Community Rugby returns to Stage A
Posted on 5 November 2020
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.
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.
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.