Somerset County Rugby Football Union Limited Est. 1875

. . . Somerset RFU . . .

Papa Johns Men's Counties 1 (South)
Shield Final

Midsomer Norton RFC beat Ashford RFC in the Papa Johns Men's Counties 1 (South) Shield Final at Shaftesbury Park, Bristol on the 12th May 2024. The score was 39-38 and secured only in the last minute by a penalty.

Congratulations from all at Somerset County RFU on such a fine win!

Webb Ellis Somerset Cup Final

       Chew Valley 35 - 24 University of Bath

The final, held at Yatton RFC in front of a large crowd on Saturday 27 April 2024, proved to be a contrasting clash of styles and halves. Both teams contested the match fiercely and fairly throughout, with the spectacle appreciated and admired by everyone who saw it.

The University scored an early try after 5 minutes rather against the run of play following a mistake by Chew however this score went unconverted. Chew responded quickly through a couple of penalties which were slotted home by full back Tom Bryan and then scored their first 5 pointer with Bryan adding the extras to that also. Another three tries followed in the half for Chew of which just one was converted as they dominated up front with the University eight struggling to wrestle the initiative back to bring the score to 30 - 5 to Chew Valley.

The University side regrouped during the interval and came out determined to get back into it playing a more expansive game. The revised strategy paid off and they scored the next three tries with two conversions to leave the last ten minutes or so balanced on a bit of a knife edge at 30 points to 24. Chew regained their composure and put the pressure back on through their dominance up front and duly won a couple of penalties which the reliable Bryan gratefully converted to ensure the win by 35 - 24 at the end.

Chew Scorers - Harry Stride (wing) 3 tries, Jack Monk (hooker) 1 try, Tom Bryan (full back) 3 penalties and 3 conversions

Top, a jubilant Chew Valley side. Above Chew Captain Dan Gratton (left) and player of the match Tom Bryan (right) receiving their awards from Somerset's Neil Prescott

Click image(s) for a larger version

John Williams

SCRFU sadly records the loss of former President, John Williams , who passed away recently after illness. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family.

John filled a number of roles in his club, Crewkerne RFC, the County and the RFU South West Division, culminating in election as Somerset RFU County President from 2007-2009.

He will be missed by all his family and friends , as well as so many in the rugby community.

The funeral is on Friday May 10th at Yeovil Crematorium at 12.40pm.

Andy Crocker

SCRFU also sadly record the sudden loss of Andy Crocker. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family.

Andy was involved as a player and coach with several local clubs including Chew Valley, Bristol Harlequins and Bristol Barbarians. He retired from Avon, Fire & Rescue in 2023 and will be sadly missed by his family and all who knew him.

The funeral is at South Bristol Crematorium on Thursday 9th May.

Congratulations Morganians RFC Tribute Team of the Month

Morganians RFC being presented with their Team Of The Month award by Somerset's Nick Robins.

Click image for a larger version

Men's RFU League Structure 2023/24
League Deadline, Unplayed Fixtures & Papa Johns Men's Community Cups

Adverse weather conditions during the winter months have left some teams with games to play that may take them beyond the scheduled end of season date of the 6th April.

The RFU Adult Competitions Management Committee, in conjunction with organising committees for the Mens RFU Leagues, met earlier this this week to agree a process for managing the situation.

With the Men’s Papa Johns Community Cup starting after the league season the Committee are focussed on causing minimal impact for clubs competing in the Cup, whilst also trying not to negatively impact completion of the league season.

The following conditions will be applied for the remainder of the season:

  1. Teams not competing in the Men’s Papa Johns Community Cup are able to play league matches after the league completion date of the 6th April. Your organising committee will schedule matches accordingly, which will appear in your fixture list on the RFU website.
  2. Teams will be given the opportunity to play on Easter Weekend, which was previously a break weekend in the season. If the fixture is not played on this weekend organising committees reserve the right to allow fixtures to be played after the 6th April. If this isn’t possible any outstanding fixtures will be determined by an approved methodology.
  3. If a team withdraws from the Papa Johns Community Cup, they can play league fixtures that may affect promotion/relegation after the deadline.

Understandably, these conditions will not suit all teams, but after exploring the potential the options, the Committee believe this is the most equitable process to conclude the season.

Terry Burwell – Chair of RFU Adult Competition Management Sub-Committee (ACMSC)
Paul O’Leary – RFU National Competitions Manager

Congratulations Wyvern RFC Tribute Team of the Month

Wyvern RFC being presented with their Team Of The Month award by Somerset's Nick Robins.

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More match and training balls delivered as as part of the sponsorship from St Austell Breweries

The match and training balls being presented by Somerset's Alison Bennett to Castle Cary RFC's Karen Travers (on the left) and Frome RFC's Roger Gilson (on the right).

Click image for a larger version

Somerset Discipline: Match Official Abuse escalation

Somerset Rugby Football Union Disciplinary Committee is extremely concerned regarding the number of cases of Match Official Abuse already reported to the Panel this season.

Abuse of Match Officials (including non-appointed/volunteer touch judges) on and off the field is totally unacceptable and shall not be tolerated.

As we are sure you are aware, there is a desperate shortage of match officials to cover all the matches played across Somerset. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the Referees’ Society to not only recruit new members but also to retain current members, and abuse of officials (from players and spectators) is given as one of the causes of this.

Referees and non appointed /volunteer touch judges freely give up their time throughout the rugby season because of their love and support for the game and to ensure that rugby can be played for the enjoyment of players and spectators. Naturally, we should all be encouraging and supporting our Match Officials at every opportunity, as without them there would be no rugby! This support must come from players, coaches and spectators alike – you have a responsibility for the behaviour of all your members.

With this in mind, for all Proven cases involving Match Official Abuse arising from matches on or after 1 September 2023, the Somerset Disciplinary Panel will consider a minimum automatic aggravation of 2 weeks (1 match for Age Grade under 18 & below) over and above the RFU Sanctions and will enforce appropriately severe sanctions against spectators and or clubs in respect of Match Official abuse by spectators or non playing members of clubs.

Clubs are reminded that they should ensure that abuse to match officials does not take place and must take all necessary steps to prevent this.

Alison Bennett
Somerset CB Discipline Chair

Presentation of Tribute match and training balls to Bridgwater after their Somerset Cup fixture against Wellington.

(left to right) - Bill Sherwin DOR Wellington, Gareth Hodgson Chair Wellington, Danny Lee 1st Capt Wellington, Nicholas Robins SCRFU Chair of Competitions, Mike Berry President Bridgwater and former Treasurer SCRFU & President & Andy Terry Asst Physio Wellington.

Click image for a larger version

Recruit and Retain funding returns

We are happy to confirm that Somerset RFU are once again offering financial support to clubs for Recruit and Retain projects to help support clubs in recruiting members to the club both on or off the pitch. It is rewarding to hear of the projects that clubs have undertaken in the past and feedback received supports the benefit of this funding to assist clubs.

Projects this season are able to receive a maximum of £500 towards the costs involved and it is a simple process to follow.

Successful projects in the past have included open days with a barbecue, leaflet drop, newspaper and radio advertising, community activity, summer touch rugby evening, walking rugby social event, adopt a colt day, summer fair, sponsored marathon rugby game.

The application form and invoice template have been sent to all Club Secretaries so get in touch with your club to discuss a suitable project but should you have any questions please contact alison.bennett@somersetrfu.co.uk

Good luck with identifying different and fun ways of increasing your club membership and volunteers to involve more people in the game we love!

Alison Bennett
Chair Somerset CB Club Development

Congratulations Herbie!

At Twickenham in August, Herbie Davies was presented with the RFU Volunteer Award as nominated by SCRFU for outstanding services to the County for over 70 years. We think it is fair to say that he enjoyed himself . . . Congratulations Herbie!

Congratulations to all Somerset Junior Cup winners 2023

Hornets U18s

Chew Valley U16s

Keynsham U15s

Taunton U14s

Click images for a larger version

Joint Statement by
D&W RFU and Somerset RFU Council Members

The recent vote by Council to lower the tackle height to reduce head impact injury has caused considerable and understandable comment from the Game, so we have put together a summary for you.

The summary can be found here.

Playing Out of Age Grade applications

Please find below all the links for POoAG (Playing Out of Age Grade) applications via the new online system.

At any other time of the week then please 'submit a help request' via the GMS HELP PORTAL

Congratulations to the Somerset senior men’s team who beat Staffordshire 36-20 in the RFU’s Bill Beaumont division 2 county championship final on Saturday (4th June) at Twickenham.

1. Ricky Cano (Clifton)
2. Kieran Ward (Hornets)
3. Ellis Joseph (Reds)
4. George Smith (Reds)
5. Henry Harper (Clifton)
6. Jamie Collier (Reds)
7. Sam Taylor (Reds)
8. Brett Harvey (Taunton) (c)
9. Mitch Spencer (Clifton) (c)
10. Ash Groves (Reds)
11. Don Farmer (Reds)
12. Danny Bailey (Hornets)
13. Rob Dempsey (Hornets)
14. Ozzy James (Hornets)
15. Charlie Carter (Hornets)
16. Callum Lane (Hornets)
17. Alec Chase (Hornets)
18. Lionel Appleton (Dings)
19. Hallam Chapman (Taunton)
20. Hayden Tuttiet (Hornets)
21. Huw Morgan (WSM)
22. Andy Butler (Reds)
TR. Alex Harvey (Reds)
TR. Josh Lloyd (Hornets)
TR. Henry Burke (Chew Valley)


We would also like thank the coaching staff, physio’s, sponsors for their support and the travelling supporters who made the long trip to HQ.

We are delighted to be able to share the official photo's from last weekend thanks to Leo Wilkinson Photography. These are free to download - click here.

Bill Beaumont County Championships
Somerset v Eastern Counties 22nd May 2022

Somerset needed one point from this game at Veritas Park, Taunton, to ensure their place at Twickenham on Finals Day of the Bill Beaumont County Championship on 4th June to contest the Division2 Play-off, and by the 11th minute into the game they had secured their bonus point with their fourth converted try, such was the pace and determination of their opening salvoes.

Eastern Counties were blown away by the early pressure exerted by the cider men and by half time the score line stood at 47-7 with the home side having scored seven tries, with six converted by the immaculate Ash Groves and Eastern Counties only able to counter the deluge with a converted try of their own through Margetts with Button adding the extras.   The Somerset scorers were two by skipper Brett Harvey, two by Dave Farmer, and one each by Henry Harper, Mitch Spencer and Rob Cano. The Counties lacked bite in their tackling and were leaving such tempting gaps for the Somerset boys to exploit that the relieving half time whistle offered some respite. 

Whatever the Counties coaches had to say during the interval galvanised their team into some much more spirited play and within 10 minutes of the restart they had scored two tries through their speedy wingman Shields, both converted by Button, and their spirits clearly rose to say nothing of their tails. This spurt proved to be something of a false dawn, however, and as the game moved on and with Counties visibly beginning to wilt, Somerset began to turn the screw once more, scoring four more tries through Brett Harvey and Dave Farmer once more, with Charlie Carter grabbing a couple of his own, Groves converting two, and bringing the curtain down on an interesting if slightly one-sided and disjointed game.  

Somerset will no doubt be lifted by their performance and will be gratified to have put together a useful squad of players to move on to their next challenge. 

Report by Dick Macey

Bill Beaumont County Championships
Somerset v Dorset & Wiltshire 14th May 2022

On a sun-drenched afternoon at the Veritas Stadium, Taunton, the Somerset County XV took on near neighbours, Dorset & Wiltshire, in a division 2 fixture in the Bill Beaumont County Championship Division 2, emerging worthy winners after an intense and absorbing game of rugby. Whilst never hitting the heights in terms of skill this was a game where both sides endeavoured to grind down their opponents with the one offering the least number of errors likely to emerge as the victors and so it proved.

The first quarter of the game saw some end-to-end play with neither side able to claim the notch on the board until 20 minutes in Ash Groves, the cider men's busy and effective outside half touched down and then converted after an excellent forward drive. Dorset and Wilts then decided to join proceedings scoring two tries through Dan Hale and Tom Stewart, one converted by Sam Baker, to get their noses in front. A penalty goal from Groves followed by a try by the excellent Sam Taylor, converted by Groves then saw Somerset assert some authority to close out the half 17-12 in front.

The second session saw the home side gradually stamp their mark on proceedings, scoring a penalty goal through Groves and a long-range drop goal from Hayden Tuttiett, to lengthen their lead and then to add further to the D&W woes by scoring tries through Mitch Spencer and rounding it off with a touch down by Jamie Collier. A consolation try scored for Dorset by Scott Douglas rounded off the game with two very weary sides grateful for the whistle marking the closing with the score 33-19 to Somerset.

Referee: James Milliner-Woodcock.
Report by Dick Macey

Congratulations Megan and Esme!

Congratulations to Megan Wynne (Bath Ladies) on being appointed as captain for this seasons Women's County XV and Esme Bird (St. Mary’s Old Boys) on her appointment as vice captain in the team. Both have demonstrated fantastic leadership throughout this and previous seasons and will have great success in their roles.

If you would like the opportunity to train or represent the county in the upcoming ladies season please email ladiesxv@somersetrfu.co.uk

Somerset 30 - 15 Oxfordshire

Congratulations to the County u18 Boy's with a win at Hartpury against Oxfordshire. This was their first fixture in the South West Counties u18 series as the pre-Christmas game v Devon was called off at the last minute due to Covid.

Great effort fella's - Well done!

Somerset Team Mates Star in Allianz Premier 15s

The first Saturday of the Allianz Premier15s in 2021 saw four recent former Somerset U18s playing in the same match, Florence Long and Charlotte Wright Haley for Worcester Warriors Women and Jess Cooksey and Jess Dadds for Darlington Mowden Park. All were teammates for both their club, Winscombe, and Somerset U18s only a couple of seasons ago.

Jess Cooksey playing for DMP tackling World Cup winner Heather Fisher

On the same day across the AP15s from the same vintage Lucy Burgess and Amy Cole turned out for and Bristol and, only a couple of years their senior, Chantelle Miel represented Saracens.

Left to right: Iona Antwis, Jess Cooksey, Florence Long and Ellie Febrey - taken last year after they represented England U20s v USA at Loughborough

Overall, recent Somerset Alumnae have excelled. Lucy Burgess and Chantelle Miel have represented England at Sevens. Jess Cooksey, Iona Antwis, Flo Long and Ellie Mulhearn have played for England at U20s level. Iona is currently injured but has played for Loughborough lightning and all are current AP15s regulars, as are El Febrey and Sophie Phillips who play for Worcester and Bristol espectively.

Lilliana Podpadec (Winscombe) plays for Cardiff University and has captained the Emerging Wales v Emerging England team. Evie Roach, Amy Godwin, Olivia Ball , Esme Bird, Lois Bird, Robin Price, Gabby Gower, Beth Wyatt and Sophie Peters have all been part of either the Bristol Bears Women, Gloucester Hartpury WRFC or Exeter Chiefs Women squads and most have played in the Prem 15s. Additionally a total of 15 others are playing for their universities in the top divisions of the BUCS competition. Robin, Esme, Lois and Abby Sowerby now play for Bath Ladies in the Championship.

Whilst these are challenging times for all female rugby players in Somerset, everyone from U13 to U18 can take inspiration from those young women now playing at the highest level who so recently pulled on the Somerset jersey as U18s with pride.

We would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to all the clubs and coaches who have developed and inspired these young players during their formative years - we thank you all!

Alison Bennett & Paul Cox
Somrset RFU

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.

Our community rugby section supports all club rugby.

Injury Reporting

Following several calls regarding the reporting of injuries, please refer to the RFU Rugby Safe Page

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

Somerset RFU Handbook 2023/24

See our Community Rugby page for links to the most recent Community Game Updates and RFU Club Support Centre
Discipline Secretaries - See our Discipline page for updated information

Somerset Vacancies

Somerset RFU - Divisional Representitives

Somerset RFU - Age Grade Chair

Somerset RFU - Treasurer

Somerset RFU - Safeguarding assistants

Click here for vacancy details

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