Distribution list: Tuesday 20 April
Constituent Bodies Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers,
Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers
Return to Rugby
This edition includes:
1. Return to Play – one week until Stage D2
2. RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan applications – 11 May deadline
3. Adult Male Future Competition Structure from 2022/23 season
4. Payment of Players update
5. Mental Health support coming out of lockdown
6. Red Roses in Six Nations Final this Saturday
7. Webinars and on demand videos
Return to Play - Move to Stage D2 from 26 April
From Monday 26 April we will return to Stage D2 on the rugby roadmap, which includes contact fixtures with adapted laws. Please familiarise yourselves with the guidance below. A video is also available here.

Age Grade

This move to Stage D2 also applies to age grade rugby, from Monday 26 April until the end of the extended 2020-21 age grade season on Monday 31 May 2021.

From Tuesday 1 June, we move to the out-of-season period through June, July and August, when activity will follow the Summer Activity Framework. For details, see below.

Age Grade Changes
Summer Activity Guide
Summer Activity Overview
Stage D2 Age Grade Match Guidance

The next #AskAgeGrade session on @AgeGradeRugby will be hosted on Monday 3 May.

Current off-field guidance

Off-field guidance is available via our Help Desk FAQs below, in line with steps reached on the government’s roadmap.
Helpdesk FAQs
D2 Guidance
RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan Applications - Tuesday 11 May deadline
Clubs have until 5pm on Tuesday 11 May to submit an application for a Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund Asset Improvement Loan.

At 7pm on Wednesday 21 April, we are hosting a webinar to explain the opportunities this presents to clubs and how they can make an application.

Don’t miss out - make sure you register below.

The application form is available on our loans page below, alongside eligibility criteria and a number of documents that will help you through the end-to-end process.

Please read all documents before completing the application form.
Loans Page
Adult Male Future Competition Structure from 2022/23 season
To support participation in the community game at Level 3 and below, the RFU Council has agreed changes to the adult male competitions structure.

This follows an intensive 18-month review to understand challenges within the existing competitions structure, current players’ needs and the format that will serve them best.

Below you can read why these changes have been made and find the summary of new measures to be implemented from 2022/23, which follow four core principles: putting player welfare/needs at the forefront of decisions, minimising travel, ensuring a high quality of player experience and supporting club sustainability.

Over the coming weeks members of the Community Game Board and Future Competitions Structure Group will hold Q&A sessions with clubs to provide clarity on what the changes will mean to them.

More detailed information regarding implementation and regulation will be communicated throughout the remainder of this season.
Why Changes
Summary Of Measures
Payment of Players update
Following RFU Council’s vote on Friday, the below changes have been agreed to Payment of Players, Regulation 7.

1. The following changes to the thresholds at Level 3, 4 and 5 for season 2021-22. While clubs are able to pay above the threshold, if they do they will lose access to RFU Benefits as defined by Regulation 7. The revised thresholds are:

• Level 3 - £250,000 (down from £275,000)
• Level 4 - £125,000 (down from £157,500)
• Level 5 - £50,000 (down from £65,000)
• Level 6 – £0 - no change

2. All clubs at Level 8 and below and all non-voting clubs will only need to complete the declaration annually if they pay their players or player coaches and wish to be eligible for RFU Benefits.

3. There will be no requirement for Student clubs to complete the declaration annually unless the Student club plays in an RFU League at level 7 and above.

Any questions please contact paymentofplayers@rfu.com.
Mental health support for the rugby community
For many of us, the end of lockdown has been highly anticipated, but for others it could be a difficult adjustment, especially for those who are more vulnerable to the virus or who have mental health concerns.

Being able to return to rugby clubs will provide a huge boost to people’s mental, as well as physical health. However, if any members would like to find further support on how to cope with anxiety caused by the pandemic, follow the link below to our healthcare partner, Simplyhealth.

More resources will be available as we build towards Mental Health Awareness week (10-16 May), when we will also share stories of how clubs are supporting their communities.

Let us know how your club supports mental wellbeing by contacting PatriciaMowbray@RFU.com.

More Information
Watch the Red Roses in the Six Nations Final
On Saturday, the Red Roses will take on France in the 2021 Women’s Six Nations Final.

Watch England as they battle to defend their Six Nations title live on BBC 2, with kick off at 2pm at the Twickenham Stoop.
Webinars & videos on demand
We have our previous Coaching, Refereeing, and Club webinars on-demand, alongside those coming up below.

Webinar: Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund – Introduction to Asset Improvement Loans
The RFU has launched the RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan programme. This webinar will explain the opportunities this presents to clubs and how they can make an application.

Date: Wednesday 21 April, 7pm-8pm.

Mental Wellbeing – Keeping The Rugby Community Healthy - Wednesday 28th April - 7pm
As a follow up to our Player Mental Health Webinar, we will welcome RugbySafe Leads to a discussion about mental wellbeing, creating kinder cultures and spotting the signs of mental wellbeing issues in your clubs. We are joined again by, David Beeney, and former England Rugby captain Dylan Hartley. With the help of our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth we are putting player welfare at the heart of the game to keep the rugby community healthy.

Mentoring Club - Building Rapport
In our latest Irwin Mitchell Mentoring Club webinar, Dusty Miller, Olympic coach mentor at the English Institute of Sport joined us for this webinar to discuss the process of making connections and building relationships that create rapport.
Teamwork   Respect   Enjoyment  
Discipline   Sportsmanship
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