Somerset County Rugby Football Union Limited Est. 1875

. . . Somerset RFU . . .

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The last 12 months have been unlike any other and have seen the rugby landscape change considerably. During these challenging times, when we haven’t been able to come together, our community game has continued to show its support for local communities as well as creating innovative solutions to continue to connect with members and deliver in different ways.

To recognise the exceptional work that has gone into keeping not only rugby clubs going, but also helping local communities during this unprecedented time, this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards will focus on three national categories.

• Resilience in Rugby Volunteer Award This award is to recognise those who have gone above and beyond to support their club and maintain engagement with members to help them stay happy, healthy and connected.

• Beyond Rugby Volunteer Award This award is to recognise those who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic to support and unite their local community.

• Diversity & Inclusion Volunteer Award This award is to recognise those who have championed diversity and inclusion at their club and helped to grow the game.

If you would like to recognise a volunteer, or a group of volunteers, who have gone above and beyond in the last year, please nominate them before midnight on Sunday 2 May.

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Return to rugby roadmap: Community Game

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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

Following Government’s national lockdown announcement to counter the steep rise in Covid-19 infections, all community rugby activity in England is suspended until further notice.

In line with current Government policy, all adult and age grade rugby training and fixtures must stop. This means we return to Stage A on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap for all players. Outdoor organised sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.

Community rugby includes all levels below the Greene King IPA Championship (scheduled to restart in March) and the Allianz Premier 15s and Gallagher Premiership, which follow elite sport return protocols.

Click here for a summary of what is and isn’t allowed during the national lockdown. The new restrictions become law on Wednesday 6 January, but people should follow them as of now.

There is an exemption in place that allows elite sports people (and their coaches if necessary, or parents/guardians if they are under 18) - or those on an official elite sports pathway - to compete and train.

Indoor gyms and sports facilities will remain closed. Outdoor sports venues, including rugby clubs, outdoor gyms, tennis courts, golf courses, swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting arenas and riding arenas must close.

What exercise can I do?

People can only leave their home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure.

You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person from outside your household, or with your household or support bubble.

This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You should maintain social distancing while exercising.

Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place including:

  • parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • the grounds of a heritage site
  • playgrounds

While this is not the way we hoped to start 2021, we all need to play our part and strictly adhere to Government guidance over the next few weeks. This will help to protect our communities and to enable the vaccine to be as effective as possible, so we can all begin to return to a more normal way of life, including rugby, in the coming months.

We would like to thank you all once again for your commitment and resilience in the face of adversity. We appreciate the support you have provided for your rugby communities and thank you for your understanding during the toughest of times, for the sport and society as a whole.

We will continue to monitor guidance and to progress negotiations with Government to finalise plans for release of financial support from the Winter Sport Survival Package.

If you have any queries, please visit our Coronavirus advice & support page or contact

Online training sessions for age grade players (and adults if wished!)

A reminder of online training sessions run by England Rugby for age grade players during November’s lockdown can be found below. These sessions can also help young players to stay active at home during these latest restrictions.

‘Get Your Shirt On’ is a series of workout sessions led by former England players and aimed at the 6-18 age grades. Ugo Monye, Danielle Waterman and Danny Care have taken it in turn to put viewers through their paces.

With community rugby currently at Stage A on the Return to Rugby Roadmap, it’s important for players to continue to stay active, even if it’s from home.

Week One Ugo Monye

Week Two Nolli Waterman

Week Three Danny Care

In line with yesterday's Government announcement all community rugby activity must now be suspended with immediate effect as we go back into a full lockdown.

Further information will follow as soon as we receive it from Twickenham, in the mean time please check

Latest government info can be found here:

Gareth Chew
County Secretary
Somrset 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:

Gareth Chew
County Secretary
Somrset RFU

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 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
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 ( or the County Treasurer, Mike Wicks (

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 ( 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.


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 ( 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 (

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’

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











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 Vacancies

Somerset RFU - Diversity & Inclusion Lead

Somerset RFU - Age Grade Chair

Somerset RFU - Treasurer

Click here for vacancy details

Somerset RFU

Annual Report 2019-20

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.