Return to Community Rugby Roadmap issued by the RFU

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The RFU today announces a national roadmap to support a return to community rugby activity.  This roadmap consists of six stages, Stage A relating to individual training with one other person, moving through to Stage F when there can be a return to competitive matches against other teams. We are currently at Stage B following the government’s announcement of 28 May.

An infographic and more detailed guidance has been produced to clarify the six stages of the roadmap. Click here to access the roadmap and here to read the detailed guidance.

Timescales to allow progression between stages will be carefully managed and will be determined by medical and government advice. Regular updates will be issued by the RFU, along with detailed guidance, as each progression takes place.

Bill Sweeney, Chief Executive Officer at the RFU, comments:

“A great amount of work has been undertaken since rugby was suspended in March to align the various stages of social distancing announced by the government with our decision making focused on the best interests of players, volunteers and clubs.

“When considering the roadmap for a return to community rugby, we were aware that some clubs wanted to get back quicker than others as a major concern of clubs is to retain their players and preserve their revenue streams.  We also recognise that other sports may return quicker in England and that rugby may return quicker in other countries.  However, we will stay focused on what is right for rugby in England. Whilst we are keen to have rugby being played and members returning to their clubs, we need to be cautious and will therefore only move from one stage to another when guidance and advice says that it is safe to do so.

“There are many implications of a staged return to play, including the impact on the competitive programme, rugby activity in clubs, schools, colleges and universities and also the use of club houses and indoor facilities. We remain committed to addressing these challenges in the run up to the 20/21 season.”

The roadmap focuses on a return to community rugby activity and not the reopening of clubhouses. As these are indoor spaces, they will be subject to separate government advice and guidance. In parallel, the RFU will continue to develop advice and guidance on when and how clubhouses may reopen. The current position is that clubs are able to open indoor facilities only to allow access through the building to pitches, access to toilets and a facility (should appropriate licenses be held) for the serving of takeaway food and drinks.

Adult Male Future Competitions Structure – register for online consultation sessions

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We will be running online consultation webinars in respect of the Adult Male Future Competitions Structure review throughout June. The aim of these sessions is to provide further detail on the future competition structure proposals. Feedback on these from players, coaches, referees and volunteers is essential to ensure a future structure that meets the game’s needs, and to help the group reach a final formal proposal. This will then be put to the game later in the summer, ahead of any RFU Council decision for implementation in the 2021/22 season.

The virtual process will allow players and clubs to ask questions and enter a facilitated discussion forum.

The following sessions will be running from 7-9pm, unless otherwise stated:

Wednesday 3 June – Level 3 & 4
Thursday 4 June – Level 5 & 6 (Session 1: 3pm | Session 2: 7pm)
Monday 8 June – Level 7 & below (North)
Wednesday 10 June – Level 7 & below (Midlands)
Thursday 11 June – Level 7 & below (London/South East, Session 1 – 3pm)
Monday 15 June – Level 7 & below (London/South East, Session 2)
Wednesday 17 June – Level 7 & below (South West, Session 1)
Thursday 18 June – Level 7 & below (South West, Session 2 – 3pm)

For those not able to make the live sessions, webinars will be recorded, with content available to view for the following two weeks and the ability to submit feedback.

Please note we are asking that each club limits the number of attendees to a maximum of four, including at least one player, and ideally a coach / Director of Rugby. This is to ensure the technology can support potentially large numbers and to ensure a balanced input.

To find out more about the Adult Male Future Competitions Structure and register for a webinar, please click here.

Barnes RFC to lift 1 Million Kgs on 2nd May for Garry Garrett and the NHS

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Barnes RFC to lift 1 Million Kgs on 2nd May to remember Garry Garrett and raise funds for NHS

A few weeks ago, Garry Garrett, the dad of Barnes RFC 1st XV hooker Jack Garrett, became one of the innocent victims of COVID-19, healthy and fit one week, tragically dead the next. 

 Garry, and his wife Yolanda, were stalwart supporters of Barnes rugby, always present, always friendly, and always passionate about rugby. 

Barnes RFC Chairman, Michael ‘Rhino’ Whitfield said: “It was a great shock for all of the Barnes Rugby family when Garry died. Everyone wanted to help Yolanda and Jack, everyone wanted to do something to honour his memory. We came up with the idea of lifting 1 million kilograms this Saturday, raising money for the NHS whilst we do it – that’s what the Big Barnes RFC 1Million Kg Lift is all about”. 

 Across, the whole club, we are seeing an incredible response: players, coaches, physios, parents and social members are signing up in droves to take part on Saturday. And now we are getting support from around the world, current and ex-international players from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA…see attached 

 Anyone can take part, you don’t need proper weights, you can lift anything you have to hand: a bag of sugar, a litre of water, a packet of potatoes – as long as you know what it weighs so we can add it to the 1 million kg target” 

 We don’t just want to lift 1 million kgs on Saturday, we also to raise at least £10,000 for NHS charities. Monies will be raised from participants paying £10 (or their pocket money) to register for the lift, with additional donations also welcome from anyone who just wants to make a contribution. Having raised £25,000 already, we are hopeful that we can smash this target!

This is the link to the donation page:  

More information can be found at these links with endorsements from famous Rugby Internationals and others.

How the Big Barnes RFC 1 Million Kgs Lift works:

Rhino message:

A message from Jamie George:

A message from Jonny Wiklinson:

Messages from a host of international props…Jason Leonard, Joe Marler, Andrew Sheridan…

A message from RFU CEO, Bill Sweeney

Ashley Brandon – Social Media and Website Manager Barnes RFC Email:

Social Media Postings

Please tag any posts/pictures or videos @barnesrugbyclub on any Instagram, Facebook or Twitter posts, and use #BarnesRFCBigLift #stayhomestaystrong #nhs #oneclub

Thank you all for you support

RFU Headlines – Get Behind the 2.6 Challenge

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Get behind the 2.6 Challenge

The London Marathon, which would have taken place this Sunday, is the world’s biggest one-day fundraising event. It raised more than £66.4 million for thousands of charities in 2019. In its place this year is The 2.6 Challenge, a campaign to help UK Charities during the Covid-19 pandemic, which we are supporting.

We are calling on our clubs and communities to support England Rugby’s 2.6 Charity Challenge which is taking place from Sunday 26 to Thursday 30 April. England players have put their own spin on The 2.6 Challenge, but an activity can be anything from running 2.6 miles to doing 26 push-ups. Full details on how local clubs, their members and their communities can take part can be found on the England Rugby website here.

The RFU Injured Player’s Foundation (IPF) is England Rugby’s official charity. They provide support and information to rugby players in England who sustain a catastrophic spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury playing the game, and help prevent future injuries through vital research. So when thinking of who to support, we ask participants to consider the IPF, donating here, any other charity here, or just support a charity of their choice or possibly a club’s chosen charity.


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ENFIELD IGNATIANS RFC has responded to the current Covid-19 pandemic in a big-hearted way by raising £2000 for the National Health Service, writes Jonathan Landi.

The reasons for doing so are tangible and it also reflects the fact that some of the Ignatians’ membership are in the forefront of the current crisis as they work for the emergency services. The club’s youth section coaches set the ball rolling by initially inviting members to sponsor them in return for shaving their heads, as the all-important foundations for the initiative were laid down.

The concept clearly fired the imagination as the club’s third team took up by the baton by producing a promotional video, using the club’s Whatsapp chat forum, entitled ‘The Mighty Threes Supporting the NHS.’ Just as importantly, and despite the name, the video provided the platform for all playing sections of the club to further beat the drum regarding the NHS message, which was further endorsed in the form of a guest appearance from former Scotland international and British Lion Neil Edwards.

The club was by now on a roll and, with Ignatians setting themselves a fund raising deadline of Good Friday (April 10th), pledges from all sections of the club came in thick and fast. Consequently, from the ‘little acorns’ scenario which had unfolded at the beginning of the week, the club managed to successfully raise a four figure sum in the space of five days.

Club Chairman Dave French said: “Everyone involved is adamant that this money is used to support the magnificent work being carried out [by NHS staff] during this difficult pandemic.  To this end, we would like the funds to be used to purchase much needed PPE [at Barnet Hospital} equipment that we know is vital in protecting all the front line staff.

“In addition, from the funds raised, a large quantity of treats were purchased, including Easter eggs, chocolate bars and biscuits. These have since been dispatched to staff at Barnet Hospital. “This is brighten their [the staff’s} Easter and to show them how much the work they’re doing is appreciated in the form of a big thank you from all at Enfield Ignatians.”

“We have decided to donate the money to Barnet Hospital on the proviso that the monies be set aside for PEP (Personal Protective equipment), with £75 set aside for goodies, such as Easter Eggs, for staff members. The club is proud to be part of the community and we felt that this was tangible way of upholding rugby’s core values.”

I have today transferred £2,000 to the Barnet Hospital Charities account. Everyone involved is adamant that this money is used to support the magnificent work being carried out during this difficult pandemic and to that end, we would like the funds to be used to purchase the much needed PPE equipment that we know is vital in protecting all the front line staff.

In addition, from the funds raised, a large quantity of treats have been purchased, including Easter eggs, chocolate bars, biscuits etc and they will be delivered directly to staff at Barnet Hospital, to hopefully brighten their Easter and reaffirm to them how much the work they are doing is appreciated.

Please pass on our gratitude to all the staff at Barnet Hospital and again, a big thank you from Enfield Ignatians Rugby Club.

RFU Community Game Covid 19 update page

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The RFU have launched a dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website for Covid 19 Community Club updates, which you can find here.

More information can also be found on the RFU’s Run your Club page.

Final league positions for professional and community game for 2019/20 season confirmed

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Following the early end of the rugby season in England as a result of COVID-19, the RFU is announcing the final league positions for the Greene King IPA Championship, Tyrrells Premier 15s and men’s and women’s community game.

Proposals from the RFU governance committee to conclude the season for those leagues at both professional and community level were yesterday ratified by the RFU Council.

It was agreed that final standings for the Greene King IPA Championship and men’s and women’s community game would be calculated on a best playing record formula maintaining promotion and relegation for those leagues. The Tyrrells Premier 15s season has been declared null and void as there is no promotion or relegation in this league.

RFU President, Peter Wheeler, said: “We believe that the decisions made provide fair and balanced outcomes for the game and maintain the integrity of the competitions. We have listened to recommendations from the heart of the game and the approach has been ratified by the RFU Council.

“This has been a difficult decision to make in the most unprecedented of circumstances. There is no single solution that will suit every club, but the approach taken is one that we believe best reflects the nature of league rugby in England.

“With 80% of the season complete for the community game, we believe our approach is fair and the right one for our leagues. We have clubs that are clear league leaders and worthy of promotion, but also other clubs who have said they would benefit from relegation, to play more meaningful rugby.”

Final league tables will be available on the England Rugby website by 6pm, Friday 3 April.

RFU Statement – Update on COVID-19 Support and Planning

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Issued by Rugby Football Union


Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO, has given an update on COVID-19 support and planning to clubs today in a letter. 

Full details contained in the letter can be viewed here.

Latest News from the County – what’s happening in the background

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President’s message to all our Middlesex Members & Member Clubs.

We are aiming to provide regular updates on what the county is doing to support rugby in these difficult times.  Please click on the link to read the lastest news from the county News Letter