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Return to rugby at Unit Level


In line with the Rugby Football Union Return to Rugby Roadmap, from Wednesday 2nd December Unit’s may begin adapted training in preparation for local friendly fixtures recommencing NB Fri 18 Dec.  The commencement of Unit rugby is at the Commanding Officers discretion and risk.  Representative rugby, Corps level and above, remains suspended until 11th January 2021 at the earliest, ref ABN 146/2020.

These fixtures will have some law variations, full details of which are here and summarised below:

  • There will be no scrums or mauls in the game.
  • Instead of a scrum, the game will restart with a free kick. This free kick cannot be taken quickly.
  • A minimum of five and a maximum of seven players from each team are required to form a lineout.
  • A team awarded a penalty or free kick will no longer be able to choose a scrum option.
  • A team awarded a penalty or free kick at a lineout can instead choose another lineout at the same mark.


So what does this mean for my unit?


Training: As above, you can now start training in line with the conditions laid down by the RFU at Stage E: therefore, contact is now permitted.


Matches: You cannot play a match in line with the law variations above until 18 Dec 20. For most, this means it will now be after Christmas.


The ARU Community committee is continuing to explore options regarding the best format/structure to enable fixtures to take place at community level, further information on this will be distributed to Rugby Officers by Major Andy Bennett, Chair of Community Rugby Competitions.


You are now permitted to play Ready4Rugby matches again from Wed 2 Dec 20. Rugby Officers wishing for their units to play should continue to follow the guidance given on the ARU website. Submission of a Risk Assessment as soon as possible ahead of the event is vital in order to obtain approval in time.


A reminder, careful planning as part of the risk assessment (in consultation with the RFU Facility Reopening Guidance) should be made to ensure social distancing measures are followed for those watching the game. Similarly, the RFU Guide on Restarting Competitive Grassroots Rugby should be consulted before running an event.


Any queries should be directed in the first instance to the Chair of Community Rugby Competitions, Major Andy Bennett Email