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England Students – Programme Update

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

The Rugby Union community are aware the RFU Community Game Board have had to suspend funding for aspirational programmes and Constituent Body Rep teams, due to the financial challenges the RFU have been faced in the last 24 months. This directly impacted funding for the Men’s England Students Team. In 2019, the Students RFU Trustee Board agreed to fund a fixture from its reserves, against French Universities in England. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic this fixture was unable to go ahead and was postponed.

Following positive negotiation with colleagues at French Universities and the RFU, the postponed Men’s England Students international fixture will go ahead on a yet to be confirmed date 22-24th April 2022. The fixture is still being funded by SRFU reserves and funding is for this fixture only. Funding to aspirational programmes from the RFU Community Game Board is a discretionary spend and it is unknown if funding for the England Students programme will be re-instated. Given the uncertainty around RFU funding; the inability for the SRFU to sustainably fund the programme; lack of programme in a women’s team and the impact of BUCS Rugby Union programme on the player pathway. The SRFU trustee board feel it is the correct time to step back and strategically review the pathway and where the HE game can have the biggest impact on nurturing talent. We will be commissioning a review of the player pathway within the Higher Education in the coming months.

More details will be issued on the 2021/22 England Students programme via our website: from December onwards.

Mark Hyndman

SRFU Chair

November 2021

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