangements should also be put in place to support test and trace efforts by collecting information from spectators which is detailed enough to allow NHS Test and Trace to contact them if necessary. Read the maintaining records guidance section below for further information.