RFU Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Policy

RFU Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Policy

As a National Governing Body, the RFU is responsible for ensuring that all those who wish to participate in rugby union in England are treated fairly. All participants should be given equal opportunity irrespective of age, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage & civil partnership or pregnancy, maternity and paternity.

The RFU fully supports this principle and is committed to satisfying these principles in all its activities. The RFU has a focussed strategic objective to drive rugby union in England to reflect the diversity of society; improving diversity of all facets of our game and continuing to create an inclusive environment for all.

To deliver against this strategic objective the RFU undertook research from across the rugby community including participants, volunteers and employees as well as taking data from Sport England Active Lives surveys and YouGov profiles to benchmark our position against wider society.

Using these insights the RFU has started to better understand where it is today compared to the wider population in terms of demographic, behavioural and attitudinal data and insight; establishing what it wants to change and how it will achieve it. This informed the immediate priorities for action across four key areas of the game:

  • Fans, Followers and Partners
  • Game Play – Players, Coaches, Match Officials (professional and community game)
  • Employees and Board
  • Game Leadership – Volunteer leaders within Clubs, Constituent Bodies and Council

Priorities include raising awareness, educating a wide range of stakeholders and delivering critical interventions alongside refreshed policies and guidance. Annually we will monitor progress and adapt plans based on outcomes and updated insight.

The RFU’s Diversity and Inclusion Action plan runs until June 2025 with annual reviews of plan delivery and repeated research and insights gathering to determine the impact of this work and the need for future efforts.

The RFU has had this D&I action plan assessed by independent experts and an internal audit group to ensure it is practical and will make a real difference. A Steering Committee of RFU senior staff is responsible for monitoring progress and impact.

Plans in the Game Leadership area are delivered by the RFU Council D&I Implementation Working Group, which was formed in September 2020 with an objective to build an inclusive and sustainable game through skilled and diverse leadership. Reporting directly to the RFU Council and chaired by RFU Council Member Genevieve Glover, the group is made up of nine experienced volunteers recruited from across England to represent the game.

An independent Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, chaired by former England, Lions and Harlequins player, Ugo Monye, alongside vice-chair Giselle Mather, ex-England player and TEAMWORK. RESPECT. ENJOYMENT. DISCIPLINE. SPORTSMANSHIP. Current Wasps Ladies director of rugby, has also been established. The group will provide insights to shape and adapt plans across the four key areas, as well as challenge the RFU on its progress in delivering on its diversity and inclusion goals.


The RFU wants everyone involved with rugby union to share these principles and work with us to improve the reflection of society within our game. Training and education resources are available to support this.


We advise all rugby organisations to make themselves aware of their responsibilities relating to the Equality Act 2010 and consider how their behaviours, policies, procedures or leadership may need to change in order to be truly welcoming to all.


The RFU is committed to developing a culture where it is safe and acceptable for everyone involved in rugby union to raise concerns about any unacceptable practice, behaviour, wrongdoing or misconduct.


Recognising that, through loyalty or fear of repercussion, people may be reluctant to voice worries, the RFU Speak Up policy. has been created to encourage members of the game to speak up, knowing that they will be supported and their concerns will be handled sensitively.


In circumstances where you have concerns that you or someone you know is not being treated fairly because of a protected characteristic as set out above, then it is important that you raise those concerns with a Club Officer, your Constituent Body (CB) contact or the RFU.


To report an issue to the RFU, please email disciplinerfu@rfu.com ensuring that you include contact details so that a member of the RFU Discipline team can contact you.

All reports received will be treated in strictest confidence.

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