Updated June 1st: Restoring Focus – Additional Guidance from RFU Match Official Development Manager and Videos illustrating Law variations

  • April 5, 2021

Additional Guidance from RFU Match Official Development Manager

To:  RFRU & Referee Society Secretaries, Referee Society Training Officers

Dear colleagues,

I hope you are all keeping well.

This is a joint message with David Barnes, RFU Head of Discipline. As we have previously discussed age grade and adult rugby at level 3 and below can only be played under adapted laws (No scrum or maul) as shown on the Return to Rugby Community Roadmap – Stage D2

This includes all formats of the game, including 7s and Tens. The England Rugby Community Game Law Variations 2020-21 have been clarified to support this understanding.

We are now seeking your help to ensure that our members comply with the application of the law variations, as unfortunately we are seeing a number of personal interpretations appearing through social media. We appreciate that colleagues could potentially come under pressure from coaches & players to play with ‘passive scrums’ or anything looking like a scrum, however this is not permitted under the Government Guidance.

While we appreciate how frustrating this may be for the rugby community, we also understand the picture that Government and Public Health England (PHE) are currently looking at, with growing concerns around the Indian variant of Covid-19 in England. Thank you for your support and let’s please ensure we and our members play our part to restrict the spread of the virus and to keep our game being played.

Further supporting resources including specific match official ones are available online at: England Rugby – Return to Rugby Resources

If we can offer any advice or support please do not hesitate to make contact via matchofficials@rfu.com or just call.

Take care, kind regards,

RFU Match Official Development Manager

Message from Andy McMillan (Chairman, Training & Development)

The Warwickshire Society of Referees has made available four videos to help officials prepare for contact rugby under the agreed Law Variations.

The videos can be accessed here and consist of the following:
1. 20 very short clips that highlight issues relating to the Law Variations (4 mins)
2. A clip which “listens-in” on a referee’s pre-match briefing to players (5 mins 30 secs)
3. A clip which “listens-in” on a pre-match briefing to captains (2 mins 20 secs)
4. The full match (1.5hrs)

Many thanks to Warwickshire Referees Society for the use of their clips.

I have made brief notes, in this supporting document, on each of the 20 clips that point to the relevant Law variation issues. I suggest you have a copy to-hand when viewing the video clips.
As always, if you have any queries about the Law variations, please send me an email and I will try to answer them.

Andy McMillan (MADREF T&D)