Somerset County Rugby Football Union Limited Est. 1875

. . . Somerset RFU . . .

Appointment of new Age Grade Chair

I'm delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Cox as the County's new Age Grade Chair.

Many of you will know Paul in his previous role as an RFU CRC, he comes to us with a wealth of experience and respect amongst the rugby community and I'm sure you will join with me in wishing Paul every success in his new role.

Paul can be contacted via email: paul.cox@somersetrfu.co.uk

Gareth Chew
County Secretary
Somrset RFU

Parliament has today voted in favour of the Government’s national lockdown proposals aimed at curbing the increase in Covid-19 cases in England, which take effect from tomorrow (Thursday 5 November) until Wednesday 2 December. In addition, the Government has announced the cessation of all community team sports during this period, which applies to Age Grade and Adult rugby activities below Championship and Premier 15s.

With effect from tomorrow, 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 can participate in socially distanced (two metres plus), individual training sessions outside without sharing equipment.

We will now review what the implications of this national lockdown plan mean for clubhouses, schools, colleges, universities, etc., and will provide more detailed information in the Covid-19 Community Game Update tomorrow.

In addition, we would like to advise that the RFU Competitions Team is working with the Competitions Organising Committees for Men and Women to finalise alternative competitions models in place of the cancelled 2020/21 league programme. These will be entirely optional for clubs and will have no impact on promotion/relegation. They will focus on local cluster leagues and offer a framework for clubs to Return to Play (in some format once we have government approval to do so). It is intended to circulate these proposals, inviting clubs to participate, on Friday 13 November.

Last night (31st Oct) the Prime Minister announced new lockdown restrictions which are due to come in to force on Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December.

The Government has published guidance on the new restrictions, which you can read on the link below.

Over the next few days we will be seeking clarification on what these restrictions mean for team sports and we will provide a full update in next Tuesday’s CGU. In the meantime, local restrictions apply and we remain at Stage D in the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.

We will continue to work with Government to enable a return to play in some form as soon as it is safe to do so. We are also looking at models for a replacement competitive programme for Men and Women based on local clusters, with no obligation on clubs to participate and no consequences for deciding not to do so. Any local cluster competition would not be used to determine League positions for the 2021/22 season. This would be an optional competition structure that may include a knock-out competition at the end of the 2020/21 season. The exact format and regulations governing any such competitions would be approved by the Governance Standing Committee.

For rugby clubs the relevant messages from last night’s Government announcement include:

Stay at home

This means from next Thursday 5 November you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. These include:

To exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place - with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household.

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include:

Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.

Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;

Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.

New Restrictions

The RFU Council has today made the difficult decision to cancel the Adult Competitive Leagues (Level 3 and below for Men, Level 2 and below for Women) for the 2020/21 season. We believe that, even if a return to full contact rugby becomes possible, playing a meaningful competitive league season resulting in promotion and relegation is no longer feasible.

Given the Government’s additional restrictions to curb the increase in Covid-19 cases in locations across the country, and growing concerns around travelling significant distances outside immediate localities to fulfil fixtures due to increased risk of transmission, the decision has been made now so we can provide clubs with some certainty for the remainder of the season.

The Championship remains on course to start in January 2021, with this league subject to Government’s Elite Return to Play protocols.

What rugby can we play?

We have been in daily contact with Government about moving towards some form of contact rugby that will enable as many matches to take place as possible.

Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director, said; “We are very keen to see competitive rugby being played again and have been pushing extremely hard to accelerate a return to contact rugby. However, we also need to be realistic about the prevalence of Covid-19 cases in society and, given the introduction of further regional restrictions, we are working with Government to create alternative solutions.

“Progress has been made following productive conversations with DCMS and the Office of the Deputy Chief Medical Officer who have shown a willingness to work with the RFU to explore other available options.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "I know that today's decision from the RFU will be disappointing to players and fans across the country however protecting people's health is absolutely paramount. The government is continuing to work closely with the RFU on ways in which we can bring the competitive, community game back in some form ahead of a return to full contact as soon as the public health situation allows."

Steve Grainger added: “While many people have looked forward to contact rugby returning, we are receiving more and more feedback from clubs and players that adaptations would be acceptable. There is an increasing appetite to play an adapted format of rugby rather than having no fixtures at all.

“We will do everything we can to enable the rugby community to return to contact matches as soon as we can, but our priority is to keep players, coaches, referees and volunteers safe. We will provide an update to our community clubs as soon as we can. We would like to once again thank everyone for their incredible efforts in implementing the necessary changes and for their continued support in keeping formats of rugby going during this challenging season.”

For the current time we remain at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.

To all Somerset clubs

Dear Club members and representatives

Adult Male Future Competitions Plan

Please find a short Questionnaire here regarding the above which was recently issued by the RFU about the review into the structure of the game which has been ongoing for some time as I’m sure you are aware (the plan can be found here).

The County Representative, Mr Steve Mead, will be taking part in a meeting of RFU Council Members in the near future at which it will be decided whether to endorse these changes. As these are a major revamp of the way in which Community Rugby will be played it was felt that as much feedback from Member Clubs would be welcome regarding your views on these proposals.

Can I ask that as many people involved in your Club are circulated and asked to respond to me in order that the County Committee have as clear a view of Member Clubs opinion of these changes in order to help to decide the County’s response.

Can replies be emailed to me at nick.robins@somersetrfu.co.uk by no later than Friday 11th September 2020 please.

Your input will be very much appreciated on this substantial change in the way our wonderful sport is played for many years to come.

Thank you

Nick Robins
Chair Somerset RFC Competitions Committee

Somerset RFU

The Somerset CB currently has the following volunteer vacancies on their committee:-

  • Treasurer

For more details and a full job description for any of these roles please contact the County secretary Gareth Chew.

Message to clubs

Dear all

First and foremost I hope that you have all managed to stay safe in these extraordinary times and have been looking after each other whenever you have been able.

Although the season has been brought to an end prematurely by this awful coronavirus pandemic, it is now fully concluded. However, season over or not, I want to re-assure you that we are here and we are very happy for you to contact us for help and advice; a small committee has been working throughout the lockdown to manage and circulate funds where needed.

The County rugby union now looks toward its AGM, the date and details of which will be sent to you via your club secretary, which will very likely be an online meeting. Please make the time to take part and put the date in your diary, once it is confirmed.

This brings me nicely to the core of my message and it's a simple one . . . As we move forward please keep safety at the forefront of all you do, much as we love the game, your own health and wellbeing, together with those of your family and your communities, are key; so please be careful and keep each other safe.

Many messages have been circulated of the funds available for clubs from the RFU, County and other charitable sources, but if you are not aware of what is available, please contact us as soon as possible - we will help your club in anyway we can.

Continue to stay safe

Yours sincerely

Mark Hawkes
President
Somerset Rugby Football Union

Somerset CB Covid 19 Club Funding

The CB has set up an emergency funding committee to look at helping clubs financially during the coronavirus outbreak with specific targeted grants.

Using the counties LRP funds together with matched grants from the RFU and the county's own reserves all voting member clubs* will have received a helping hand grant.

These grants are specifically to be used for the following:-

  • Rent/Lease (Building)
  • Water, Gas and /or electric bills
  • Broadband or Phone
  • TV subscription (If unable to suspend)
  • Buildings and/or Contents Insurance
  • Other Insurance
  • Equipment Rental
  • RFU/RFF Loan Repayments
  • Other Loan Repayments
  • Cleaning Contracts
  • Security/Alarm

If you have any questions please contact either me (gareth.chew@somersetrfu.co.uk) or the County Treasurer, Mike Wicks (mike.wicks@somersetrfu.co.uk)

Gareth Chew
County Secretary
Somerset RFU

*These payments exclude any club not eligible or under RFU sanctions for infringements of Reg 7 (Payment of Players)

Cross border fixtures

Dear Clubs

There has been a recent update to RFU Regulation 10 which includes an amendment to the approval process for ‘cross border fixtures’ for all senior and age grade teams. The new process for approval derives from a World Rugby regulation that requires a full record of such matches is maintained by the Union/CB when permission is given and that World Rugby can request those details. The good news is the amendment reduces the level of admin for all involved.

To support our clubs and to comply, Somerset RFU have created a form that must be completed by each club wishing to receive advanced approval for their teams to play cross border fixtures throughout the respective forthcoming season - click here for the form. The completed form must be submitted to me (gareth.chew@somersetrfu.co.uk) before 1st September each season, an annual reminder will be sent out in July.

Once approval has been granted the club will be required to submit the following detail, also to me, for all cross boarder matches before 10th May each season:

  • RFU (Somerset) Club
  • Date of Match
  • Venue (Home or Away)
  • Name of Club and which Union it is from (invariably it will be a Scottish (SRU) or Welsh (WRU) club
  • Details of teams involved (1st XV men, 2nd XV Women, U16s boys etc)
  • Result

Please note if fixtures include an overnight stay either the night before or after a game this is classed as a ‘tour’ which involves a separate application process which can be found on the County's safeguarding webpage - Click here

As we are already half way into this season we will take applications now for the remainder but match information will still need to be submitted before the 10th May 2020.

I will send this back out during July as a reminder.

Gareth Chew
County Secretary
Somrset RFU

For the attention of everyone playing and administrating rugby in Somerset

The purpose of representative rugby in Somerset is to provide further playing and development opportunities for players through representing their county . It is important to ensure that players find the experience rewarding while maintaining a balance between the demands of their education, other sports, participation in DPP or Academy programmes and minimising the disruption in club and school rugby.

Recent seasons have seen a number of changes to regulations and the delivery of representative programmes. It is the responsibility of those organising representative rugby to contribute to the discussions with competition organisers, schools, colleges and DPP staff to provide a comprehensive Calendar to submit to the RFU for approval in February each year.

Please download and read the guidance here, which provides clarity on the regulations, the key principles of the programmes and finance provided.

 

Half Game

The clearest message from young players is that they want to play alongside their friends as part of the team. That’s why from September 2018 England Rugby are asking all its Age Grade clubs, schools and colleges to make sure everyone in a match day squad gets to play at least half the game time available.

The half game rule is being introduced voluntarily in England and follows successful implementation in New Zealand and Wales and a trial in local club and school competitions in England last year. This voluntary year will help prepare for mandatory introduction from September 2019.

To see how you can use half game in your club, school or college, please see our top tips and FAQ’s below:

Top 10 tips poster

Frequently asked questions

Want to shout that you are using half game at your club, school or college? Please download any of the posters and social media footers below.

Posters

Poster 1 club  - Poster 2 -Poster 3 - Poster 4 schools

Editable poster 1 (club) - Editable poster 2 - Editable poster 3 - Editable poster 4 (school)

Images for social media

Social media post 1 - Social media post 2 (school) - Social media post 3 (club) - Social media post 4 - Social media post 5

Email footers

Email footer (GENERAL) - Email footer (club) - Email footer (school)

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

As the national governing body for rugby union in England and operator of Twickenham Stadium, we’re committed to protecting your personal data and handling it responsibly, fairly and transparently in order to safeguard all aspects of the game of rugby.

With the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) coming into force on Friday 25 May 2018, we’ve updated our Privacy Notices to give our fans, players, volunteers and other participants more information about what we do with personal data and the rights you have as an individual in relation to the data we hold on you.

The following Privacy Notices available explain what data is used and why.

As the national governing body for rugby union in England and operator of Twickenham Stadium, we’re committed to protecting your personal data and handling it responsibly, fairly and transparently in order to safeguard all aspects of the game of rugby.

 

 

Women and girls rugby in Somerset

Women’s rugby at representative & development level is managed by Senior Rugby. The contact is Steve Arnold ( steve.arnold@somersetrfu.co.uk). Girl’s representative & development rugby at under 15 & U 18 level (the two recognised representative groups) are managed by age grade rugby. The contact for age grade is Jason Wheatley (jason.wheatley@somersetrfu.co.uk).

Our community rugby section supports all club rugby.

Injury Reporting

Following several calls regarding the reporting of injuries, please refer to the RFU web site on ‘Injury Reporting’ http://www.englandrugby.com/rugbysafe/injury-reporting

The RFU recommend that all clubs, schools and organisations that run rugby activity keep a record any incidents both on and off the pitch. On the pitch it is good practice to provide first aiders with a book in which to record incidents that required their attendance.

The information kept can help identify injury and incident trends and possible areas for improvement in the control of health and safety risks. It can also be used for reference in future risk assessments.

This record book is not the same as the statutory accident book required under the H&SAW Regulations, though the two can be combined.

Reportable Injury Events

These are defined as:

• An injury which results in the player being admitted to a hospital (this does not include those that attend an Accident or Emergency Department and are allowed home from there).

• Deaths which occur during or within 6 hours of a game finishing.

Clubs and schools are also required to report injuries in which artificial grass pitches or equipment such as sports goggles are involved.

Somerset Rugby  

"Aims and philosophy for Senior representative rugby teams"

Men’s County 1st XV :-

Selected from those eligible to represent the county at the highest level. Giving players who want the opportunity an environment which is special to play in with others and be the very best they can be whilst wearing the traditional "Hoops" of Somerset.

This team is selected by county selectors who invite players to attend training, development sessions, watch them at the clubs they represent and subsequently choose a "first team" that compete in the county championship.

Woman's County 1st XV :-

For developing and emerging female rugby players, this team is open to all who want to be the best they can be and have a desire to represent their County. Players who are eligible and attend county development days and training sessions will have the opportunity to be selected to represent this side.

A team that has no pressure other than that applied by the players themselves and one where all receive something new. A non RFU funded or pathway side. Players will however from this team have the opportunity to trial if selected at the RFU Senior Academy trials.

Men’s County Development XV :-

For developing and emerging rugby players

A team that is open to all who want to be the very best they can be and have a desire to represent their County. Players who are eligible and attend "county development days" and training sessions will have the opportunity to be selected to represent this side.

A team that has no pressure other than that applied by the players themselves and one where all receive something new. A non RFU funded side. A team that to date can say 14 of its players have gone on to play  County 1st XV rugby in the County Championship.

We are proud that this group of players all wore the county age grades shirts and all can be very very proud of their achievements in the past season.

We at the County look forward to discovering what the future holds for these gentlemen and ladies and those who are, and will be, proudly wearing their county's shirt at whatever level - better never stops!

Marlie Packer

Ollie Hayes

Freddy Burns

Nathan Catt

Kane Palma-Newport

Jack Cuthbert

Chris Cook

Olly Woodburn

Guy Mercer

Caryl Thomas

Danielle Waterman

Yann Thomas

Dave Ward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook

See our Community Rugby page for links to tackle coaching clips , which should be useful to your clubs and schools, along with a link to the new RFU training courses for 2018-19 . . . as well as important news and information on safeguarding for all local clubs

Somerset RFU

Annual Report 2019-20

Somerset Vacancies

Somerset RFU - Treasurer

Click here for vacancy details

Age Grade Playing Calendar

The RFU Age Grade Playing Calendar provides a model that supports inclusivity of players, guards against over/underplaying and limits conflict, maintaining choice for players to play with their peer groups. Further information about the playing calendar can be found here.


Click here to download the guide

Somerset courses
In Touch

In Touch , the newsletter of the RFU SW Player Development Pathwayis available here

Social Media

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay and everyone should understand its benefits and pitfalls. Somerset County Rugby Football Union (SCRFU) is keen to promote the safe, responsible use of this technology.

Together with making its members aware of the potential risks and to share best practice, SRFU has produced the following guidance which we believe will be of interest to experts and casual users alike.

SCRFU Social Media guidelines

Facility Improvement and Tax Newsletter - No 7
This England Rugby Newsletter provides community sports clubs with updates on the tax issues impacting facility improvement projects. Get it here
Somerset Rugbee The Movie

The RFUs Positional Skills Handbook is available here

The county now has an on line kit shop so you can order directly through Webb Ellis. Training wear,replica shirts etc.