Community Rugby – Season 2020/21
In order to run our planned season, the Royal Navy Rugby Union Community Rugby team are seeking volunteers to administer Leagues and organise events; You don’t need to be a qualified coach, all you need is a passion for rugby and 2-3 hours per week to put into the game.
The RFU recently directed that no organised RFU or non-RFU Leagues, adult or age grade competitions will be played before 2021 at the earliest (with the exception of Premiership, Championship, Premier 15s and Elite 15s rugby). Whilst this means the RNRU can’t organise or play competitive full-contact games, we are at Stage D of the RFU’s plan to Return to Rugby Road Map, which means we can train using the RFU’s Adapted Contact rules, and arrange fixtures to play up to 10-a-side under the Ready4Rugby game rules.
Our Community Rugby aim is to prepare for a return to rugby in the New Year, and we plan to run a number of coaching and Ready4Rugby events in November and December. These will be advertised on the RNRU website and social media feeds, so please keep an eye out, but don’t just wait for those events. You can run your own team sessions now, and we can support your unit in running training.
The RNRU Community Rugby organisation is planning as full a rugby programme for 2021, to include shortened Merit Leagues, the Navy Cup, RNRU 7s and Beach Rugby for unit sides. The sessions planned for the President’s XV and Women’s Development sides will give the chance for players to move up to a higher standard of rugby. Unfortunately, something had to give to fit a shorter season, and we won’t be able to run the Inverdale Trophy competition due to a lack of time and the clash with Representative season Inter Service preparations.
The cancellation of the 2020 Army vs Navy match at Twickenham removed a key income stream for the RNRU, and with great reluctance the Executive Committee had to make some difficult decisions on planned expenditure in order for the RNRU to remain viable. This has meant a reduction in paid staff numbers, specifically our Community Rugby Coaches. Both Dave Wakefield and Spider Kelly did a fantastic job and enabled the Union to run a varied and full Community season. With their hard work, we have played as much Community Rugby as the Army over previous years with a much smaller player base. We wish them both every success in their new careers and hope to see them as visitors at our future matches and events.
Fortunately, Mr Ady Cherrington remains as our Rugby Development Officer (RDO), and has now returned part-time from Furlough to help players and teams restart their rugby. He can be reached by email at AdyCherrington@rfu.com, or you can call him in office on Mondays and Wednesdays. Please contact him if you want advice or assistance in getting yourself and your team ready for rugby.
Finally, a call to assist us in running Community Rugby. In order to run our planned season, we will be seeking volunteers. You don’t need to be a qualified coach (although coaching volunteers are most welcome). Our volunteers will be asked to administer Leagues and organise events, so all you need is a passion for rugby and 2-3 hours per week to put into the game. Volunteers should contact the Rugby Development Officer (RDO), Mr Ady Cherrington at AdyCherrington@rfu.com.
Director of Community Rugby, Commander Peter ‘Beasty’ Williams said: “COVID-19 has cramped our rugby style, but we have the scope to enjoy some rugby, and the chance of a return to a fuller season after Christmas. Get yourself ready for January; dig out your boots, find your fellow players, and get out training and playing Ready4Rugby. The RNRU Community team will help you as far as we can; please give us a call if you need advice, guidance or help in restarting rugby in your unit.”
By line: Peter Williams
Image credit: Royal Navy Rugby Union © Keith Woodland.