The information below sets out how Higher Education Institutions (HEI) Rugby Club(s) become members of both the Students’ Rugby Football Union (SRFU) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) as either voting or non-voting members. Membership to both bodies is required for student club teams to be entered into British University College Sport Rugby Union or NAMS leagues.
To become an affiliated voting member of both the SRFU and RFU your HEI and Rugby Club(s) must meet the criteria set out in 1.2 below.
Joining is a two-step process:
The deadlines for affiliation are: 17th September for BUCS and 8th October for NAMS
Looking for more information?
Click here for FAQs
1.5 SRFU Member Representation
In accordance with the Articles of Association, each member is required to declare two member representatives each year.
1.4 Existing Members
1.3 Applying to become a new member
The application process to become a new member (institution or club) will require approval from the Trustee Board with the completion of a membership application form. Once all requirements of membership are met, the new member will be voted in by an existing member vote at the next AGM. Where an application is made mid-season, the new member may be provisionally approved by the Trustee Board pending a formal vote at the next AGM
1.2.2 Student Rugby Club Responsibilities
Number of fixtures: To gain and maintain membership the member club must complete a minimum of 8 competitive fixtures at a first team level (Men’s or Women’s). Note your clubs will need to play 12 fixtures to qualify for RFU voting membership.
1.2.1 Higher Education Institution Responsibilities
1.1 Who can join the SRFU as a Member?
1.6 SRFU Membership Fee
The cost to register with the SRFU is currently free of charge.
1.7 SRFU Membership Benefits
1.8 How long does membership last and how is it renewed?
Membership to the SRFU is annual and needs to be renewed every season. The latest registration date for the season is 1st October. University Rugby Clubs are unable to participate in BUCS or NAMS competitions (XV & 7s) until membership is complete.
1.9 Suspension or Termination of SRFU Membership
A HEI Rugby Club(s) shall be liable to suspension or termination of its membership or privileges as the SRFU Governance Committee may determine if it should fail to satisfy the criteria and conditions of membership set out in Regulation 1.2, or fails to provide evidence to the satisfaction of the SRFU Governance Committee that it meets the criteria and conditions of membership set out in Regulation 1.2
1.10 Member misconduct or bring the game into disrepute
Both the HEI and club(s) shall be responsible for ensuring that its student-athletes, officials and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers conduct themselves in an orderly fashion whilst attending or taking part in Rugby Union activity on and off the field of play. They shall also be responsible for ensuring that its student-athletes, officials and all persons purporting to be its representatives do not conduct themselves in a way, or print/have published any material, which will bring the game into disrepute, including on social media platforms.
1.11 Non-Voting membership
Non-voting membership is open to Student Rugby Clubs that are play in RFU Community Leagues as their primary competition. These clubs are still required to meet reg 1.1.
1.12 Who cannot become a member of the SRFU?
Other education related institution (College & Schools) and non-student Rugby Clubs.
Why is membership of the SRFU now linked to eligibility to play in BUCS/LUSL/NAMS?
What benefits do I receive as a member?
Benefits for members include:
- Eligibility to enter into BUCS/NAMS competitions
- Eligibility to access the SRFU rugby grants scheme
- Entry to England ticket ballots (for RFU voting members)
- Invitations to member events including webinars, the RFU/BUCS/SRFU University Rugby Development Forum, the University Rugby Awards and SRFU AGM
- Receive the University Rugby Update, and RFU comms throughout the season
Why do we need to join the Students’ RFU?
What is the cost to become an SRFU member?
Who can join the SRFU as a Member?
Membership is open to English Higher Education Institutions that are registered with the Office for Students and have affiliated University Rugby Club(s) where the responsibility for the rugby club(s) is delegated to one of the following areas of a HEI:
- Students’ Union
- Athletic Union
- University Sports Department
What is the Students’ RFU?
The Students’ Rugby Football Union (SRFU) is a national constituent body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The SRFU is the representative body for university rugby union in England with a particular responsibility for the governance, development and growth of the game. It is a charitable company registered at both Companies House (Company Number: 04240029) and with the Charities Commission (Charity Number: 1087986).
The charitable purpose of the Students’ RFU is “the advancement of amateur sport”.
The charitable objects of the Students’ RFU is: “To administer, foster, encourage, extend and control rugby union football (“the game”) for the moral, mental and physical development of students at universities and other institutions of higher education in England”
Our university operates separate Men’s and Women’s Clubs, how does affiliation to the SRFU work for us?
SRFU and RFU membership is based on a single club and would not define between men's and women's clubs. We believe that all rugby union activity should come together under one membership and one plan for rugby. For example, the University of Leeds Men’s Rugby Club and University of Leeds Women’s Rugby Club could not hold separate membership and would be recognised as one club – ‘University of Leeds RUFC’.
Our university operates separate clubs for different campuses - how does affiliation to the SRFU work for this?
Our university has separate clubs for the medical school/dentist school/engineers - how does affiliation SRFU work for this?
SRFU Membership would be with the Higher Education Institution, we understand that there might be separate clubs that originate from academic schools/faculties, these clubs would still fall under the umbrella of affiliation of the HEI. To ensure we capture the specific details of each Rugby Club we require the HEI to submit an affiliation per club.
We are a student rugby club without affiliation to the university, how does our membership work for us?
SRFU Membership would be with the Higher Education Institution and their Rugby Clubs affiliated/supported by the Students’ Union, Athletic Union or University Sports Department. Without the above support from the HEI the Rugby Club is not eligible for membership or participation in BUCS or NAMS.
What is the difference between being affiliated to the SRFU and the RFU?
Any university club that successfully affiliates to the SRFU will automatically become an affiliated member of the RFU. Depending on the number of fixtures played by a club will determine when RFU voting rights will apply (e.g. at RFU AGM). It is the responsibility of the HEI and Rugby Clubs to maintain their RFU Game Management System (GMS) Club profiles.
Can/should we also affiliate with their County CB, for example Gloucestershire RFU?
This is only necessary if teams within the university / club intend to participate in county competition structures.