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University Rugby Update | May 2021

Regular updates on events, offers, and opportunities from England Rugby University Partnerships team and the Students’ RFU.

Dear university rugby representatives,

This update's headlines include:

  1. GMS contacts

  2. University Rugby Awards

  3. SRFU AGM – save the date

  4. Return to Play

  5. Time to Activate

  6. Rugby is back – share your stories

  7. Simplyhealth Mental Wellbeing Webinar

  8. Payment of Players Regulation Update

Follow our social channels

To stay up to date on guidance, webinars and good practice examples, make sure you follow the joint social channels of the SRFU and RFU University Partnerships Team. You can follow our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page.


Update GMS – New Committees

As new members join the club committee, ahead of next season, please ensure your golden roles on the RFU Game Management System are up to date. This is vital to ensure effective distribution of information and to ensure access to SRFU and RFU benefits.


University Rugby Awards

We're delighted to announce that there were over 60 nominations for this year's awards, the most ever received. Here are the nominations put forward to the Awards Panel for consideration.

To see a complete list of the nominees, please here.

Please join us to celebrate the fantastic work going on in university rugby, and of course the winner's announcement, on Thursday 13 May at 4pm on our social media channels.



Save the dateThe Students' RFU is the university sector's representative body at the Rugby Football Union (England Rugby). It is crucial for the SRFU to have ongoing dialogue with our university member clubs, so please save the date and join us for our AGM on Thursday 1 July at 3.30pm. More details are coming soon.


Return to Play update

On Monday 26 April we moved on to stage D2 on the Return to Rugby Roadmap, meaning contact matches with adapted laws can take place. The same contact training restrictions from stage D1 still apply in stage D2.

For more information and Return to Rugby resources, please see our Kitbag.


It’s time to Activate

We have new Activate resources to help players get ready for their return to rugby while preventing injury. These exercises are designed to improve functional strength, movement control, balance and agility and helping players with pre-activation for the physical demands at all levels of the game from age grade to adults.

The resources are part of the Activate programme and can be used as stand- alone exercises and as part of game based approach before training sessions and matches.


Rugby is back – share your stories

With Return to Rugby programmes and 7s festival invitations flooding in as clubs prepare for a rugby-filled summer, we would love to see how your clubs are welcoming players back. Share your stories by emailing or tag us on your social media posts.


Simplyhealth Mental Wellbeing Webinars

Our trusted healthcare partner Simplyhealth believe good health is the foundation for a good life, and understand the benefit of exercise on wellbeing. We’re in the midst of a mental health crisis, amplified by the pandemic that means attaining and maintaining health isn’t always easy.

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (10th - 16th May) Simplyhealth are working on a mental wellbeing resource to support grassroots clubs with the advice, tools and signposting that will help them continue their amazing work. The resource is endorsed by the Mental Health Foundation, and will be available on the RugbySafe home page from next week.

Watch the latest RugbySafe webinar on demand here.


Payment of Players

Following RFU Council's vote on Friday, changes have been agreed to Payment of Players, Regulation 7.

Regarding student rugby specifically, there will be no requirement for student clubs to complete the declaration annually unless the student club plays in an RFU League at level 7 and above.

If you have any queries, please contact

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