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Coronavirus (Covid-19) update
Please find below the thirty-second edition of our coronavirus (Covid-19) update.

We have today provided an update on the return to community rugby and funding for the 2020/21 season.

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 community rugby update
We remain at Stage B on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. However, we hope to have some positive news soon about the potential move to the next stage. Following the government’s publication of a framework for return to recreational team sport, a number of sports, including cricket and football, have now had their action plans agreed and have returned to play. A key element of our action plan is a detailed assessment of exposure risk through face to face contact and with many aspects of our game putting us in a high risk category mitigating this is inevitably taking more time. We hope to be able to relay more news on this soon.
 
 
Season 2020/21 Community Funding
Covid-19 will have a major impact on RFU revenues for 2020/21, as it will on many other organisations. In addition to a significant in year impact (potentially between £70m and £107m dip in revenue) recovery is anticipated to take four to five years, with a forecast revenue reduction of at least £15m-£25m per annum over that period. This is leading to tough, and in some cases, extreme decisions to preserve the RFU, to ensure we are well placed in the future to support the community game, and to give us the best chance of having winning England teams. Initially, these decisions have focused on season 2020/21 where we have had to limit expenditure as much as possible in what is still an uncertain year. The Community Game Board have taken some hard decisions to suspend a number of areas of spend for 2020/21 and key headlines of these can be found below.

We remain totally committed to sustaining and growing our partnership with CBs and clubs throughout what is going to be a challenging year. This will undoubtedly mean working differently and in a more focused way – we look forward to discussing this more over the coming weeks and months.

Key Headlines:

 Club liability and catastrophic injury insurance will continue to be funded and provided centrally.

 The core element of PFR funding will be committed to CBs at an overall rate of circa 30% of what was paid in 2019/20.

 Funding for DPP and Age Grade Representative Rugby (Male U15, U16 & U18 and Female U15 & U18) will continue at the same levels as 2019/20.

 A dedicated Club Support Fund will be established to provide financial support to clubs in greatest need. A working group has been established to determine priorities and eligibility for this and further detail will follow over the next few weeks.

 Match Officials at Levels 3-5 will continue to be managed and funded centrally with a reduced (50%) charge levied on clubs - £1500 at L3, £750 at L4 and £500 at L5.

 Funding for the Senior Men’s & U20 and Women’s County Championships will be suspended for the 2020/21 season and the RFU will also suspend the organisation of these competitions for this season only. A review will be initiated over the course of this season to fully understand the importance and priority of the County Championships to the community game and this will inform its operation from season 2021/22 onwards. CBs are able, should they wish, to continue to operate (and self-fund) representative teams, arranging and funding matches against other CBs.

 Funding and operation of the Aspirational Team programme (England Counties, England Counties U20s, England Counties U18 & Divisional programmes) will be suspended for the 2020/21 season.

 All ring-fenced onshore and offshore travel funding will be suspended for the 2020/21 season. Clubs who suffer financial distress as a result may be eligible for support from Club Support Fund (subject to confirmation of criteria).

 Operational budgets to reflect key areas of ongoing commitment have been reduced significantly from previous years.
 
 
 
Other important updates
Legal & Tax Helpline
We are pleased to be able to continue to offer free advice on any legal or tax related matter. As the official legal partner to England Rugby, Irwin Mitchell will be taking over the Legal and Tax Helpline from Saturday 1 August. The support will also include an online legal document service, including documents such as employment agreements and privacy notices for your club’s website.

The new legal and tax helpline number is 0333 0100337.

We will also be hosting two new webinars delivered in partnership with Irwin Mitchell:

• Employment basics for rugby clubs - Thursday 6 August 7pm - 8pm

This webinar will answer your employment law questions on the basics of employing and engaging people at your club.

• Volunteers and law & zero hour contracts - Thursday 13 August 7pm - 8pm

This webinar will cover the key legal issues in relation to volunteers and those engaged on zero hour contracts at your club.

Register now for one, or both, of the webinars and you will be automatically entered into a competition to win a signed England Rugby shirt.
Thursday 6 August
Thursday 13 August
 
 
Webinars on demand
Feeding your turf - Rugby Groundsmen Connected
This webinar is an introduction to understanding your soil capabilities and nutrient requirements for a healthier more robust rugby pitch. From researching to planning and application, this will guide you on what opportunities are available and how best to feed your turf.
Register
 
 
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
 
 
 
Rugby community doing great things
Clubs continue to collect for foodbanks as many in their community experience levels of hardship not previously experienced.

Job losses have driven some families into debt and poverty for the first time, while others who were struggling before coronavirus have found providing enough food while paying bills has become almost impossible. Click here to read about the great work of Veor and Ellingham and Ringwood rugby clubs.
Community Stories
 
 
Rugby is often called a family and the sport can certainly be proud of its younger family members. They are often the best example of using the sport’s values to make a difference. In clubs across the land, young rugby players have been taking on challenges and overtaking targets, proving that even when rugby came to a halt teamwork still triumphed. Click below to read the inspirational stories from young players who are setting the pace at Skipton, Bolton, Chester, Peterborough and Withycombe rugby clubs.
Young Heroes
 
 
Having missed running each week in the coronavirus lockdown, society members and families of the Berkshire Referees Society decided to put their energy to good use for one week in July to walk, run, cycle, swim to raise funds on behalf of the RFU Injured Players Foundation, the charity which supports all players seriously injured training or playing in England. Click below to read their story.
IPF Support
 
 
In addition to clubs helping their communities, we are now highlighting clubs’ self-help initiatives, as well as activities being undertaken to improve diversity and inclusion at clubs, on englandrugby.com.

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 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..

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

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