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Distribution list: Tuesday 13 October

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update
Today there is a video message from Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director at the RFU. In addition, we have provided an update on next steps for the Adult Male Future Competition Structure Review, the impact of the Covid-19 tier system being introduced by the Government and also on the wearing of gloves by age grade players.

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

Past editions of these weekly updates can be found on this part of the website. Click here to find previous editions.
RFU Headlines
Return to community rugby update
Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director at the RFU, provides an update on our continuing plans to get rugby returned. Please share this video with your rugby communities.

We remain at Stage D on the RoadmapRFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines, must be followed. Where local lockdown restrictions are in place, local authority guidelines must be followed.
Steve Grainger
Return to community rugby – age grade regulations
Any mixed age non-contact activity under Regulation 15.6.2, must be risk assessed appropriately and follow best practice as outlined in the Codes of Practice, which includes ensuring parental consent is in place. Where 17 year olds are participating in contact training, Regulation 15.6.1 must be followed.
Regulation 15
Adult Male Future Competition Structure Review - Update
Once again, we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the many webinars and surveys that have been conducted over the last 12 months regarding the future competition structure (English Club Championship Level 3 and below). Click below to read the plan.

A detailed summary of responses from the Future Competition Structure Survey conducted over the summer, separated by player and non-player feedback, can be accessed here. In addition, the results from the survey conducted in February 2020 are available here.

As Covid-19 restrictions are still with us, and we remain uncertain of the timing and nature of the 2020/21 season, the Community Game Board have taken the decision to pause implementation of any changes to league structures (should these be approved at a future date by RFU Council) to season 2022/23. Work on the review remains a priority and will be discussed again at the RFU Council meeting on 27 November, where it is likely a vote on some key matters of principle will be taken.

We will also contact Honorary Secretaries at adult male clubs (levels 3-12) in the near future to ask for their input into a survey which aims to help us better understand the level of interest from clubs to entering Lower XVs teams into the RFU Leagues Pyramid to up to Level 7. At the same time we will share some draft criteria for this happening. The outcome of the survey will assist the FCS Group in understanding the number of teams coming into the pyramid. Whilst there is no commitment from clubs at this stage, the information will provide an important steer in assessing the level of interest from clubs and any potential impact on future structures.

We thank you for your continued support in this important process. The majority of people agree that we have a significant opportunity for rugby to develop in order to provide an optimal playing offer and structure that protects the future health of the adult male game while meeting the needs of current and future players. Players are looking for a balance of quality of experience, welfare needs and less travel. Meanwhile, we must also ensure we protect the sustainability of clubs.
Read Plan
Revised local lockdown restrictions effective Wednesday 14 October
Due to the rise in the number of positive Covid-19 cases, as well as an increase in hospital admissions, the Government has announced its intention to introduce a new three tier system of local lockdown measures, effective Wednesday 14 October 2020. Clubs must follow the current guidance until then.

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.

Clubs can check what local restrictions are in place in their area. The three tier system being introduced is:

Tier 1 - Medium:

Current nationwide rules will apply to areas in this tier. With regards to sporting activities in tier 1, exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors, or indoors if the rule of six is followed.

Tier 2 – High:

With regards to sporting activities in tier 2, exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport.

Areas in this tier include the following, and you can access links to the various guidelines.

Greater Manchester
North East of England
West Midlands
West Yorkshire

New areas impacted by local restrictions and included in tier 2 are below, please note that at the time of releasing CGU only local authority guidelines had been produced:

South Yorkshire

Tier 3 – Very High:

With regards to sporting activities in tier 3, it is the same as for tier 2 areas, although additional measures agreed with local authorities could include closing of venues such as leisure centres and gyms whilst ensuring provision remains available for elite athletes, youth and disabled sport and physical activity.

Liverpool City will be the first area to be included in this tier and the impacted areas are Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

Click here to access Government guidelines regarding what clubs can/cannot do in Liverpool City.

Clubs are reminded that the powers around local restrictions lie with their local authorities and to check the latest position regarding local restrictions as they may change frequently over the coming weeks.

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's 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 about what you need to know about the Government’s local Covid-19 alert levels below.
Rule Of Six
Covid-19 Alert Levels
Test & Trace and handling of Covid-19 positive tests
Clubs are reminded of the need to have a Test & Trace system in place. You can find out more about NHS Test & Trace below, or read about Howdens Test & Trace here.

In the event of positive tests occurring within a club, including retrospective cases, each case should be registered via the Positive Test Notification Form, which can be accessed on the link below. This information is requested to allow us to monitor the number of confirmed positive Covid-19 tests occurring in clubs and ensure clubs have the appropriate support.
NHS Test & Trace
Notification Form
Webinars and podcasts
Understanding Corporation Tax for Rugby Clubs
This webinar, at 7pm on Thursday 15 October, will explore how corporation tax applies to rugby clubs. Including what income is taxable, what reliefs are available and how clubs can comply.
Webinar On Demand: Good Club Governance
Our Club Support legal series continued with Irwin Mitchell, covering good club governance. Discussing what good governance looks like and top tips for your club. Click below to watch the webinar.
Governance Webinar
Rugby community doing great things
Today we’ve highlighted the great efforts that are taking place at Lewes RFC to ensure their rugby club and activities are Covid- secure.

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.
Lewes RFC