Distribution list: Tuesday 24 November

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update
This week’s headlines include the Government Winter Sport Package funding and positive news that grassroots sport, including a format of rugby, will be allowed to resume from Wednesday 2 December across all levels, although there will be some restrictions across the tiers.

Both topics are discussed in more detail in our video below with RFU Rugby Development Director Steve Grainger.

You can also read a summary below. However, as we are awaiting confirmation from Government on tier, travel and contact implications, we will provide a more detailed update to the game later this week.

In today's edition, we also bring you news on how immigration could affect rugby clubs, an update on the latest #GetYourShirtOn virtual rugby sessions and share a message from England players on why they love seeing your club shirts at Twickenham in #ShowYourShirt. Can you spot your club shirt in the gallery below?

Finally, there are reminders about our Club Support Centre during Covid, and how your friends and family can support your club by watching England for free on Amazon Prime Video.

Please remember that until Wednesday 2 December we remain at Stage A on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap, meaning no competitive or formal rugby activities can be undertaken, including club age grade and adult rugby activities below Championship and Premier 15s.
Steve Grainger Video
RFU Headlines
Government Winter Sport Package
Last week Government announced a £300 million funding package for all sports, which will consist of £250m in loans and £50m in grants. Funding has been made available to help the survival of sports who have lost revenue due to spectators not being able to attend matches.

Rugby union has received an allocation of up to £135 million. Within this total amount, the RFU has been allocated up to £44 million, Premiership clubs up to £59 million, Greene King IPA Championship clubs up to £9 million and a further £23 million has been allocated to clubs below that level.

The news is a massive boost for the game. We are the only sport to have dedicated funding for our community game, which has been on hold since March and hit hard by the pandemic.

The funding must be applied for and justified against certain criteria to be defined and is, therefore, not guaranteed.

We will continue to work with Government to understand the details of the application process, the criteria under which submissions will be measured, and the composition of the independent panel and delivery mechanism. We will update you on this process in the coming weeks.

Our thanks go to everyone we consulted with in the game for your feedback, allowing us to provide clear and detailed submissions, and to Government for understanding the need to support rugby via a financial programme.
Return to Team Sports
We welcome Monday’s announcement from Government that grassroots sport will be able to resume from Wednesday 2 December and that spectators at non-elite sports will be able to attend events in line with Covid-secure guidance for each tier.

Tier levels for each region are due to be announced by Government later this week.

As you can imagine, there are a number of details which we need to confirm with Government regarding restrictions that apply to each tier, including permitted levels of contact, travel and implications for club facilities.

We will, therefore, provide a further game update when this information has been received and we are in a position to confirm which stage clubs will be able to return to on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.

We expect an update from Government soon, prior to the Wednesday 2 December recommencement, in response to our Return to Play proposals. Concerns remain around the close contact involved in scrums and mauls and we remain in discussion about how to mitigate this to be able to get the game played again.

You can read Monday's Government announcement below.
#ShowYourShirt - Can you spot yours at Twickenham?
As you will have seen on Amazon Prime, Channel 4 and BBC TV coverage over the weekend, the club shirt display continues to grow at Twickenham, encouraging wider recognition of the incredible efforts made by clubs and volunteers during the pandemic.

See if you can spot your club colours in the image gallery below. Feel free to download an image to share with your shirt sponsor or use on your channels. Please make sure you include the photo credit: RFU Collection via Getty Images.

Don’t worry if you haven’t had chance to send in your shirt yet. You still have until the end of November if you would like it to feature at England Rugby’s final Quilter International in the Autumn Nations Cup on Sunday 6 December.

Click the #ShowYourShirt button below to find a free post label and to watch England players explain why they love seeing your club shirts at Twickenham.

Members and players are encouraged to wear your shirts and send messages of support to the team on social media using #ShowYourShirt.
Image Gallery
#GetYourShirtOn reaches over quarter of a million views
Watch the re-run of Rugby World Cup winner and former England full back Nolli Waterman in action as she led our latest virtual rugby session, keeping our age grade players active and connected to their clubs. Nolli and Ugo Monye’s first two Sunday mornings have seen a combined total of more than 260,000 views across England Rugby's YouTube and Facebook channels. It’s fantastic to see our U10s-U18s enjoying these alternative rugby sessions so much.

Next up is England and Harlequins scrum half Danny Care. Make sure your U10s-U18s tune in on Sunday to take part.

Session 1 - 9:30am - U10 and below
Session 2 - 10am - U11 to U14
Session 3 - 10:30am - U15 to U18
Nolli Waterman
Continue to help your rugby communities by just watching from home
We have two rounds left of the Autumn Nations Cup, with England in action against Wales this Saturday, before returning to Twickenham for their final Quilter International fixture of 2020.

Click below for a reminder of how to watch for free through our offer with Amazon to help clubs generate revenue while in lockdown and how to promote to your members and community.

Clubs are able to set up an Associates Account that their members can sign up to using their unique club code which will see their club get money back.
How To Sign Up
Other Important Updates
How immigration changes could affect clubs
From Tuesday 1 December 2020, the Home Office will introduce changes towards a new modified points-based immigration system which intends to simplify and streamline the process of granting immigration permission to non-UK citizen workers, students, entrepreneurs, and investors.

The guidance document seeks to provide an overview of the forthcoming changes to immigration policy that may impact sportspeople (including players, coaches etc) in professional and semi-professional leagues within England, including those participating in those leagues on an amateur basis.
Club Support Centre
We understand that sometimes navigating through the current coronavirus guidelines and legislation, or just finding the right answer to a question, can be difficult for clubs. Our Club Support Centre is a dedicated online hub for clubs to find up to date guidance and advice on today’s hot topics, as well as answers to the most frequently asked questions. Clubs are also able to access advice and support easily and quickly, direct from the experts by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Webinars and Podcasts
The England Rugby Podcast and The Next Level

Dylan Hartley speaks to players from inside the England Men's and Women's camps on the O2 podcast, while you can see behind the scenes in the Next Level. You can listen to the podcast and watch Next Level below, on our YouTube and Twitter pages.

Maximising non-contact game formats - help retain players and support their return to club rugby. Tuesday 1 December 7-8pm
Register here.

Virtual Workshop - Volunteer Experience - top tips in recruiting, retaining and rewarding volunteers - 1 December 6:30-8:30pm
Register here.

You can see all our previous CoachingRefereeing, and Club webinars online.
The Next Level
Leading the crowd to raise vital funds
Three community rugby clubs are at the top of the Crowdfunder sport leader board and others are following the example of the Hull Ionians, Stockport and Pocklington clubs to raise vital funds during the coronavirus pandemic.

The three clubs raised a combined £158,335 in 48 days. With more clubs following suit, see more information and see how your club could benefit below.

We want to highlight the wonderful activities that our clubs and their teams are doing on our England Rugby channels, and also on the England Senior teams' news boards. So that we can recognise as many clubs as possible during the forthcoming games, please share your stories and videos with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Leading The Crowd
Distribution list: Tuesday 17 November

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update
In this week’s edition, we bring you an update on how to #ShowYourShirts with 310 shirts received to date, a look back at week one of #GetYourShirtOn with Ugo Monye handing over to Nolli Waterman this Sunday, and update on the Revised Covid-19 Academy Under 18 match schedule 2020/21, extra curriculum activity and information on Legionella.

With England in national lockdown, we are at Stage A on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. This means that no competitive or formal rugby activities can be undertaken until at least Thursday 3 December, including club age grade and adult rugby activities below Championship and Premier 15s.
RFU Headlines
#ShowYourShirt - 310 and counting at Twickenham
The popularity of the initiative for clubs to have their shirts on seats at Twickenham was evident as we displayed 310 club shirts in the first week of the Quilter Internationals, part of the Autumn Nations Cup. This helped to create a visual representation of clubs at the stadium while you were not able to be at Twickenham or watching together in clubhouses.

Don’t forget to print off your freepost label and send your shirt to Twickenham. We want to have as many club shirts as possible on display during the matches, particularly for the final fixture on Sunday 6 December. Please be aware that due to Covid-19 guidance we must receive your shirt at least 72 hours before the game, so don’t miss the opportunity to involve your club. The deadline has been extended to the end of November. 

You can also promote your club’s support using the press release resource on the #ShowYourShirt page also by encouraging members and players to wear and show their shirts during Saturday’s double-header at Twickenham – simply upload photos to social media using #ShowYourShirt.
Freepost Label
#GetYourShirtOn reaches nearly 15k views in week one
Despite the community club game being suspended due to the national lockdown, week one of #GetYourShirtOn with Ugo Monye managed to reach nearly 15k views. You can watch the re-run below.

We are continuing our Sunday morning fitness and rugby live streams for U10s - U18s throughout November on the England Rugby YouTube and Facebook Channels. Next up, leading our age grade players (and their parents!) through the activities is former England full back and Rugby World Cup winner, Nolli Waterman. We want everyone joining in wearing their club shirts and sharing their pride on social media using #GetYourShirtOn.

Click the button below to find out more and to download a press release you can tailor to your club to help promote the activity.
Ugo Monye
How to continue to help your rugby communities by watching England's fixtures for free this autumn
This weekend saw the opening of the Quilter Internationals, part of the Autumn Nations Cup, and the first broadcast from Amazon Prime. Working with them we have created an offer to help our community clubs generate revenue while in lockdown.

Clubs are able to set up an Associates Account that their members can sign up to using their unique club code which will see their club get money back. 

Click the box below for more information on how to sign up and how to promote the offer to your members.
How To Sign Up
Other Important Updates
Extra-curricular rugby lockdown guidance confirmed for Schools & Colleges
Following on from last week's update on rugby in education, clarification has been provided by government on sport in schools and colleges during lockdown; this particularly relates to extra-curricular sport. The major national partner agencies have released a statement on schools sport and a similar approved approach in colleges by the AOC. Please see their website for full details.

We have, therefore, updated our statement on the Coronavirus hub. The extra-curricular guidance reads:

• Extra-curricular rugby clubs, training and activities that are Covid-secure, can take place as part of education and training for students and to provide wraparound childcare support for parents; but no inter-school/college matches are permitted.
Coronavirus Hub
Revised Covid-19 Academy Under 18 match schedule 2020/21
A streamlined Academy U18 match programme will see a reduced four-match schedule. This approach was devised through player-centred collaboration with PRL, academy managers, school, college and club personnel, and approved by RFU Governance. It maintains a balance with players’ rugby and academic challenges in this extraordinary season.

The Academy matches ensure the highest level of bench-marking is available to inform critical career and professional contract decisions for U18s without conflicting with exam commitments, while also supporting players' availability to play with their core school/college/club-playing team mates right through to half-term.
This is a quick reminder to clubs of the risks of Legionella. Below is some good practice guidance on how to prevent it in buildings that have been closed such as rugby clubhouses and changing room buildings.
Webinars and Podcasts
The England Rugby Podcast: O2 Inside Line

Dylan Hartley speaks to players from inside the England Men's and Women's camps. You can listen to the podcast below, and our YouTube and Twitter pages. 

Exploring the Funding & Club Support Opportunities through Covid-19 Restrictions - 7pm Tuesday 17 November

Informing clubs about the potential funding and support will be available from Government, Sport England and England Rugby to help clubs through the Covid-19 restrictions. Register for the webinar.

Students RFU Live Webinar – Keeping University Players Engaged - 10am Thursday 19 November

Join the SRFU RFU and BUCS live for the latest webinar, followed by an interactive session on keeping players engaged. Register for the webinar 

You can see all our previous CoachingRefereeing, and Club webinars online.
England Rugby Podcast
Digital Wall of Remembrance
Following on from Remembrance Sunday, we take the time to remember those we have lost in this difficult time and celebrate the lives of those lost to their families and the game through the digital Wall of Remembrance. Please see below on how to submit entries.

We want to highlight the wonderful activities that our clubs and their teams are doing on our England Rugby channels, and also on the England Senior teams' news boards. So that we can recognise as many clubs as possible during the forthcoming games, please share your stories and videos with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Digital Wall
Community Game Update –
13th November 2020
1. Check out England Rugby social media channels this weekend
2. RFU Cluster Fixture Proposals
3. Age Grade Playing Calendars 2020/2021 and 2021/2022
4. Age Grade Registration – GMS Data Tidy-Up
5. Postponement of 2020/21 Level 3 Coaching Award
6. University Clusters and Partners Update
7. Emergency First Aid in Rugby Union Courses are back
8. NatWest Rugby Club Finance Guide
9. Warrior Camps return
10. Information - England Men’s and Women’s forthcoming fixtures

Welcome to the November 2020 Community Game Update. We hope you find the update useful, and if you have any feedback, queries or content that you would like to feature, please email Chris Dodd, Communications Executive (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Our communications to you are based on the data held in the Game Management System (GMS). Please check the information held on this system is up to date and active.

This communication is only sent to the roles highlighted in the distribution list above. Please share it with others in your club who need to see it.
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, you can read more below.

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.
Club Shirts
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
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 Wednesday 11 November which you can read on the button below.

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 Calendar
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.
GMS Help Portal
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 EnglandRugby.com 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. CBs can find the list of our cluster and partner universities by viewing the universities map on the link below. Please use the left-hand menu to select clusters and partners.
Universities Map
Emergency First Aid in Rugby Union Courses from Friday 1 January
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.
First Aid Courses
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.
Read Guide
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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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


06 – England Men v TBC (Twickenham Stadium)
Click here for the letter from Ed Neville, Hampshire Board Chairman and Julie Greenslade Executive Director.
It is a great opportunity to get extra revenue and help your club!
Club Champions Logo

RFU Training Courses 

To kick off the training programme the RFU have planned a series of Kids First Tag Rugby and Kids First Contact Rugby courses to support new coaches. 

Due to the latest lockdown, these courses have now been pushed back to January and February, details for the courses taking place in your CB and booking links are below.

Going forwards the RFU will of course consult CBs on the location of these courses, but they wanted to put an initial framework together to get training up and running again.

This will likely be through Matt Watts - the RFU Training Manager for Area B, and he look to work together on planning for future windows. 

Should demand for places on these courses exceed supply the RFU look to organise more in our CB.







Kids First Contact

Havant RFC

11/01/2021 & 25/01/2021


Kids First TAG

US Portsmouth RFC



Kids First TAG

Basingstoke RFC



Kids First Contact

Trojans RFC

19/01/2021 & 02/02/2021


Kids First Contact

Eastleigh RFC

20/01/2021 & 27/01/2021


Kids First Contact

Basingstoke RFC

22/01/2021 & 29/01/2021


Kids First TAG

Havant RFC



Kids First TAG

Tottonians RFC




As a result of the impact of Covid the format for England Rugby Coaching and Refereeing Award courses has evolved for this season. 

The courses will commence with a series of monthly webinars, with tasks for the participants to work on with their players, digital resources to support them and an online community of practice where they can get support directly from the Match Official and Coach Developers. 

At the end of the year they will take part in 2 face to face days to complete their course. 

The RFU are soon to begin planning a programme of these courses for the CB and will be in touch to gain our insights and info on where best to place these courses for coaches in your CB.




Two free player welfare eLearning courses launched in September and have seen a great uptake already. 

These are an updated Headcase Concussion Awareness course and a new Introduction to Safeguarding course. 

They can be accessed here:

During November the RFU plan to release free to access on demand webinars for U10/11/12 and U13 coaches to support them with the progressions to their new age group.  As these are released hey will be shared with you.

This short on demand webinar was circulated via the Community Game Update recently explaining all of the information above. 



First Aid

The RFU have also announced a new process for clubs wishing to book first aid courses, this has been circulated via the Community Game Update.


For a full list of courses please follow the link below...


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