GAME UPDATE: The official guidance we have received from Government is that there can be respectful continuation of sport at all levels this weekend.
The overwhelming opinions shared so far within the game, are that teams and supporters want to come together to honour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to be united in our grief as we express sorrow at her passing.
Rugby, at its heart, is about community and bringing people together, in good times and in sad. Rugby clubs are a source of strength and support during times of uncertainty, and we hope that by enabling games and other rugby activity to go ahead this weekend, with families and friends congregating it will help us all to unite at this time of national mourning.
We strongly encourage all those playing sport this weekend to respectfully pay tribute to Her Majesty The Queen by holding a minute’s silence ahead of all fixtures this weekend. This an opportunity for teams from different areas to join together in honouring and celebrating her life.
For clubs who have outdoor screens or for clubhouse televisions, graphics will be available to display via englandrugby.com/resources later today.
While for many in the game, matches this weekend will be an opportunity to come together and celebrate the life of Queen Elizabeth II, there may be some clubs who will find it more appropriate to postpone their fixture, such as those with closer connections to the Royal Family or those with large numbers of players in the military or emergency services who may be called away to work on official duties as a result. If that is the case, both clubs may agree to postpone their fixture this weekend without penalty – in that case they must inform their Organising Committee at least four hours before kick-off. Revised fixture dates would be arranged according to the relevant competition regulations. We trust the rugby community will respect the wishes of those clubs who wish to postpone because of the sad news and what is needed following it.
Guidance for matches and rugby activity for the remainder of the National Mourning Period will follow as early as possible next week.
Our thanks to Her Majesty The Queen
We are deeply grateful for Her Majesty’s support of our sport over many years, including serving as the RFU’s Patron for 64 years, helping the Union to celebrate its centenary in 1971, her reception at Buckingham Palace after England won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, and honours bestowed on many of those who have served the game.
Her Majesty earned the respect and affection of generations of rugby players and supporters here in England and around the world. On behalf of the rugby union community in England, we offer our condolences to the whole Royal Family at this time.
The St George’s Flag has been lowered to half-mast at Twickenham Stadium.