Pre-send Distribution list: Friday 10 January
Council Members, Rugby Development

Distribution list: Friday 17 January
Constituent Bodies Chairmen, Constituent Bodies Honorary Secretaries, Constituent Bodies Treasurers
Club Chairmen, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers
Community Game Update - January

1. Adult Male Competition Review
2. NatWest Rugby Force 2020 open for registrations
3. Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards 2020 and registration for England v Ireland pre-match hospitality
4. Update on National Rugby Survey
5. Inner Warrior Camps/Inner Warrior Series
6. Developing Player Programme and CB Age Grade Rugby
7. Opportunity to work on the Families Fund project
8. Call for half marathon runners to join the Injured Players Foundation team
9. December Team Of The Month
10. Forthcoming England and Twickenham fixtures
Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2020 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. In addition, if you know of a colleague who should be receiving these updates, but isn’t, please help them to check their details on GMS.

This communication is only sent to the roles highlighted in the distribution list above.
Adult Male Competition Structure Review
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Adult Male Competition Structure Group (AMCSG) Review, your input is greatly valued.

The Group has reviewed all the input received through various channels, and the initial findings and recommendations were discussed at length by the Community Game Board (CGB) this week.

The CGB agreed the key principles presented by the Group and a process moving forward. This includes a range of models for the structure of leagues to address appropriate travel time/distance, player welfare, player experience / quality of competition and club sustainability factors. These models all therefore variously flatten the pyramid and reduce some league sizes.

The next steps in this review will be to communicate with the game the proposed structures in two phases in early 2020:

• Phase One – late January/February – will be to communicate the findings and undertake a digital survey with players and clubs.

The AMCSG will report feedback and proposed models to the RFU Council at the end February.

• Phase Two - (March to early April) - will consist of a number of face to face meetings with clubs and other stakeholders to explore in more detail the feedback and the initial proposals.

A final decision on the league structures, which are to be implemented in the 2021/22 season, will be made at the April RFU Council meeting.

As a result of initial feedback received, where possible the aim will be to make some adjustments to address issues such as player welfare and flexibility, e.g. with rest breaks, from start of season 2020/21, which will be a transition season, with full implementation from the 2021/22 season. Significant additional work will continue on the future management of competitions, promotion/relegation, cup rugby, Lower XVs in leagues etc. Full guidance will be communicated before the end of the 2019/20 season.

For further information please contact or your Council representative.
Register for NatWest RugbyForce
NatWest RugbyForce 2020 has now launched and to be considered for a grant the deadline for applications is 15 March 2020. This year the focus is on improving your social spaces.

Now is the time to let us know how a NatWest RugbyForce grant of up to £3,000 could be a game changer for your club, what the impact would be on your social space and how it could in turn help bring the community into your club.

Clubs that register for NatWest RugbyForce 2020 can look forward to receiving a host of exciting rewards and benefits, from grant funding and online toolkits, to marketing and communications advice, as well as access to special offers.

To register, click on the link to the application form below, and you can also find the terms & conditions below.
Register Here
Terms & Conditions
Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards 2020 now open
Nominations for the 2020 Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards are now open and we want to know your chosen volunteer who has gone above and beyond in the last year.

The Volunteer of the Year Awards are specifically aimed at recognising those unsung heroes who have impacted their communities and demonstrated their commitment to the game over the last 12 months.

Nominations are now open until Sunday 23 February and shortlisted nominees will be announced in March. Click below to nominate your unsung hero and get them the recognition they deserve. You can also find out more by clicking below.
Nominate Today
Find Out More
Mitsubishi Motors Guinness Six Nations volunteer hospitality
In partnership with England Rugby, Mitsubishi Motors supports grassroots rugby by recognising and rewarding the thousands of volunteers who are an integral part of the sport through the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme.

As part of this programme, club volunteers who already have match tickets are able to register for up to four tickets for pre-match hospitality outside in the British Airways Fan Village at the England v Ireland Six Nations Match at Twickenham on 23 February 2020.

Hot food and a variety of beverages will be served before the match, opening two hours before kick-off and closing when the first whistle blows.

As tickets are limited and the aim of this recognition opportunity is to identify and thank as many volunteers as possible for their valued contributions to the game, we ask that volunteers do not register if they have attended one of these events in the last two years as tickets will be cancelled.

Click below to register, indicating the name of each attendee, their club and if any are under 18. And remember to wrap up warm!
Register Here
Update on National Rugby Survey
Thank you to everyone who completed the 2019 National Rugby Survey. Your contribution is very valuable as it helps to define the current and future position of rugby.

We’ve been reviewing this year’s large volume of input. While there’s still more work to do to generate an in-depth, detailed report, we thought you’d be interested in some of the high level findings now. These are:

• Players are most likely to rank ‘a good quality referee’ as the most important factor in driving an enjoyable playing experience, followed by ‘a sociable and friendly atmosphere’ and ‘opposition of a similar standard’.
• Conversely, the survey has highlighted that ‘poor refereeing’ and ‘poor behaviour from players on the pitch’ are the factors most likely to disengage players with the game.
• Almost half of respondents highlighted that they had witnessed some form of poor behaviour on the touchline during a game, and have given their views on best ways to minimise this.
• Data shows that England’s senior team performance throughout the RWC had an impact on how likely the rugby community would be to recommend the sport to their friends, family and colleagues. The score for recommendation grew steadily as the tournament progressed, with the peak score registered in the week after the New Zealand semi-final.

We are expecting to communicate the final report to CBs and our field staff around the end of January. Please contact them in February if you are interested in finding out more.
Inner Warrior
There’s still time to promote and encourage attendance at your local Warrior Camps via word of mouth, posters and social media.

The camps kicked off on the 11 January providing fun, completely free rugby fitness sessions for women. New for 2020, a selection of clubs will also run weekly sessions until Saturday 8 February.

The camps bring a great opportunity to welcome new players, grow your female team and encourage retired players to pick their boots up and get back involved in the game completely commitment free of charge.

For more information or to request promotional materials please contact us below.

The Inner Warrior Series launched in 2019, aimed at taking women from their first experience of rugby at Warrior Camps through to playing their first matches for their clubs.

The series focus’ on what the players taking part would like to see from a playing opportunity – local options, a flexible framework, and looks at ensuring more matches are played at level 6.

If your club is looking at starting a women’s team next season, the Inner Warrior Series could be for you, with clubs able to enter their teams in May.

For more information, see below for an infographic focusing on the story so far for the Inner Warrior Series.
Contact Us
Developing Player Programme (DPP) and CB Age Grade rugby
Following a request for further information on the changes implemented in the 2020/21 season, please find below an abridged version of the Age Grade Consultation report.

The report has been produced by a Player Development Sub-Committee working group in consultation with Winchester University, approved by the Sub-Committee and endorsed by the Community Game Board.

For clarity, CB U15 and U16 rugby continues as previously, with the CB responsible for selection organising the fixture and venue but with selection restricted to players within the DPP. This removes the need for further assessment and trials for players already receiving ongoing assessment within the DPP. Players, believed to be of the right quality who are outside the DPP, should be invited to join the DPP or join the U17 programme following their U16 year.
Read Report
Opportunity to take up contract on the Families Fund Project
We are looking for local experts with knowledge and contacts in their area to apply for paid contracts working on a new Families Fund project. This will increase participation in rugby, linked to the needs of local clubs in lower socio economic areas working in partnership with England Rugby and Sport England.

We want the expertise of people with a community service link and/or rugby club link to a partner, to help us deliver on seven new sites. All projects will be made up of a local organisation/charity or community service provider and a local rugby club and we are open to multiple site applications.

The project will fund 12 projects across England (excluding London) which will find innovative ways to engage with teenagers from lower socio economic communities and their families, and provide opportunities for them all to become active through their local rugby club.

Click below to find out more about this great opportunity. You can also find a link to the Sport England Families Fund Prospectus below.
Find Out More
Read Prospectus
Join the Injured Players Foundation half marathon team
You can make a difference and help support catastrophically injured rugby players as well as funding vital injury prevention research, by running the London Landmarks Half Marathon on Sunday 29 March 2020 as part of the RFU Injured Players Foundation team. The IPF needs as many people as possible to sign up for the race and fundraise as much as they can to support the charity’s important work in the game.

Starting on Pall Mall and finishing on Downing Street, with plenty of colour, music and support along the way, the London Landmarks Half is a truly unique race running through the famous City of London. All RFU IPF runners will receive a free running vest and t-shirt when they join the team, and will be cheered on by the charity on race day.

Entry costs £25 upfront with a pledge to raise at least £400 in sponsorship for the IPF. To sign up, click below.
Sign Up
December Teams of the Month
We’ve released the fourth edition of Teams of the Month. Click below to find out more.

This monthly update is driven from data coming from Electronic Match Cards (EMC) into the Match Centre. From the results received from across every level of the game through EMC, we are now able to highlight the outstanding performance of teams on a monthly basis.

To get your club and teams included in the tables, simply submit your match day information on the Match Events tab of your Electronic Match Card.
December's Teams
Match Card
Key dates

02 – France Men v England Men (4pm) (Stade de France)
08 – Scotland Men v England Men (4.45pm) (Murrayfield)
21 – England U20 Men v Ireland U20 Men (7.45pm) (Franklin Gardens, Northampton)
23 – England Women V Ireland Women (12.45pm) (Castle Park, Doncaster)
23 – England Men v Ireland Men (3pm)


06 – England U20 Men v Wales U20 Men (7.45pm) (Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester)
07 – England Women v Wales Women (12.05pm) (Twickenham Stoop)
07 – England Men V Wales Men (4.45pm)
14 – Italy Men v England Men (5.45pm) (Stadio Olimpio)
Teamwork Respect Enjoyment 
Discipline Sportsmanship
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