Schools Update - Coronavirus (Covid-19) update 01 September 2020

Subject: Coronavirus (Covid-19) update 01 September 2020

To:    CSU Hon Secretaries

cc:    CSU Representatives to ERFSU
           ERFSU Officers

As circulated to schools this afternoon:

Community Rugby – moved to stage D

With the exception of clubs/schools impacted by local lockdown restrictions, effective today, Tuesday 1 September, we have moved to Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. Clubs and schools are now able to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs and schools using Ready4Rugby and other touch rugby activity.

Limited and restricted contact rugby training is also now allowed. Varied training conditions will allow the return of tackling, lineouts and rucks, ensuring that players are prepared to perform these skills safely and effectively with some restrictions. Mauls, scrums, opposed lineouts or upright tackles are still not permissible as the transmission exposure risk remains high. Contact training sessions have to be carried out in small groups of no more than six players. Detail of the permitted training activity is available in the return to contact training guidance.

Recently updated guidance on physical activity issued by the Department for Education (DfE) permits rugby union to be played in line with our government-approved action plan, and therefore means that schools and colleges may also move to limited contact training under Stage D of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.

We know there are multiple decisions required on student bubbles, extra-curricular trips/enrichment, transport and physical activity before committing to playing rugby, particularly with other schools and colleges. Whilst we encourage a return to rugby activity as soon as possible, the decision to do so will ultimately rest with each school or college.

RFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines should be followed.

You can read more detailed information.


Age Grade Competitions:

The move to Stage D takes us into Playing Window three on the Age Grade competition model, and therefore:

1.         All national RFU Age Grade Competitions for 2020-21 will be cancelled. This includes the National Schools Cup & Champions Trophy, Under 18 Clubs Cup (Boys), Under 15 and 18 Clubs Cups (Girls) and ACE League.
2.         The Age Grade Season can be extended and will end on 31 May 2021 as a one off.

This early confirmation will help clubs, schools and colleges with their current planning and scheduling. There will be further information and guidance to support competitive playing opportunities and local fixtures for the Age Grade game shortly.

Rugby tours:

We are advised not to give permission for any tours to, or games in other Unions (including Ireland, Scotland & Wales), that involve full contact match play rugby or include any activity that conflicts with activity permitted at the current stage on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. In addition, we are advised to rescind any permissions already granted that would not now be granted.

It is suggested that this guidance is also followed for tours planned to the Isle of Man or Channel Islands. This advice will be reviewed once Stage E is reached on the Roadmap.

Keep well and stay safe,

Mark Saltmarsh