Warwickshire Rugby Football Union
WELCOME TO THE LATEST WARWICKSHIRE RUGBY NEWS:-
I received the sad news last night from Bob Jones that Rex Montgomery (founder member of Southam RFC) has passed away. A lot of you would have known Rex over the years. He was a tremendous servant to the game and Southam during his long life. When I get more information I will send it on to you.
May He Rest In Peace.
In the coming weeks we will running a series of Game Changer webinars. The webinars are aimed at coaches within your club, which will be delivered by local Coach Developers via Teams and will be free of charge.
This workshop focuses on developing meaningful games-based practices to effectively facilitate player development in a fun and inclusive environment. Participants will be helped to understand the key principles of effective game zone design. There will be sessions for Kids first coaches (U.7-U.12) and coaches of the XV-a-side game (U.13 and above).
The sessions in Warwickshire are as below, and individuals must register by GMS using the embedded links. Spaces are limited, so please don’t delay in filtering these to your club coaches.
eLearning: Gamechangers Kids First – 3rd February - 18:30 - 19:30
eLearning: Gamechangers XV-a-side - 9th February 18:30 - 19:30
Tom Huggins - England Rugby Coach Developer
The Warwickshire Society of Referees will not be appointing to any games until we have a definitive start date for the resumption of the season. We will cancel games in WTR on a weekly basis. This is so that we do not get ahead of ourselves by cancelling games that then take place, if we do not get a great deal of notice of a restart. Our referees are going to continue with their online, skill based, training and keep themselves fit, or hopefully fitter, for when we can all get out onto the field.
FURTHER GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL SUPPORT
New Grants and Discretionary Fund
The Chancellor has announced £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000
£594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses
This is in addition to existing support already announced such as business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses,
and the extension of the furlough scheme to April.
One-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to
The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over
600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK
The new one-off grants come in addition to billions of existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed
businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen
The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:-
o £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
o £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
o £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
Due to the additional restrictions announced yesterday to combat the spread of Covid-19, the RFU has regretfully decided to cancel both the adult male & female Cluster Fixtures (for teams that play in RFU Leagues).
The focus will now switch to the following:
Facilitating fixtures through local organising committees and/or CBs, as and when conditions allow a return to playing rugby, which could extend into the summer months.
Ensuring any extension does not encroach on the 2021/2022 season start date.
Any further announcements will be made following the next Government review when we know what rugby activity is permitted. In the meantime, your local organising committee and/or CB will be in touch with specific information for your region.
Kind Regards, Simon Cruise RFU Competitions Department.
Following Government’s national lockdown announcement to counter the steep rise in Covid-19 infections, all community rugby activity in England is suspended until further notice.
In line with current Government policy, all adult and age grade rugby training and fixtures must stop. This means we return to Stage A on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap for all players. Outdoor organised sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.
Community rugby includes all levels below the Greene King IPA Championship (scheduled to restart in March) and the Allianz Premier 15s and Gallagher Premiership, which follow elite sport return protocols.
The new restrictions become law on Wednesday 6 January, but people should follow them as of now.
There is an exemption in place that allows elite sportspeople (and their coaches if necessary, or parents/guardians if they are under 18) - or those on an official elite sports pathway - to compete and train.
Indoor gyms and sports facilities will remain closed. Outdoor sports venues, including rugby clubs, outdoor gyms, tennis courts, golf courses, swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting arenas and riding arenas must close.
RFU & TIERS.
Following this afternoon’s Government announcement that the majority of the country will move into Tiers 3 and 4 as of 00.01 tomorrow morning, we wanted to provide a reminder of Tier implications for community rugby for you to be able to share with your clubs and to help with any queries you may receive in the coming days.
Please see below for guidance on what can and can’t be done in each Tier. While these continue to be extremely difficult times for everyone involved, it was a huge boost to hear Government say that today’s approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the single biggest stride we’ve been able to take since the pandemic began and will provide a route out of the crisis.
However, for now, with the new variant of the virus estimated to be over 50% more transmissible than the original, it is vital that we all adhere to Tier and Covid-19 guidance until we reach a stage where restrictions can gradually be lifted.
· Clubs in Tier 3 can still play rugby according to Stage E on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap Please remember, there is no obligation to play 15-a-side adapted contact fixtures, however it is an option for clubs who wish to do so.
· Clubs in a Tier 4 area should cancel any upcoming adult training/fixtures.
· At the time of writing, rugby activity in Tier 4 areas can continue for U18s (including those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020) and for people with a disability as exemptions are in place. We will advise of any changes if we receive an update from Government in the next few days.
· Government advice on sports activity in Tier 4 areas is here
· For any queries, please visit our Helpdesk FAQs on our Club Support page here
· Resources are also available on our Coronavirus Hub here
· If you are unsure on what tier you are currently in or will be going into, you can find it using the Government website here (Each bullet point listed on the Government website represents each specific area.)
Please see below for a reminder around travel and match play in each tier:
· Adult players living in Tier 3 can only travel within their own specific Tier 3 area to train or play. (See above for Government website areas)
· Adult players living in Tier 3 cannot travel into another Tier 3 area (or other Tiers) to train or play (which includes their own club if it is in a different geographic area).
· Adult rugby is not permitted in Tier 4.
At the time of writing, the following still applies. We will advise of any changes if we receive an update from Government in the next few days.
· Age grade players may, due to Government exemptions for U18s, travel across tiers 1-3 to train or play and can be accompanied by one parent or carer. However, to protect all involved, we strongly recommend that wherever possible training and match play follows adult guidelines.
· Age grade players in Tier 4 may only travel within their specific Tier 4 area to train or play and may only be accompanied by one parent or carer.
· Volunteers (including coaches and match officials) may travel across Tiers 1-3, where necessary, to enable participation to take place. However, to protect all involved, we strongly recommend this is kept to an absolute minimum.
· Volunteers (including coaches and match officials) living in Tier 4 should only travel within their specific Tier 4 area to enable participation to take place for U18s ONLY.
· Additional exemptions are in place for people with a disability.
We will update you when we receive further information from Government and will work hard to enable as many people as possible to return to rugby when it is safe to do so.
While it’s not the way many of us would wish to start 2021, the priority is to keep everyone safe. We wish you all a healthy New Year and will be in touch again soon.
WARWICKSHIRE SOCIETY of REFEREES
We are well prepared for the potential start of the season proper at Stage F. We have asked our referees and assessors to "Opt in" if they wish to be involved in the game as it stands and a large proportion has opted to do just that. We appointed to all the games that were requested last week-end and used the Earlsdon game video to produce some further training resources for our match officials, using our Dartfish TV channel
We are waiting for the Cluster Games fixtures to be released, now planned for 4 January 2021, and are hoping that by then we will be in a better position to know how many, if any, of these games can take place. We will carry out appointments for these when we know that they will happen.
Other games, where referees have been requested, will be appointed soon.
Please use GMS for referee requests, these are coming through to us. If you have any late requests please contact our appointments team on email@example.com but the earlier the better please.
Please can we ask that you use the services of the Referees Society as we have trained our referees in the new variations and we worry that if the new laws are not used correctly then this may impact on the whole game, not just your club.
We will only appoint referees for games that are played between teams from our Covid Area, that is at present Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire. We will not appoint to games across different Covid areas, for example Leicestershire, Birmingham, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and East Midlands, even though all of those areas are at present included in the Cluster Games. We will monitor any changes in areas and change our policy accordingly. Don't forget that there is to be no adult rugby in Tier 4 Areas and Age Grade teams cannot leave Tier 4 areas to play.
We will be following the guidelines and appointing referees to minimise travel and will try and avoid referees coming in from other Covid areas. We will not be using referees from the Federation which some of you experienced last season.
All of our training materials are available on our website at warwickref.com/1_36_covid-19-information.html please feel free to browse and use any of the material there for your training.
Finally, can we ask that every club and every person follows the RFU and Government advice, regulations and laws. If our referees and other officials do not feel safe at a venue then we have advised them to walk away and not put themselves at risk. This includes the behaviour of any spectators present. Can we please point out that the referee has been given extra powers to deal with Covid related issues on the Field of Play, that's the area bordered by the touch lines and dead ball areas, not the rest of the ground. We are looking at how the technical areas are policed with the increase in people in there and the need to socially distance. We will advise later on this.
Best wishes for the season and stay safe
Ian Roberts (Secretary WSOR)
XMAS and NEW YEAR
Best wishes to all for a happy and joyful Christmas and wishing for a better 2021 from all at Warwickshire RFU.
RFU - UPDATE ON TIERS and RUGBY ACTIVITY.
24/12/2020 See under COVID 19.
We received the sad news on Thursday, that Maurice Goymer had died, aged 91. Maurice was one of the most significant characters in the history of the Club.Maurice was great supporter of the game of rugby and its values and Leamington in particular. He would often recall his heydays of the fifties and sixties when things were not so serious, or linked to league positions, and when games against Stratford, Kenilworth and other rivals were more about who could get the most punches in and then joke about it in the bar afterwards.
OLD LEAMINTONIANS RFC
I am sad to say that Roy Potter a long standing Patron and Hon. Life Member of the OL's has sadly died this morning after suffering a massive heart attack. Roy has been membership secretary for many many years and will be sadly missed by all that have known and spent time in his company over many years. Our sympathies go out to his wife Joyce and their children and grandchildren
I will keep you informed of arrangements in due course
RFU GUIDANCE ON Return to Play 02/12/2020.
Further details under COVID 19
RFU - RETURN TO PLAY 2/12/2020.
Following yesterday’s Government approval for adapted contact rugby to resume in the Community Game, we've compiled Return to Play guidance, for the new game and law variations which will come into effect for match play. This guidance below is designed to help clubs resume adapted contact training from Wednesday 2 December to give players time to prepare ahead of the permitted return to local friendly fixtures from Friday 18 December.
Please note, there is no obligation for players and clubs to play 15-a-side adaptations. Clubs can still play Ready4Rugby matches up until and beyond 18 December. This simply provides clubs with an opportunity to play adapted contact rugby should they wish.
Adapted Stage E rules/laws for Age Grade Rugby have also been approved for U7-13 and U14-18. The move to Stage E will allow the restart of Tag Rugby for U7s and U8s. The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed schools/colleges can return to playing sport in line with approved NGB action plans. Universities will need to align rugby with their planning for student engagement, testing and return home in December. It remains an education institution decision whether playing rugby is possible within their own requirements and measures.
These law variations will be reviewed as the season progresses and as restrictions are changed.
We understand our return to play is a huge moment for our sport and for you as clubs and CBs. We all share a collective desire and responsibility to get this right. Now, we really need to be as safe as we can be so that we can continue the phased return to rugby for our local communities without further interruptions.
Return to Play Webinar support will be available tomorrow on the RFU Coronavirus Hub resources webpage.
RFU UPDATE 1/12/2020 - GOOD NEWS.
Following Government’s announcement last week that outdoor team sport can resume from Wednesday 2 December, we are delighted to confirm that Government has today approved our submission to return to 15-a-side contact rugby, with some adaptations.
Further detail on these adaptations and associated laws will follow tomorrow. However, they are briefly summarised below:
• There will be no scrums or mauls in the game
• Where the game would restart with a scrum, this will be replaced with a free kick
• A minimum of five and a maximum of seven players from each team are required to form a lineout
What does this mean clubs can now do?
• Clubs can resume adapted training for 15-a-side contact rugby again from this Wednesday. Further detail to follow tomorrow.
• Clubs can resume friendly fixtures from Friday 18 December - this is to allow players to prepare properly and safely, having not been training over the past month.
• Clubs can still play Ready4Rugby if they have matches coming up from 2 December to 18 December and beyond. There is no obligation to play adapted 15-a-side contact fixtures.
PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU DO ALSO FOLLOW ANY LOCAL TIER GUIDANCE.
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.
Calling on age grade players to #GetYourShirtOn
Despite the community club game being suspended due to the national lockdown, we want all our age grade players to stay active and connected with their clubs.
So, we will be starting weekly Sunday fitness and rugby activity live streams for U6s - U18s on the England Rugby YouTube channel throughout November. These sessions, led by England legends and experts, will include a mix of fun activities for all age grade players (and their parents!) to enjoy. We want everyone joining in wearing their club shirts and sharing their pride on social media using #GetYourShirtOn.
Keep an eye on the England Rugby social media channels for the build-up
RFU 2020/21 AGE GRADE PLAYING CALENDAR.
We are pleased to confirm the following points relating to the Age Grade Playing Calendar this season, as outlined to RFU Council on 11th November:
1. The Age Grade season, as previously communicated, is extended and will end on Monday 31 May 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
It has not been possible so far this year to release the Age Grade Playing Calendar national template due to the impact of Covid-19. However, we are aiming to have the Calendar out to CBs, CSUs, academies, clubs, colleges and schools in December to enable everyone to plan for next season.
ENGLAND RUGBY COACHING COURSES.
New information on the roll out of new RFU courses - see under Coaching.
RFU COVID 19 UPDATE
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.
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
RFU LOCAL DELIVERY TEAM
See update from Andy Fradgley under Club Development
RFU LEGAL AND TAX HELPLINE
As the official legal partner to England Rugby, Irwin Mitchell have taken over the Legal and Tax Helpline. The support also includes an online legal document service, including documents such as employment agreements and privacy notices for your club’s website.
The new legal and tax helpline number is 0333 0100337.
Register to access the legal document service here: https://www.irwinmitchell.com/england-rugby/legal-portal
The government has announced a framework for the return of recreational team sport which is applicable from Saturday 11 July. This is a welcomed development and a positive step towards the return of some form of competitive rugby. The framework was developed following discussions with other team sports, Sport England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The next step is for the RFU to develop it's own rugby action plan, based on the framework, specifically considering the Coronavirus transmission risk and demonstrating mitigations and any adaptations to the game that are required. This will need to be agreed to by government, PHE and HSE before it can be implemented within clubs. Due to the intrinsic nature of rugby and the proximity of participants, it is recognised that there is the potential for an increased risk of droplet transmission. Working with expert medical advice and applying the activity exposure framework to various formats of rugby, we will update following our discussions with government. In the short term, it is likely that the format of rugby the community game is able to play will be a modified version, not the full 15-a-side game.
We will update the game as to when it can move to the next stage of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap in the coming weeks. For now we remain at Stage B of the roadmap.
Under previously announced guidance, Premiership Rugby clubs moved to Stage 2: Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance on Monday 6 July, which allows for the resumption of close contact training. This involves a detailed set of protocols and includes a COVID-19 testing programme. Championship and Premier 15s clubs are eligible to return under the elite guidance should they chose to do so, or can follow the community return to rugby roadmap.
We will continue to provide updates to the game throughout the process. Please click below to remind yourself of the RFU's Return to Community Rugby Roadmap and read the latest framework for the return of recreational team sport announced by the government.