Pre-send Distribution list: Tuesday 6 August
Council Members, Rugby Development

Distribution list: Thursday 8 August
Constituent Bodies Chairmen, Constituent Bodies Honorary Secretaries, Constituent Bodies Treasurers
Club Chairmen, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers
Community Game Update - August

1. Rise and shine for Rugby World Cup 2019
2. Mitsubishi volunteer competition
3. New regulation for 17 year olds playing adult rugby union
4. GDPR/The Data Protection Act 2018
5. New high-tackle sanction framework
6. RFU Insurance – prepare for the new season
7. Mitsubishi Motors pre-match volunteer hospitality – Quilter Internationals
8. England Rugby Advanced Match Official Award (Pilot) Level 3
9. Touchline – reaching out
10. Preston Grasshoppers to host 150th Anniversary International tournament
Please find the August 2019 edition of the 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 Vee Montebello, RFU Senior Communications Manager (

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This communication is only sent to the roles highlighted in the distribution list above. If you would like to share this with other individuals, please click below.
Rise and Shine for Rugby World Cup 2019
With less than 50 days to go everyone is counting down the days until the start of the Rugby World Cup on Friday 20 September, and England’s first match against Tonga on Sunday 22 September.

The Rising Sons campaign has been launched, aiming to tell the stories of the players' journeys to the Rugby World Cup, and inspire the nation to roar the team on the success in Japan. Rising Sons celebrates all that is great about rugby and the strong bond between the community and international game, while also reflecting the unique and beautiful host country, Japan.

England Rugby have produced a number of resources to help clubs prepare for the Rugby World Cup, specifically for the England v Tonga game (Rise and Shine), and for England matches throughout the whole tournament. A short how to guide for planning, promoting and running a Rugby World Cup event is available here, and click here to access downloadable, editable marketing assets to help your engagement with local communities, as well as a guide on how best to use them. Clubs can also use this simple checklist to ensure they are as prepared as possible to welcome new members and players. A social media guide will be provided in the September edition of the Community Game Update.

Ideas for how to re-engage lapsed players using the Rugby World Cup as a springboard are also available here. Our field teams are, of course, on hand and will be more than happy to support you. In addition to club facilities, there are 26 Artificial Grass Pitches (AGPs) with excellent facilities available across England where players of all ages can participate in any of the various formats of rugby. For a nominal fee of £1 clubs or groups of players can book a slot for a full pitch, at any time of day, on any AGP between Monday 12 August and Saturday 9 November 2019. Simply email to obtain a code. This offer is subject to T&Cs and availability.

The England squad’s Rugby World Cup preparations are going well as they continue to train hard in various location ahead of the forthcoming Quilter Internationals taking place in London, Cardiff and Newcastle, followed by that trip to Japan. You can discover more on our social media channels here.

Come on England!
Mitsubishi competition - three volunteers to win a trip to Japan
Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, Performance Partner of the RFU, is proud to support volunteering at all levels of English rugby. In a hugely important year for the game, Mitsubishi Motors wants to give back to this unsung community by offering volunteers the opportunity to journey to Japan and be part of an exciting knowledge exchange programme.

Launching this week, Journey to Japan offers volunteers the chance to head east this autumn, experience a culture like no other and see how a Japanese rugby club functions. While in Japan, the volunteers will have an opportunity to meet with their counterparts from within the community game – to share opinions and exchange views and ideas on how to help the game grow.

To win a place on this amazing trip, clubs should encourage their volunteers to visit before 23.59pm on Saturday 31 August 2019.

Click here to view a short video explaining the competition in more detail.
New regulation for 17 year olds playing adult rugby
Further to the July edition of the Community Game Update, we wanted to provide you with the detail around the updated regulation for 17 years olds playing adult rugby.

This two-step process, as reflected in Regulation 15.5, has been introduced as a result of clarification by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in relation to safeguarding requirements when underage players play in adult sport. 17 year olds are still considered to be children and this process helps our clubs to support the transition of players into adult rugby when appropriate.

To support clubs with the application of this process please click here to access a Club Guide for a 17 year old playing adult rugby. This information, detailing the rationale, will be available to clubs to support their submission and helps CBs to further understand their own role.

The Playing Adult Rugby Club Approval Form and Playing Adult Rugby Player Approval Form, along with the wording of the regulation can be found here.

We hope that this information helps provide the content and detail around the updated regulation and supports all our clubs in their revised safeguarding obligations as well as supporting the development and retention of Age Grade players into the adult game.

Age Grade registration
A reminder that Age Grade registration information and support will be available in August. This will provide information for Club Registrars to work with players’ parents on the improved online process for new and current players. This will all be available week commencing Monday 12 August 2019.
GDPR/The Data Protection Act 2018
Have you paid the annual data protection charge? All organisations in the sport and recreation sector that process personal data are required to pay an annual data protection charge to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) unless a relevant exemption applies. “Processing personal data” includes simply collecting and storing details of members, teachers, coaches and participants so this does affect a large majority of us, including the smallest organisations. It is a legal requirement to pay the charge, and failure to do so could result in a fine, but it does also make good business sense as it could have an impact on your organisation’s reputation. Once you have paid, your organisation’s details are published on the Information Commissioner’s register of data controllers.

There are three levels of charge payable:

1. Micro organisations (including sole traders) pay £40;
2. Small and medium organisations pay £60; and
3. Large organisations pay £2,900. Payments made by direct debit will automatically receive an annual £5 deduction.

The ICO have provided a very helpful, easy-to-use online tool to help you determine if payment is necessary; you can find the self-assessment tool on the ICO website. It is also important to make sure you are paying the correct level of charge - the charge-assessment tool will indicate the level you are required to pay. If you are a data controller and do not pay the charge, or you pay the incorrect charge when required to do so, then you risk enforcement action by the ICO. The maximum fine is £4,350. Don’t get caught out.

For any general queries relating to data protection, please contact the RFU Legal Helpline on 0330 303 1877.
New high tackle sanction framework
World Rugby has issued a law application guideline and supporting educational materials to assist everyone in the game with the on-field sanction decision-making process for high tackles and shoulder charges.

Reflecting the evidence-based approach to reducing the risk of concussion, the decision-making framework for high tackles was developed in partnership with union and competition delegates attending the player welfare symposium in France and includes player, coach, match official and medic input.

It is a simple step-by-step guide with the purpose of:

• Improving the consistency in application of on-field sanctions by distinguishing between dangerous tackles that warrant a penalty, yellow card or red card.
• Supporting protection of the head of both players by consistently and frequently sanctioning the tackle behaviour that is known to be the highest risk.

Available as a PDF, the framework is also supported by an educational video and illustrates what match officials are looking for when determining a sanction.

The process focuses on the source of direct contact to the head, the degree of force and, for the first time, any mitigating or aggravating factors that may be applied by the match officials. It will be a useful tool for coaches, players, match officials, media and fans. It provides a fresh emphasis and does not retrospectively judge previous decisions.

Click here for the decision-making framework for high tackles.

Many referee societies will be undertaking more detailed training, please make contact with your local society for dates to attend.
RFU Insurance – prepare for the new season
As the new season starts it’s important to ensure that you understand the insurance the RFU arranges for clubs and how this protects you and your players.

Club Activities – The RFU arranges extensive Public Liability cover to protect the club from claims arising from your sporting and many commercial activities at Level 3 and below. Full details of what is and isn’t covered can be found on the England Rugby Insurance website.

Cover for Players – Personal Accident insurance is arranged for players which will pay them a significant lump sum if they suffer a catastrophic injury while playing or training. Full details are provided on the website here.

Additional Insurance cover that can be purchased by club or CB or to get a competitive market quote.

Cover for loss of income if a players is injured and can’t work in the short term. This cover can be arranged as an add-on to the catastrophic injury cover and to do so please contact Howden, RFU’s insurance broker, on 0121 698 8001 or by clicking here. Full details of the loss of income cover are available on the website here.

Is your clubhouse, your equipment and your club income properly protected? If the clubhouse was damaged and you lost income from the bar and room hire would you be able to survive? Howden can arrange bespoke cover for your club to make sure you are appropriately protected - to find out more, click here.

Other support:

VAT Helpline: Clubs continue to make savings and benefit from free advice given on the VAT helpline. Clubs can receive advice on how to optimise levels of VAT recovery on general expenditure and facility improvements and also discuss what incomes are VAT free. Clubs wanting advice can access the helpline by either calling Russell Moore on 07710 329317 or by sending an e mail to

Legal and Tax Helpline: The RFU has arranged helplines for clubs to obtain free advice on any legal or tax related matter, as well as online support for the creation of standard contracts and legal documents. Legal & Tax Helpline: 0330 303 1877

Online Legal Documents: RFU clubs are provided with online support for the creation of legal documents. This service allows clubs to draft your own legal documents instantly, simply by answering a series of easy-to-answer questions.

Many documents are available free of charge, and include such things as:
• Employment agreement
• Website privacy policy
• Health and safety policy creator

To access the system click here. Clubs will need to register by entering the RFU clubs' voucher code - ARAG751BIZ.
Mitsubishi Motors pre-match volunteer hospitality - Quilter Internationals
As part of their partnership with England Rugby, Mitsubishi Motors supports grassroots rugby through the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme by recognising and rewarding the thousands of volunteers who are an integral part of the sport. As part of this programme, club volunteers who already have match tickets can register for up to four tickets for pre-match hospitality in the Nine Sports Bar & Lounge at the England v Italy Quilter International at St James’ Park on Friday 6 September 2019.

Food and a variety of beverages will be served for two hours before the match from 17:15 to 19:15 leaving enough time to walk to get to your seats in the Stadium for kick-off.

If you have a ticket for the match and would like to attend, please register here indicating your club, the names of your guests and if any are under 18.
England Rugby Advanced Match Official Award (Pilot) Level 3 – Launched
The England Rugby Advanced Match Official Award course builds strongly on the England Rugby Referee Award (Level 2) course. It aims to help match officials gain a sound refereeing experience to prepare for individual performance and achieve a higher standard within their own officiating.

The course consists of 11 modules, five of which are delivered on four contact days, is a mixture of classroom-based activities, eLearning and webinars which the candidate can then apply in their officiating. It is for active match officials who have completed the England Rugby Referee Award (or equivalent referee award) and wish to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of officiating rugby union. The purpose is to develop the individual over a 12-month period.

We hosted a fantastic couple of weekends, (21 & 28 July) delivering in all six areas, which produced some really exciting opportunities and great reflections. We’re building a seamless pathway for England Rugby Match Officiating. Thank you to all who have got us to where we are today, especially the candidates who make the course come to life.
Touchline reaching out
For some months, the RFU’s monthly Touchline newsletter has been published digitally and now has 50,000 subscribers.

We are reaching more people. However, we are aware that some who miss the original printed copies may not know how to sign up, or even how to send in success stories for publication.

We cannot sign people up to receive our digital Touchline from our end, due to data protection.

So please do forward it to anyone you think may be interested and send this link to club members, sponsors, friends and fans so that they can subscribe.
Preston Grasshoppers RFC to host 150th Anniversary International Tournament
Preston Grasshoppers invites members from neighbouring clubs to join them at Lightfoot Green for an International Tournament which has been organised to mark their 150th Anniversary.

Taking place over the weekend of Saturday 31 August – Sunday 1 September, the tournament will consist of teams from Formia (Italy), Dendermonde (Belgium) plus the Preston City Twin Town team from Almelo (Holland). Local sides Blackburn, Thornton Cleveleys and Broughton, who are also celebrating their 150th Anniversary, are all taking part, along with the hosts.

A women's team from St Louis, Missouri, USA are travelling over and will be playing games on both the Saturday against Preston Grasshoppers Women and on Sunday a Sally Watson Memorial side.

For more information contact
Key dates:
11 England v Wales Quilter International (2.00 pm)
17 Wales v England (2.15 pm)
24 England v Ireland Quilter International (3.00 pm)

06 Community Game Update issued
06 England v Italy Quilter International, St James Park (7.45 pm)
20 Rugby World Cup 2019 commences
22 England v Tonga (11.15 am)
26 England v USA (11.45 am)

05 England v Argentina (9.00 am)
12 England v France (9.15 am)
Teamwork   Respect   Enjoyment  
Discipline   Sportsmanship
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