Somerset County Rugby Football Union Limited Est. 1875

. . . Somerset RFU . . .

 
Distribution list: Thursday 24 September
Constituent Bodies Chairs, Constituent Bodies Honorary Secretaries, Constituent Bodies Treasurers,
Club Presidents, Chairs, Honorary Secretaries, Treasurers
 
 
Coronavirus (Covid-19) update
This week’s edition of the Covid-19 Community Game Update has been delayed from Tuesday to provide up to date information on the revised coronavirus guidelines announced by the Government this week.

Most importantly, we have provided an update on the decision made today to delay the return to competitive play for the 2020/21 season until January 2021 at the earliest.

You may also want to read RFU CEO Bill Sweeney’s statement, issued on Tuesday, regarding the financial impact on the RFU and the wider game if matches at Twickenham Stadium are played behind closed doors. Read Bill Sweeney's statement.

Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access coronavirus information and updates here.

Past editions of these weekly updates can be found on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.
 
 
RFU Headlines
Return to competitive play in 2020/21 season delayed to January 2021 earliest
Under powers delegated by Council, the RFU Governance Committee today made a difficult decision that, with the exception of Premiership, Championship and Premier 15s rugby, no organised* RFU or non-RFU Leagues including merit tables, adult or age grade competitions will be played before January 2021 at the earliest.

With the increased uncertainly caused by Government’s additional restrictions to curb the increase in Covid-19 cases across the country, the decision has been made so that we can provide clubs with some certainty over the next few months.

The rugby community can continue to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby and other touch rugby activity. Limited and restricted contact rugby training can also be continued.

The RFU continues to be in active dialogue with government about moving to Stage E on the Roadmap should we reach this point at any time before Christmas, competitive friendly matches could commence.

The Adult and Age Grade Competitions Groups will be making recommendations to Governance on what they can do to ensure that any competitions from January are meaningful, including whether to make changes to the structured season.

Governance also agreed that any decision to suspend promotion and relegation for the 2020/21 season would be referred to Council once the nature of the competitions is known.

Further guidance will be provided in due course to support clubs, schools, colleges and universities in playing to the relevant stage of the appropriate Roadmap stage.

Jeff Blackett, RFU President, comments: “We are very keen to see competitive rugby being played again. However, given the introduction of further restrictions to curb the increase in Covid-19 cases, we will not be able to move to Stage F on the Roadmap until a later date. This announcement gives clubs clarity over the immediate term to help them with their planning. We will continue to liaise with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Public Health England to accelerate a return to competitive play as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Although social gatherings of more than six people were banned in England from Monday 14 September and a number of local lockdown restrictions put in place in some areas of the country, the Government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue. With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, we continue at Stage D on the Roadmap.

Clubs in areas where additional local lockdown measures have been introduced may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions. All are advised to consult with their local authority should they be in any doubt.

*Organised competition in this instance includes any competition organised by the RFU, its delegated competition organising committees, or any other league or cup organiser.
Return To Play
 
 
 
Other important updates
Update regarding revised Covid-19 guidelines
In addition to local lockdown measures already in place, the Government announced further restrictions this week aimed at curbing the rise in coronavirus cases in England. Once we have fully assessed their impact, we will provide more detailed guidance to support clubs.

In the meantime, we wanted to highlight the following important changes to these guidelines, which you can read via the link below:

From today, Thursday 24 September:

• With the exception of those clubs impacted by restrictions already in place in local lockdown areas, in licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.
• Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site.
• The wearing of face masks is compulsory for bar staff and waiters. In addition, customers will need to wear a mask when inside a club, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
• Clubs selling food or drink must be closed between 10pm and 5am each day until further notice. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm.
• Clubs will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using the app rolled out nationally as an alternative to providing their contact details.

From Monday 28 September:

Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises Covid-19 Secure:

• Clubs must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
• Clubs must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.
• A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the Covid-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
Updated Guidelines
Local Restrictions
 
 
 
Local lockdown guidelines
Clubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with their local authorities.

We are advised that unless local restrictions specifically mention restrictions on team sports and/or rugby, clubs should follow the NGB guidelines. In all cases, clubs must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with Covid-19 secure guidance.

Spectators, including parents, must abide by the Rule of Six, as defined by the Government’s current advice on staying safe and social distancing, which you can read below.

This currently includes the following areas, however, clubs in each of the areas below need to be aware of the impact of any local restrictions applicable to their individual area. More information regarding the impact on each area is available in a detailed schedule via the link below.

Bolton
Leicester
Greater Manchester
Northampton
North East of England
North West of England
West Midlands
West Yorkshire

Clubs may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions and all are advised to consult with the local authority in which their facilities are located should they be in any doubt. Information regarding any new local lockdown restrictions will be posted on the Government website below.

We will provide an update to the game if there is any change in guidance to playing rugby union. You can read more information on the Government local lockdown updates.
Rule of Six
Local Restrictions
 
 
 
Handling positive Covid-19 cases
We continue to liaise with Public Health England (PHE) to seek additional clarity on the process and requirements for a club to follow in the event of a positive Covid-19 case within their club.

Currently, in the case where a positive test is a player, providing all rugby activities that the player participated in were within RFU Return to Community Rugby and Stage D guidelines, then there is no requirement for other players to self-isolate.

For any non-playing positive cases, e.g. spectators, the general Government guidance must be followed – see link below.

Further information will be published in due course. In the meantime, following a positive test, a representative from the club should contact the local PHE centre to inform them of the development and seek further advice. Clubs should also ensure that they have an appropriate risk assessment in place and are operating within Government and RFU guidelines for all facility usage and rugby activity.
Test And Trace Guidance
 
 
 
Community rugby - current status
Although social gatherings of more than six people were banned in England from Monday 14 September and a number of local lockdown restrictions have been put in place in some areas of the country, the Government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue. With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, we continue at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. The rugby community can continue to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby, which you can read more about in the link below, and other touch rugby activity.

Limited and restricted contact rugby training can also be continued. Details of the permitted training activity are available in the return to contact training guidance link below.

Clubs should continue to follow current guidance of no more than 20 players per half pitch in training.

RFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines must be followed.
Contact Guidance
Ready4Rugby
 
 
 
Webinars and podcasts
Eddie Jones Coaching Podcast
This week Joe Roff, Rugby World Cup winner and ex-Australia back, is featured on the Eddie Jones Coaching Podcast, and you can listen below.
Listen Now
 
 
 
Good Club Governance Webinar | Thursday 1 October at 7pm
The next webinar in the Club Support legal series with Irwin Mitchell will cover good club governance. During this event we will discuss what good governance looks like, as well as providing top tips for your club - you can register below.
Governance Webinar
 
 
 
Catch up on previous webinars
For those who want to catch up on previous webinars, these are available on the England Rugby website. Please click on the links below:

Club Webinars
Referee Webinars
Coach Webinars
 
 
 
Other news
Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance
A decision was handed down by the High Court last week in favour of policyholders in the FCA business interruption test case. The FCA brought the case on behalf of policy holders against 8 insurers to try to resolve the lack of clarity in business interruption claims due to Covid-19. The decision considers 21 different policy wordings and could help clubs making claims under business interruption insurance.

Following the recent judgement, clubs that have/had business interruption insurance and affected claims should have been contacted by their Insurance Broker / Insurer as to how they intend to respond to the judgment. If clubs have not heard then it would be worthwhile making contact. Please note that the test case was not intended to encompass all possible disputes, but to resolve some of the key contractual uncertainties and causation issues to provide clarity for policy holders and insurers.

There is a chance that the judgement will be appealed but this does not stop policy holders seeking to settle their claims with the insurer before the outcome of any appeal is known.

Please find a link below to a document that has been provided by Howdens that gives further detail and information regarding this judgement – however please note that clubs should make contact with their own insurer or insurance broker direct if they don't use Howdens.
Read Document
 
 
 
Rugby community doing great things
Today we highlight some of the activities that took place over the Pitch Up for Rugby Weekend when rugby returned to more than 300 clubs across the country.

In addition to clubs helping their communities, we are now highlighting on englandrugby.com: clubs’ self-help initiatives, as well as activities to improve diversity and inclusion at clubs.

Mitsubishi Motors in the UK are proud supporters of the rugby volunteers across England who make up an integral part of the game. Help us recognise your work by sharing your club and individual stories and videos with veemontebello@rfu.com or patriciamowbray@rfu.com.

Click below to find out more about the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme.
Pitch Up Weekend
Recognition Programme

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:-

  • Age Grade Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Discipline secretary

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

 

 

Webb Ellis Somerset County Women's Cup Final 2018/19

Bath Ladies 48 - 5 North Petherton Ladies

Hornets RFC

Bath Ladies Barbarians retained the Webb Ellis Somerset County Rugby Football Union Women’s Cup for a third successive season in a repeat of the 2018 final with a 48-5 victory North Petherton Ladies.

In a repeat of last year’s final, Pethy suffered an early set back when fly-half Stacey Saunders was sent to the sinbin allowing Bath to score two converted tries while their opponents were a player down. Bath went into the break 33-5 ahead after two tries from Nicole Jones plus one each from Laura Mahoney, Nina Edwards and Hannah Stephens plus four conversions from Sarah Holloway. Pethy’s reply, three minutes before the break came through a try from Megan Kitchen. After a slow start to the second half Bath increased their lead with a try from Ellen Witt and two more from Player of the Match Edwards.

After the match Somerset County Rugby Football Union President Mark Hawkes presented the medals to the match officials and both sets of players. Pethy skipper Gemma Thorne was presented with the runners-up Plate before Bath co-captains Sarah Holloway and Gemma Thorburn were presented with the Cup.

Congratulations also to Bath Ladies for being recently named the Women’s Team of the Year at the National Rugby Awards ceremony in the Rose Room at Twickenham.

Click images for larger version

For a full report on the match together with more images see the Womens Cup page

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 Mark Hawkes ( mark.hawkes@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, Age Grade Chair and Discipline Secretary

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.