HAMPSHIRE RUGBY

PRINCIPAL SPONSORS

 


         Made in Kings Heath Instagram Facebook Female Photography - Instagram PNG  logo | Instagram logo, Logo facebook, Facebook logo png

 
Distribution list: Tuesday 20 April

 
 
Return to Rugby
This edition includes:
1. Return to Play – one week until Stage D2
2. RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan applications – 11 May deadline
3. Adult Male Future Competition Structure from 2022/23 season
4. Payment of Players update
5. Mental Health support coming out of lockdown
6. Red Roses in Six Nations Final this Saturday
7. Webinars and on demand videos
 
 
Return to Play - Move to Stage D2 from 26 April
From Monday 26 April we will return to Stage D2 on the rugby roadmap, which includes contact fixtures with adapted laws. Please familiarise yourselves with the guidance below. A video is also available here.

Age Grade

This move to Stage D2 also applies to age grade rugby, from Monday 26 April until the end of the extended 2020-21 age grade season on Monday 31 May 2021.

From Tuesday 1 June, we move to the out-of-season period through June, July and August, when activity will follow the Summer Activity Framework. For details, see below.

Age Grade Changes
Summer Activity Guide
Summer Activity Overview
Stage D2 Age Grade Match Guidance

The next #AskAgeGrade session on @AgeGradeRugby will be hosted on Monday 3 May.

Current off-field guidance

Off-field guidance is available via our Help Desk FAQs below, in line with steps reached on the government’s roadmap.
Helpdesk FAQs
             
D2 Guidance
 
 
RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan Applications - Tuesday 11 May deadline
Clubs have until 5pm on Tuesday 11 May to submit an application for a Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund Asset Improvement Loan.

At 7pm on Wednesday 21 April, we are hosting a webinar to explain the opportunities this presents to clubs and how they can make an application.

Don’t miss out - make sure you register below.

The application form is available on our loans page below, alongside eligibility criteria and a number of documents that will help you through the end-to-end process.

Please read all documents before completing the application form.
Loans Page
               
Register
 
 
Adult Male Future Competition Structure from 2022/23 season
To support participation in the community game at Level 3 and below, the RFU Council has agreed changes to the adult male competitions structure.

This follows an intensive 18-month review to understand challenges within the existing competitions structure, current players’ needs and the format that will serve them best.

Below you can read why these changes have been made and find the summary of new measures to be implemented from 2022/23, which follow four core principles: putting player welfare/needs at the forefront of decisions, minimising travel, ensuring a high quality of player experience and supporting club sustainability.

Over the coming weeks members of the Community Game Board and Future Competitions Structure Group will hold Q&A sessions with clubs to provide clarity on what the changes will mean to them.

More detailed information regarding implementation and regulation will be communicated throughout the remainder of this season.
Why Changes
                               
Summary Of Measures
 
 
Payment of Players update
Following RFU Council’s vote on Friday, the below changes have been agreed to Payment of Players, Regulation 7.

1. The following changes to the thresholds at Level 3, 4 and 5 for season 2021-22. While clubs are able to pay above the threshold, if they do they will lose access to RFU Benefits as defined by Regulation 7. The revised thresholds are:

• Level 3 - £250,000 (down from £275,000)
• Level 4 - £125,000 (down from £157,500)
• Level 5 - £50,000 (down from £65,000)
• Level 6 – £0 - no change

2. All clubs at Level 8 and below and all non-voting clubs will only need to complete the declaration annually if they pay their players or player coaches and wish to be eligible for RFU Benefits.

3. There will be no requirement for Student clubs to complete the declaration annually unless the Student club plays in an RFU League at level 7 and above.

Any questions please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
 
 
Mental health support for the rugby community
For many of us, the end of lockdown has been highly anticipated, but for others it could be a difficult adjustment, especially for those who are more vulnerable to the virus or who have mental health concerns.

Being able to return to rugby clubs will provide a huge boost to people’s mental, as well as physical health. However, if any members would like to find further support on how to cope with anxiety caused by the pandemic, follow the link below to our healthcare partner, Simplyhealth.

More resources will be available as we build towards Mental Health Awareness week (10-16 May), when we will also share stories of how clubs are supporting their communities.

Let us know how your club supports mental wellbeing by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

More Information
 
 
Watch the Red Roses in the Six Nations Final
On Saturday, the Red Roses will take on France in the 2021 Women’s Six Nations Final.

Watch England as they battle to defend their Six Nations title live on BBC 2, with kick off at 2pm at the Twickenham Stoop.
 
 
Webinars & videos on demand
We have our previous CoachingRefereeing, and Club webinars on-demand, alongside those coming up below.

Webinar: Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund – Introduction to Asset Improvement Loans
The RFU has launched the RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan programme. This webinar will explain the opportunities this presents to clubs and how they can make an application.

Date: Wednesday 21 April, 7pm-8pm.
Register

Mental Wellbeing – Keeping The Rugby Community Healthy - Wednesday 28th April - 7pm
As a follow up to our Player Mental Health Webinar, we will welcome RugbySafe Leads to a discussion about mental wellbeing, creating kinder cultures and spotting the signs of mental wellbeing issues in your clubs. We are joined again by, David Beeney, and former England Rugby captain Dylan Hartley. With the help of our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth we are putting player welfare at the heart of the game to keep the rugby community healthy.
Register

Mentoring Club - Building Rapport
In our latest Irwin Mitchell Mentoring Club webinar, Dusty Miller, Olympic coach mentor at the English Institute of Sport joined us for this webinar to discuss the process of making connections and building relationships that create rapport.
Register
 
 
Teamwork   Respect   Enjoyment  
Discipline   Sportsmanship
 
 
Distribution list: Tuesday 20 April

 
 
Return to Rugby
This edition includes:
1. Return to Play – one week until Stage D2
2. RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan applications – 11 May deadline
3. Adult Male Future Competition Structure from 2022/23 season
4. Payment of Players update
5. Mental Health support coming out of lockdown
6. Red Roses in Six Nations Final this Saturday
7. Webinars and on demand videos
 
 
Return to Play - Move to Stage D2 from 26 April
From Monday 26 April we will return to Stage D2 on the rugby roadmap, which includes contact fixtures with adapted laws. Please familiarise yourselves with the guidance below. A video is also available here.

Age Grade

This move to Stage D2 also applies to age grade rugby, from Monday 26 April until the end of the extended 2020-21 age grade season on Monday 31 May 2021.

From Tuesday 1 June, we move to the out-of-season period through June, July and August, when activity will follow the Summer Activity Framework. For details, see below.

Age Grade Changes
Summer Activity Guide
Summer Activity Overview
Stage D2 Age Grade Match Guidance

The next #AskAgeGrade session on @AgeGradeRugby will be hosted on Monday 3 May.

Current off-field guidance

Off-field guidance is available via our Help Desk FAQs below, in line with steps reached on the government’s roadmap.
Helpdesk FAQs
             
D2 Guidance
 
 
RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan Applications - Tuesday 11 May deadline
Clubs have until 5pm on Tuesday 11 May to submit an application for a Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund Asset Improvement Loan.

At 7pm on Wednesday 21 April, we are hosting a webinar to explain the opportunities this presents to clubs and how they can make an application.

Don’t miss out - make sure you register below.

The application form is available on our loans page below, alongside eligibility criteria and a number of documents that will help you through the end-to-end process.

Please read all documents before completing the application form.
Loans Page
               
Register
 
 
Adult Male Future Competition Structure from 2022/23 season
To support participation in the community game at Level 3 and below, the RFU Council has agreed changes to the adult male competitions structure.

This follows an intensive 18-month review to understand challenges within the existing competitions structure, current players’ needs and the format that will serve them best.

Below you can read why these changes have been made and find the summary of new measures to be implemented from 2022/23, which follow four core principles: putting player welfare/needs at the forefront of decisions, minimising travel, ensuring a high quality of player experience and supporting club sustainability.

Over the coming weeks members of the Community Game Board and Future Competitions Structure Group will hold Q&A sessions with clubs to provide clarity on what the changes will mean to them.

More detailed information regarding implementation and regulation will be communicated throughout the remainder of this season.
Why Changes
                               
Summary Of Measures
 
 
Payment of Players update
Following RFU Council’s vote on Friday, the below changes have been agreed to Payment of Players, Regulation 7.

1. The following changes to the thresholds at Level 3, 4 and 5 for season 2021-22. While clubs are able to pay above the threshold, if they do they will lose access to RFU Benefits as defined by Regulation 7. The revised thresholds are:

• Level 3 - £250,000 (down from £275,000)
• Level 4 - £125,000 (down from £157,500)
• Level 5 - £50,000 (down from £65,000)
• Level 6 – £0 - no change

2. All clubs at Level 8 and below and all non-voting clubs will only need to complete the declaration annually if they pay their players or player coaches and wish to be eligible for RFU Benefits.

3. There will be no requirement for Student clubs to complete the declaration annually unless the Student club plays in an RFU League at level 7 and above.

Any questions please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
 
 
Mental health support for the rugby community
For many of us, the end of lockdown has been highly anticipated, but for others it could be a difficult adjustment, especially for those who are more vulnerable to the virus or who have mental health concerns.

Being able to return to rugby clubs will provide a huge boost to people’s mental, as well as physical health. However, if any members would like to find further support on how to cope with anxiety caused by the pandemic, follow the link below to our healthcare partner, Simplyhealth.

More resources will be available as we build towards Mental Health Awareness week (10-16 May), when we will also share stories of how clubs are supporting their communities.

Let us know how your club supports mental wellbeing by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

More Information
 
 
Watch the Red Roses in the Six Nations Final
On Saturday, the Red Roses will take on France in the 2021 Women’s Six Nations Final.

Watch England as they battle to defend their Six Nations title live on BBC 2, with kick off at 2pm at the Twickenham Stoop.
 
 
Webinars & videos on demand
We have our previous CoachingRefereeing, and Club webinars on-demand, alongside those coming up below.

Webinar: Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund – Introduction to Asset Improvement Loans
The RFU has launched the RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan programme. This webinar will explain the opportunities this presents to clubs and how they can make an application.

Date: Wednesday 21 April, 7pm-8pm.
Register

Mental Wellbeing – Keeping The Rugby Community Healthy - Wednesday 28th April - 7pm
As a follow up to our Player Mental Health Webinar, we will welcome RugbySafe Leads to a discussion about mental wellbeing, creating kinder cultures and spotting the signs of mental wellbeing issues in your clubs. We are joined again by, David Beeney, and former England Rugby captain Dylan Hartley. With the help of our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth we are putting player welfare at the heart of the game to keep the rugby community healthy.
Register

Mentoring Club - Building Rapport
In our latest Irwin Mitchell Mentoring Club webinar, Dusty Miller, Olympic coach mentor at the English Institute of Sport joined us for this webinar to discuss the process of making connections and building relationships that create rapport.
Register
 
 
Teamwork   Respect   Enjoyment  
Discipline   Sportsmanship
 

Read this week's edition of the Community Game update.

 

 Tuesday 13 April

 
 

Return to Rugby

This edition includes:
1. Recommendation to pause community rugby between 3pm-4pm on Saturday 17 April
2. Applications open tomorrow - RUWSF Asset Improvement Loans
3. Return to Play – Government Step 2 off-field guidance
4. Rugby’s back! Press releases & summer activity
5. County Championship survey
6. Webinars and videos on demand
7. Typhoon RFC – Mental health awareness

 

   

 

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and sincere sympathies are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this sad time.

As a mark of respect, we encourage clubs to follow the guidance below this Saturday, 17 April:

• It is suggested there is no rugby activity between 3pm and 4pm when the funeral is taking place.
• It is suggested for those present at the club to mark the national minute’s silence at 3pm.
• Should clubs have flags flying, we would ask you to consider lowering them to half mast.

A keen sportsman, The Duke of Edinburgh was last at Twickenham with his grandsons, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, for the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final. We are very grateful for his support of our sport throughout the years.

 

   

 

RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan Applications

Applications will open at 10am tomorrow, Wednesday 14 April, for the Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund Asset Improvement Loan programme.

The deadline to submit an application will be Tuesday 11 May 2021.

Visit the loans page below from 14 April to access key documentation and information about the fund, along with templates you will need to make your application.

                  

Prospectus

 

   

 

Return to Play - Off-field changes from Monday 12 April – Government Step 2

Having taken another welcome step forward on the government roadmap, updated off-field guidance is available via our Helpdesk FAQs and includes areas such as changing rooms, hospitality and spectators.

We are thrilled to see rugby clubs around the country being able to open their doors again. Amidst the understandable excitement, please remind people to follow all Covid-19 guidelines. This includes social distancing for players when not taking part in rugby activity, and no huddles when talking to team mates and players.

 

   

 

Rugby’s back! Press releases & summer activity

Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories of being back out on the pitch. You can read about some of the fun being had in this compilation story.

With rugby once again being enjoyed, we want to help you spread the word and create even more interest across the country.

On the page below you will find a press release template that can be tailored to suit your club’s individual story and shared with local media to celebrate your return to rugby, to help drive interest through the local community.

Looking ahead a little further, we now have a video presentation on Summer Rugby Activity available. This talks through Age Grade progressions stages, as well as steps for a safe return to scrummaging.

We also plan to host #AskAgeGrade sessions on Twitter on the following dates: Monday 19 April, Monday 3 May, Monday 17 May, Monday 31 May.

Please keep an eye on @AgeGradeRugby and our Return to Rugby page. for further information.

                   

Summer Activity

 

   

 

County Championship survey

In case you missed it, the survey below has been sent to players, coaches, officials and volunteers at CBs and clubs (Level 3 and below), asking for their views on the County Championship competition.

This forms part of the wider review of the County Championship across the men’s and women’s senior competition and the U20s men’s competition.

We are keen for this survey to be shared far and wide, so please feel free to circulate to anyone you feel would be keen to give an opinion. The deadline to complete the survey is midnight on Sunday 25 April 2021.

Feedback will be collated by the County Championship Review Working Group and used to inform group recommendations/options to share with the Community Game Board on the future and format of the competition.

 

 

Rugby Football Union 2021 Annual General Meeting

On Monday 26 April, voting clubs will receive an email invitation to the 2021 virtual Annual General Meeting, which will take place at 5pm on Friday 11 June.

This invitation will be sent directly to Honorary Secretaries. Please ensure contact details are up-to-date on the GMS system so that relevant representative receives this invitation. Clubs can appoint an alternative delegate (another official of the club etc) or appoint someone else (such as the Chair of the meeting) as a proxy to vote on their behalf if you are not able to attend. Full details will be provided in the email invitation and accompanying AGM explanatory booklet.

Please note, it is the club that holds the voting right as opposed to the individual role holder listed.

 

 

Webinars & videos on demand

With the return to rugby you can catch up with our previous CoachingRefereeing, and Club webinars on-demand alongside those coming up below.

Mentoring Club - Building Rapport
In this episode of the Irwin Mitchell Mentoring Club webinar we explore successful relationships between mentor, player, coach or referee by building rapport.

Dusty Miller, Olympic coach mentor at the English Institute of Sport joins us for this webinar to explore and discuss the process of making connections and building relationships that create rapport.
Register

Mental Wellbeing – Keeping The Rugby Community Healthy - Wednesday 28th April - 7pm
As a follow up to our Player Mental Health Webinar, we will welcome RugbySafe Leads to a discussion about mental wellbeing, creating kinder cultures and spotting the signs of mental wellbeing issues in your clubs. We are joined again by, David Beeney, and former England Rugby captain Dylan Hartley. With the help of our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth we are putting player welfare at the heart of the game to keep the rugby community healthy.
Register

 

   

 

Looking after members' physical and mental health

Typhoons RUFC have been helping members look after their physical and mental health. When one found himself homeless at 18, with just a bag, a dog and five pounds, he turned to the club. Read their story below.

If your club has a positive story to share about how you are helping to promote and support mental wellbeing, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
 
County Championship survey

We are contacting you to help us understand the views and opinions of all individuals in the community game on the County Championship competition.

The results of this survey will feed into the independent review of the County Championship across the senior men’s, senior women’s and men’s U20 competitions, which has been commissioned by the Community Game Board (CGB) and aims to take all feedback into consideration before providing recommendations/options to the CGB on the future and format of the competition.

This survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete, and will close at midnight on Sunday 25 April 2021.

Take Survey
 
Friday 9 April

Return to Rugby
This edition includes:
1. RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan Programme
2. Return to Play - Off-field changes from Monday 12 April – Government Step 2
3. Return to Play - Rugby update
4. RFU Age Grade Summer Activity Framework
5. RFU Adult Men's and Women’s Competitions 2021/22
6. County Championship Review
7. Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year 2021 – nominate by 2 May
8. Watch the Red Roses and videos on demand
 
 
RUWSF Asset Improvement Loan update
We aim to open applications for the Rugby Union Winter Survival Fund Asset Improvement Loan programme on Tuesday 13 April, subject to government approval.

Download the prospectus for further information about categories available. Next week an application form will be published on the loans page below, alongside full details of the eligibility criteria and process.

Whilst incorporated clubs are eligible, we are still in discussions with government about eligibility for unincorporated clubs. Should it not be possible for them to access these funds we are likely to accept applications from unincorporated clubs who a) are prepared to incorporate within 6 months of receiving a loan agreement in principle and b) who are not prepared/able to incorporate but for whom we will look, with no guarantee of success, to explore other routes for loans.

Loans of between £20,000 and £150,000, in three buckets (small, medium and large), will be available for facility projects that will help clubs to survive, diversify revenue, reduce operating costs and protect and grow their membership.

All are subject to a 2% interest rate over an eight-year repayment period. The small and medium loan include a two-year payment holiday, the large loan includes a four-year payment holiday.
Loans Page
 
 
Return to Play - Off-field changes from Monday 12 April – Government Step 2
Ahead of reaching Step 2 on the government roadmap on Monday, we will update our Helpdesk FAQs in line with government guidance that will come into effect from Monday 12 April. This will be completed by Saturday 10 April.

Please read this latest guidance which will include an update on spectators, hospitality and takeaways.
Helpdesk FAQs
 
 
Return to Play - Rugby update
It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying being back on the pitch last week and over the Easter weekend. As planned, we are preparing to move to Stage D2 on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap from Monday 26 April.

You can watch a 10 minute video guide for Stage D1 and D2 detailing the activity permitted on field for players and coaches.

Additionally, the on demand Return to Rugby Stage D: Coaches Q&A is below.
Stage D Q&A
     
           
D1 & D2 Guidance
 
 
RFU Age Grade Summer Activity Framework
We are publishing the RFU Age Grade Summer Activity Framework on our Return to Rugby Page today, Friday 9 April.

The framework and guidance will be followed by a Q&A session on Monday 12 April at 7pm. Please register on the link below if you would like to attend.

We also plan to host #AskAgeGrade sessions on Twitter on the following dates: Monday 19 April, Monday 3 May, Monday 17 May, Monday 31 May.

Please keep an eye on @AgeGradeRugby and our Return to Rugby Page for further information.

Register
 
 
RFU Adult Men's and Women’s Competitions 2021/22
We are preparing for the competitive season to start as expected in September 2021, subject to the continued progress along the government and Return to Rugby roadmaps. In light of the exceptional circumstances of the last 12 months, we want to give clubs clarity on the next steps regarding season 2021/22:

9 April - 25 April
Competition Entry Survey Open To Women’s Game
9 April – 6 May
DOCs and CBs finalise clubs' position in leagues for 21/22 season
26 April - 6 May
Women’s Provisional Leagues Construction/Internal Feedback
1 May at the latest
Men’s Level 3 and 4 Fixtures published
7 May - 21 May
Women’s Provisional League Structure Feedback window
24 - 28 May
Women’s Provisional Structure Amendments (To be agreed by RFU Governance)
31 May – 11 June
Women’s Fixture Creation
1 June at latest
Men’s Fixture Publication
15 June at latest
Women's Fixture Publication

The reason for releasing the fixtures at different dates for different sections of the game are as follows:

• There is a requirement at the higher levels of the men’s game to book for national travel as soon as possible.
• Women’s fixtures being slightly later than the men’s due additional steps required. E.g. Provisional League Structure Feedback window to finalise the league structures.

Please note that Structured Seasons have now been shared with Divisional Organising Committees. For any clubs wanting information, please contact your local Divisional Organising Committee
 
 
County Championship Review
As many of you will be aware, an independent review is underway of the County Championship across both the Men’s and Women’s Senior Competition and the U20s Men’s Competition, with an aim of making recommendations to the Community Game Board on the future and format of the competition.

Please keep an eye out for a survey that will be circulated this Monday, 12 April, to players, coaches, CBs and Clubs.

We are keen to hear from as many people as possible to understand your views and to collate feedback that will help to inform the group recommendations.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ';document.getElementById('cloak4ab53b92837871f730d3cc922f83b636').innerHTML += ''+addy_text4ab53b92837871f730d3cc922f83b636+'<\/a>'; should you have further questions.

The letter below from Dr Tim Miller, Chair of the County Championship Working Group, provides further background on the review process and is being shared with CBs. It is accompanied by the Excel template referred to in the note.
Read Letter
                
Excel Document
 
 
Nominate your Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year
Remember you have until Sunday 2 May to submit your nominees for the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards 2021.

This season there are three national award categories:

• Resilience in Rugby Award
• Beyond Rugby Award
• Diversity & Inclusion Award

These awards have been created to recognise the exceptional work that volunteers have put in to keep their local communities as well as their rugby clubs going.

You can find out more about how to nominate by using the link below.
Volunteer Nominations
 
 
Watch the Red Roses and videos on demand
Watch the Red Roses in action

Following England’s convincing win over Scotland in their 2021 Women’s Six Nations opener, you can watch the Red Roses take on Italy this Saturday 10 April, live on BBC iPlayer, with kick off at 2pm (BST).

You can also catch up with some of the Red Roses stars on O2 Inside Line.

We have our previous CoachingRefereeing, and Club webinars on-demand alongside those coming up below.

Summer return to rugby Q&A - Monday 12 April 7-8pm
Join us to discuss the plans for rugby activity this summer.

If you have any questions for the panel, you can either submit them in advance, after registering, or ask on the evening.
Register

Mental Wellbeing – Keeping The Rugby Community Healthy - Wednesday 28th April - 7pm
As a follow up to our Player Mental Health Webinar, we will welcome RugbySafe Leads to a discussion about mental wellbeing, creating kinder cultures and spotting the signs of mental wellbeing issues in your clubs. We are joined again by, David Beeney, and former England Rugby captain Dylan Hartley. With the help of our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth we are putting player welfare at the heart of the game to keep the rugby community healthy.
Register