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Distribution list: Friday 1 May

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update
Please find below the twelfth edition of our Coronavirus (Covid-19) update.

In this edition there are reminders about the international ticket allocation process, support packages available to the rugby community and VAT reclaim opportunities. We’ve provided information on three online activities taking place next week which club members can register to take part in, as well as asking clubs to share their activities supporting their own financial positions.

Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access Coronavirus (Covid-19) information and updates here.

We’ve also captured past editions of these twice-weekly updates on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.

RFU headlines
International ticket allocations to community rugby clubs

In the March and April editions of the CGU all clubs were reminded that international ticket allocations to community rugby clubs from the Guinness Six Nations 2021 for the following two seasons, including the autumn series 2022, will be based primarily on the cumulative total of a club’s 15-a-side matches for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, registered on the GMS Team Management module, as a proportion of the national total of matches. Clubs were reminded to load 15-a-side fixtures and results onto their GMS Team Management module for their U14 to adult teams for the 2019/20 season.

The Covid-19 limitations curtailing the season will not affect to any measurable degree the individual allocations to club because, while every club will have less matches than expected, this reduces the overall national total against which every club’s total is compared to determine the number of international tickets allocated. All community clubs are strongly encouraged to ensure the results of matches for 2019/20 that ended on Monday 16 March 2020, particularly those fixtures that clubs have to load manually, are entered into their GMS Team Management Module. As previously advertised, this must be done before Friday 22 May 2020. There will not be an opportunity after this date to add additional fixtures or the outcome to count towards international ticket allocations. This is the last opportunity to remind clubs of this.

For more information regarding the method for uploading fixtures please click below. If you have a technical issue with GMS, please contact the GMS service desk via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Uploading Fixtures
Other support available
Support which may be available through the Sport England Community Emergency Fund and/or the various financial schemes announced by the government is easy to access on the England Rugby website:

Sport England Community Emergency Fund: click here
Government support: click here.
Other important updates
Tuesday Training Webinar with Stuart Lancaster – 7pm on 5 May

The England Rugby Tuesday Training webinars focus on coach and referee development topics each Tuesday, giving participants the opportunity to continue developing themselves during the rugby lockdown.

Click here to register for the webinar regarding the principles of defence with Stuart Lancaster.

Rugby Groundsmen Connected Live Twitter Q&A – 3pm on 7 May

A Rugby Groundsmen Connected Live Twitter Q&A will be taking place using the hashtag #ASKRGC

This is an opportunity to use social media to ask questions direct to our Twickenham grounds team, including our Head Groundsman Jim Buttar.

Anyone can join in live and ask a question about any element of pitch maintenance and we would also encourage people to post photos in their tweets to bring their questions to life.

Please follow @rugbygroundsmen on Twitter for more information. And don’t forget our COVID 19 specific advice for pitch maintenance is available here.

Easyfundraising webinar- a fundraising solution for clubs - 7pm on 7 May

We’ve been hearing how clubs are using easyfundraising to bridge their funding gap during lockdown. Clubs have been benefitting from free cash donations when their club community use easyfundraising to shop online with well-known retailers like Amazon, John Lewis, eBay, Just Eat, Viking, Argos, Screwfix and 4,000 others. Luctonians have raised over £15,000 and Eccles over £12,000 over the years using easyfundraising.

This is a simple way to keep funds coming in and it’s completely free to set up and use. To set up an account click here.

Easyfundraising are hosting this webinar for clubs so that their team can talk through how to maximise returns. Click here to register for this webinar.

VAT Reclaims webinar - on demand

We ran a successful VAT reclaims webinar with over 200 in attendance. The webinar explained what VAT reliefs can potentially be applied and illustrated how to make a claim for your club. To watch the webinar on demand click here.

VAT helpline

We have engaged the services of Russell Moore, a former partner at leading sports advisory accountants Saffery Champness, to provide a VAT helpline service to clubs. The first 30 minutes of advice is free to clubs, with any additional services provided at greatly reduced rates. Clubs can contact the helpline either by calling Russell on 07710 329317 or by emailing their enquiry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 
 
 
 
Rugby community doing great things
We continue to hear about the great work that clubs are undertaking to raise funds to support the NHS, carers and their local communities. This includes clubs such as Barnes RFC who are running the Big Barnes one million kilo lift to raise funds for the NHS in memory Garry Garrett. Click here to find out more.

Clubs boosting their finances

From Gordano’s virtual bar to Reading’s online quizzes and Blaydon’s Just Giving appeal, rugby clubs have been fundraising to offset the financial effect of closing during the pandemic.

We’re running a webinar next week to highlight how clubs can raise funds through easyfundraising. In addition, for clubs who have websites, it is worth investigating the use of any donation tools that may be set up, for example as used by clubs such as Anselmians, Chinnor and Dinnington, so that members can donate money in lieu of match fees, membership fees, beer and food.


We know that other clubs continue to undertake inspirational activities to raise funds for good causes or to secure their own financial positions. We would love to hear more so please share your story with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
Distribution list: Tuesday 28 April

 
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update
Please find below the eleventh edition of our Coronavirus (Covid-19) update.

Don’t forget that the deadline to apply for phase one of the Emergency Loan Scheme is this Thursday. There is also a webinar booked in the calendar for Thursday which will update clubs on how to maximise their VAT position and we have today announced details regarding the Annual General Meeting taking place on Friday 12 June 2020. We’ve highlighted some of the great work taking place within the rugby community to support the NHS as well as local charities.

Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access Coronavirus (Covid-19) information and updates here.

We’ve also captured past editions of these twice-weekly updates on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.

 
RFU headlines
Don’t miss Thursday deadline for phase one of Emergency Loan Scheme

The deadline for applications for the first phase of the Emergency Loan Scheme is this Thursday, 30 April 2020. Please click here to access information, or process an application.

Get behind the 2.6 Challenge

Over the last two days we’ve heard some great stories from the rugby community who are supporting the 2.6 Challenge. It’s not too late to get involved to raise funds for the IPF, a club's or a participant’s chosen charity.

Click here to get ideas as well as read about some great examples of challenges being undertaken.

Full details on how to take part can be found on the England Rugby website here.

 
 
 
 
Other important updates
Webinar: VAT reclaims

Date & time - Thursday 30 April at 7pm

Rugby clubs are benefiting from VAT repayment claims. Working with Sports VAT Consultant, Russell Moore, rugby clubs have saved £4 million through VAT claims over the last three years. VAT claims can be made retrospectively for up to four years so can be substantial.

Russell Moore, who advises the RFU community clubs, will explain what reliefs can potentially be applied for and illustrate how to make a claim to HMRC. Register for the webinar here.

2020 Annual General Meeting

Please note an email from Bill Sweeney to all Voting Members will be sent later today containing the Calling Notice and all information relating to this year’s virtual AGM on Friday 12 June. If you don't receive your copy by the end of the day, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
 
 
 
Community doing great things
As a minute’s silence was held nationwide for frontline workers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the pandemic, the rugby community continue to lend their support, from making scrubs bags out of kit to fundraising for the NHS charity. You can read more about both of these stories below.

While we have had lots of stories and pictures from the rugby community doing amazing work during the pandemic, we’re aware that many more are helping their members, communities and the NHS at this critical time.

We want to both celebrate this work through our channels and to keep a record of rugby union's lockdown heroes. So please keep sending your news to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Staff Support NHS
Clubs Support NHS
 
Distribution: Tuesday 21 April 2020
 
 
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update
Please find below the ninth edition of our Coronavirus (Covid-19) update.

Today we’ve provided an update on the new government Covid-19 business support finder tool and the current position regarding tickets for the Autumn Internationals. We’ve also highlighted a bonus edition of the coaching webinar series which includes input from Eddie Jones.

Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access Coronavirus (Covid-19) information and updates here.

We’ve also captured past editions of these twice-weekly updates on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.
 
 
 
 
Rugby community doing great things
We continue to receive inspirational stories from the rugby community, from Essington RFC’s partnership with Street Buddies to Writtle Wanderers’ delivery of 600 Easter Eggs to their local hospital, and Sunderland’s WhatsApp karaoke to Canvey Island’s fundraising hakas and haircuts.

Please click below to read this week’s article on the England Rugby website. Please keep sending your news to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Read Article
 
 
 
RFU headlines
Emergency Loan Scheme

Applications received are now being processed. The deadline for clubs to apply for the first phase of the Emergency Loan Scheme is Thursday 30 April 2020. Click here to access information, or process an application.

 
 
 
 
Other support available
New government Covid-19 business support finder tool

This week the government launched a new ‘support finder’ tool to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The finder tool on GOV.UK will ask business owners to fill out a simple online questionnaire, which can take minutes to complete, and they will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.

Click here to find out how this tool could be helpful.
 
 
 
 
Other important information
Quilter Internationals 2020

We are currently reworking the ticketing calendar for the 2020-21 season to realign the on sale dates for the Quilter Internationals in the autumn and we will send the revised dates to you as soon as they are finalised.

The visiting unions for Quilter Internationals in the autumn are:

• New Zealand
• Australia
• Argentina
• Tonga

We are continuing to follow government guidelines in these unprecedented times and working with the visiting unions regarding the guidelines of their governments.

While it is possible that we may need to make further changes to the ticketing calendar as things evolve, we currently anticipate that tickets for the Quilter Internationals in the autumn will go on sale from June.

The England Rugby Tuesday Training webinars

This webinar series focuses on coach and referee development topics, giving participants the opportunity to continue developing themselves during the rugby lockdown.

In a bonus edition of this series, England head coach Eddie Jones talks about coach and player development, as well as leadership. Click here to find out more.
Distribution: Friday 24 April 2020
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update
Please find below the tenth edition of our Coronavirus (Covid-19) update.

Today we’ve highlighted the 2.6 Challenge which England Rugby are supporting. We hope you will help this great fundraising initiative. Please forward to your club members as soon as possible so they can get involved too.

There is also a webinar booked in the calendar for the 30 April which will update clubs on how to maximise their VAT position.

Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access Coronavirus (Covid-19) information and updates here.

We’ve also captured past editions of these twice-weekly updates on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.

RFU headlines
Last call for applications for phase one of Emergency Loan Scheme

Applications received are now being processed. If a club wants to apply for the first phase of the Emergency Loan Scheme, which is open until Thursday 30 April 2020, click here to access information, or process an application.

Get behind the 2.6 Challenge

The London Marathon, which would have taken place this Sunday, is the world’s biggest one-day fundraising event. It raised more than £66.4 million for thousands of charities in 2019. In its place this year is The 2.6 Challenge, a campaign to help UK Charities during the Covid-19 pandemic, which we are supporting.

We are calling on our clubs and communities to support England Rugby’s 2.6 Charity Challenge which is taking place from Sunday 26 to Thursday 30 April. England players have put their own spin on The 2.6 Challenge, but an activity can be anything from running 2.6 miles to doing 26 push-ups. Full details on how local clubs, their members and their communities can take part can be found on the England Rugby website here.

The RFU Injured Player’s Foundation (IPF) is England Rugby’s official charity. They provide support and information to rugby players in England who sustain a catastrophic spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury playing the game, and help prevent future injuries through vital research. So when thinking of who to support, we ask participants to consider the IPF, donating here, any other charity here, or just support a charity of their choice or possibly a club’s chosen charity.
 
 
 
 
Other important updates
Webinar: VAT reclaims

Date & time - Thursday 30 April at 7pm

Rugby clubs are benefiting from VAT repayment claims. Working with Sports VAT Consultant, Russell Moore, rugby clubs have saved £4 million through VAT claims over the last three years. VAT claims can be made retrospectively for up to four years so can be substantial.

Russell Moore, who advises the RFU community clubs, will explain what reliefs can potentially be applied for and illustrate how to make a claim to HMRC. Register for the webinar here.

 
 
 
 
Community doing great things
Our rugby-playing schools, colleges and universities are also helping the NHS, frontline staff and their communities across the country. Find out more here.

The Rugby Football Referees Union, the referees’ national governing body, has helped to return a substantial sum to the game. So far some £170,200 has gone either directly to clubs or through their Constituent Bodies. This adds to the RFU’s £7m relief package for community clubs. You can read more here.

Please keep sending your news to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Distribution: Friday 17 April 2020
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update
Please find below the eighth edition of our Coronavirus (Covid-19) update.

We will continue to monitor the impact of government guidelines on our sport, especially when we can restart the game in the future.

Today we’ve provided an update on the webinar that took place on 16 April to inform clubs about the financial support packages available, plus the next steps to take if an England Rugby First Aid qualification is due to expire. In addition, we’ve included guidelines on running virtual AGMs and filing of annual accounts, plus shared links to stress awareness guidance from the NHS and some educational resources that may support younger club members when they return to virtual school lessons.

Please visit our dedicated web portal on the England Rugby website to access Coronavirus (Covid-19) information and updates here.

We’ve also captured past editions of these twice-weekly updates on this part of the website. Click here if you need to find a previous edition.

We will continue to provide regular updates through this communication to support the rugby community.
Rugby community doing great things
We continue to receive wonderful stories from the rugby community.

Maro Itoje added some wow factor to lockdown lives as he video called, among others, frontline NHS workers, older fans and RFU Injured Player Foundation clients. Click below to read more.

Please keep sending your news to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Read More
RFU headlines
Emergency Loan Scheme

Applications received are now being processed. If a club wants to apply for the first phase of the Emergency Loan Scheme, which is open until Thursday 30 April 2020, click here to access information, or process an application.

Other important information
COVID-19 club support webinar

We ran a webinar on 16 April to help rugby clubs understand the financial support packages available from the Government, Sport England and England Rugby with regard to COVID 19.

Click here to view the recorded webinar.

Running virtual Annual General Meetings

Many clubs will have Annual General Meetings due to take place in the coming weeks and months. Social distancing restrictions will mean that this will be difficult, or impossible. Clubs should check their constitutions to see what they can do. There will largely be three alternatives:

1. To wait and hold the AGM later in the year if and when social distancing restrictions are lifted.
2. If a calling notice has gone out for an AGM, or if the club’s constitution requires an AGM to be held before a specified date, hold the AGM but adjourn it for a later date.
3. Hold the AGM virtually. Sport England has provided some guidance on how this can be done, and details are available here.

Filing of annual accounts

Incorporated clubs should also be aware of filing deadlines for annual accounts. Both Companies House (for clubs which are companies) and the FCA (for clubs which are Registered Societies (formerly Industrial and Provident Societies) can offer extensions to filing deadlines.

Details are here for companies.

For Registered Societies, the FCA has confirmed that for any returns due up until 30 June 2020, an automatic three month extension will be granted. Further details on the FCA’s response to Covid-19 click here.

For clubs which are charities, the Charity Commission has also set out specific guidance which can be found here.

England Rugby First Aid qualification expiry

Clubs may be concerned that the England Rugby First Aid qualification which their volunteers hold may expire during the lockdown period. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released the following guidance on this matter:

If re-qualification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or by complying with related government advice, it is reasonable and practical to extend the validity of current certificates by up to three months. Anyone taking advantage of this extension should be able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training, and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16 March 2020. HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary. You can read more here.

Online training, including webinars and eLearning, is taking place during the lockdown, please encourage your coaches, referees and volunteers to participate. Follow @RFU_GameDev on Twitter for information about the online training programme.

Back to school support resources

Supported by the World Rugby Museum, we’ve created a number of fun and interactive educational ‘School of Ruck’ resource packs. You can access the packs here. Aimed at primary school children aged 5-11 years old, these learning based activities may help support home education during the coronavirus pandemic. All activities meet the national curriculum standards and fall in line with the new Ofsted framework.

In addition, during the Six Nations England Rugby collaborated with Twinkl to produce a series of cross-curricular rugby themed resources aimed at primary school pupils. Find out more here.

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