Pre-send Distribution list: Tuesday 10 September
Council Members, Rugby Development

Distribution list: Friday 13 September
Constituent Bodies Chairmen, Constituent Bodies Honorary Secretaries, Constituent Bodies Treasurers
Club Chairmen, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers
Community Game Update - September

1.Message from Eddie Jones
2.Countdown to the start of the Rugby World Cup
3.Adult male competition structure review
4.Changes to bear in mind for the start of the new season
5.Indicative international ticket allocations
6.Changes to laws and regulations
7.Safeguarding self-audit
8.Key dates
Please find the September 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 (

Our communications to you are based on the data that is held in the Game Management System (GMS). To ensure you receive the communications that you want to from the RFU, please check the information held on this system is up to date and active.

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Message from Eddie Jones
Thanks for all your support during the warm up games. We were pleased to win three out of four of our games and have learnt lots from putting into play what we’ve practised in our training camps.

We hope you’re all arranging activities around the England games, particularly Rise and Shine on Sunday 22 September. We want the Nation behind us and you to unite with your local communities and engage with your current, past and potentially new club members.

We’re now truly starting our Rugby World Cup journey. Bring it on. Come on England!

Discover more about the England squad’s Rugby World Cup preparations on our social media channels here.
The countdown is on for the start of the Rugby World Cup 2019
The nation 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, telling the stories of the players’ journeys to the Rugby World Cup, and inspiring 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.

As reported in the August edition of the Community Game Update, England Rugby have produced 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 you engage with your local community, as well as a guide on how best to use them for marketing and social media. Clubs can also use this simple checklist to ensure they are as prepared as possible to welcome new members and players.

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 the day, on any AGP up to Saturday 9 November 2019. Simply email to obtain a code. This offer is subject to T&Cs and availability.

NatWest have also released helpful Raise the Bar assets and tips to help clubs manage their events. Find out more here.
Adult male competition structure review
Important work to ensure that we preserve the future health of the game will be undertaken through a competition structure review by the Adult Male Competition Structure Group (the Group) commencing the month.

The Group is a task group of the Community Game Board and its membership will include representatives from the game, RFU staff, other national rugby union and other sports governing bodies.

The Group’s purpose is to review the adult male competition structure of the English Club Championship from Level 3 downwards and recommend an optimal playing offer and structure that protects the future health of the game for adult men by meeting the needs of current and future players, balancing quality of experience and player welfare needs with less travel, while at the same time protecting the financial and other sustainability of clubs.

The Group’s work will include gathering evidence from desk research, Electronic Match Card, the National Rugby Survey, alongside assessing historical and current knowledge from within the Group. The review will importantly include listening to players, administrators and practitioners involved in delivering the game, to enable recommendations to be made to Council on the future competition landscape. A report will be presented for discussion at Council in February with the intention of reaching a resolution at Council in April. This will enable recommendations to be implemented in time for the start of the 2020 season.

The Group first met on Wednesday 11 September. Further updates will be made available during the 2019-20 season.
Changes to bear in mind for the new season
A number of changes have been introduced regarding the following areas for the new season:

• Age grade player registration
• Logging into Game Management System (GMS)
• Course booking system
• Electronic Match Card
• 17 year olds playing adult rugby
• Half Game rule
• Game On
• Age grade playing calendar

To support clubs in making a good start to the season, an update is available here which provides more information for clubs regarding these developments.
Indicative International Ticket Allocations
All RFU voting clubs were advised of their indicative international ticket allocation based primarily on the number of 15-a-side matches played by their U14 – adult teams, both female and male, during the 2018/19 season taken from a club’s Team Management Module on GMS. The actual allocation for the Six Nations 2021 and other England international matches for the following two years will be based on those 15-a-side matches played by a club in both the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons.

2018/19 Season. The vast majority of queries about the indicative allocation were because clubs had played more 15-a-side games in 2018/19 then they had registered on the GMS Team Management Module. The purpose of giving an indicative total was to highlight if clubs had not registered all their matches on the module, and we have encouraged clubs to add their missing matches over the summer months. It is still not too late to include missing matches from the 2018/19 season on the module and have them count towards your actual ticket allocation. Matches added now will count as long as they are listed with an appropriate outcome, as we will not be finalising the 2018/19 season data until about Christmas, but we will not be issuing a revised indicative ticket allocation. However, clubs can confirm for themselves on GMS that all their matches with outcomes have been listed on their Team Management Module.

2019/20 Season. Clubs are encouraged to keep details of their 15-a-side matches for the 2019/20 season regularly up-to-date by using the GMS Team Management Module to confirm all such fixtures and by updating the system with the outcome of all matches either weekly or at least monthly. Last season clubs were starting the process of requesting fixtures and adding results at the end of the season. This all takes time and many missed the deadline on which the indicative allocations were based. After the deadline for the 2019/20 season, which is likely to be mid-May 20, there will not be the opportunity to add missing fixtures and affect your club’s actual ticket allocation. We will give due warning through the Community Game Updates of this approaching deadline next year, but it would be far better that matches are listed now and the outcomes updated regularly.

GMS Competitions Tool. Competition organisers, particularly for inter-club CB competitions, are encouraged to use the GMS Competitions Tool to help administer their competitions. Many already do, but the value is that it automatically registers each match and result on the Team Management Module of the clubs participating in the competition, meaning that the clubs do not have to list each fixture manually.

Help. If clubs or competition organisers do require any technical help in using these GMS systems, please contact the GMS Service Desk - email Alternatively, your local RDO will be able to help with any more general questions and any local training needed.
Changes to laws and regulations
Working with the Rugby Football Referees Union, we have pulled together a slide deck for the law and regulation changes which will have an impact on games at the and how they are officiated - the deck can be found here. At the start of the season it is really important that coaches and players are aware of these changes and work with match officials to ensure that we create a positive game experience. This slide deck is to support you and your members with your early-season preparations.

We have been supported by World Rugby who provided their presentations. You will note that for the high tackle decision making framework there are a number of timings on the slides, these relate to the World Rugby video which is the best resource available, and can be found here.

The slide deck is for sharing with your membership to provide consistent messaging to our clubs, players, coaches and match officials.

The RFU Regulations for the 2019-20 season are also now available on the England Rugby website here. Should you have any questions on the regulations, please email

The following contact information may also be helpful:

- Discipline:
- Age Grade Discipline (all U18 teams/Schools/Colleges):
- DBS Applications:
- GMS Support and RFU ID Enquiries:
- Player Registrations and Queries: or
- Age Grade Registrations and Queries:
- Player Welfare and First Aid Course Enquiries:
Safeguarding self-audit
Clubs are reminded that they should complete their annual RFU Safeguarding self-audit by Monday 30 September 2019.

The audit can be found in the questionnaire section of GMS. If you completed the audit before Monday 16 August, could you please double check that the status is ‘submitted’ if it states that the questionnaire is ‘open’ please submit again. The self-audit will help the RFU and your Constituent Body Safeguarding Managers to identify clubs that may need some further support in safeguarding; CBSMs will continue to undertake a more in depth audit with 10% of their clubs.

If your club does not have an age grade section, or 17 year olds playing adult rugby, please just declare this on the form and you will not be expected to answer further questions.

The RFU Safeguarding Team are happy to answer any questions, or offer assistance and can be contacted by emailing
Key dates:
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)

09 England Women v France Women (Stade Marcel Michelin) (1.00 pm)
16 England Women V France Women (Sandy Park, Exeter) (1.10 pm)
16 Barbarians V Fiji (Twickenham Stadium) (2.30 pm)
23 England Women v Italy Women (Bedford Blues ground) (3.00 pm)
Teamwork   Respect   Enjoyment  
Discipline   Sportsmanship
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