England Rugby – Match Officiating Code of Practice

  • September 21, 2023
Message from: Michael Patz (RFU Match Official Development Manager) &

Michael Priestley (Chair – Rugby Football Referees’ Union)

To: All Society Referees and Match Observers

We hope you are all going well, enjoying some local rugby while taking in the Rugby World Cup 2023.

We all love our great sport, and the part we play in it is vital to delivering the game. We understand the core values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportspersonship; these make the game special and enable it as a sport for all who enjoy the culture and environment that the core values produce, irrespective of any protected characteristics.

In just the same way that we expect people to treat us fairly, all participants are entitled to feel safe and protected from any form of abuse or neglect and have the right to take part in a safe, respectful, and enjoyable environment. These values lie at the heart of what we do.

The RFU & RFRU are committed to supporting the culture that lives and breathes the core values, is free of abuse, discrimination, and harm, where everyone feels safe and able to raise any concerns they have and challenge any concerns they see or hear.

It is essential therefore that we apply a Code of Conduct to what we do to promote those high standards. The RFU & RFRU strongly encourages its member Referee Societies (RFRU Federations) and Match Officials at all levels (on-field and off-field) to accept and adopt the Code of Conduct.

We encourage Referee Societies to publicise the adoption of the Code of Conduct to all members.


Michael                                                                        Mike

RFU Match Official Development Manager          Chair – Rugby Football Referees’ Union

13th September 2023