Tackle Height Debate : Update 16/02/2023


Feb 2023

At the Leicestershire Clubs’ Zoom meeting on Tuesday 31 January 2023, with the attendance of Paul Walsh, you will recall that I was mandated by the majority vote of those clubs represented, as follows:

  1. To back Staffordshire RU in their motion for the RFU to rescind the alterations to the tackle law to allow for consultation with clubs and members
  2. To support the Community Clubs Union (CCU) in their proposed motion for the RFU to revise procedures to ensure that CBs and Clubs are consulted before any future major changes to the game are made.

I contacted Staffordshire’s Honorary Secretary that same evening to convey Leicestershire’s support. Unfortunately, as we now know, there were only five Council Members of the twenty required who had notified their support by the deadline of 3 February 2023; and so the proposed motion could not be put to Council at its meeting last Monday.

At the time of writing, I understand that the CCU have sent out draft template letters for their supporting clubs to use when writing to the RFU seeking a Special General Meeting. There has been no announcement yet of any such request having met the required threshold of 100 clubs.

Since the Staffordshire proposal fell I have been talking with a group of like-minded Council Members about how we might best further the legitimate interests and concerns of our Clubs, given that the introduction of a lowered tackle height remains on the calendar to be introduced from 1 July 2023, just 4 ½ months away.

Council was promised a debate on the events and decisions that brought us to the current position, at Monday’s Council Meeting. In the event, we were allotted just five minutes. In an attempt to extend the time for the debate, we made approaches to the President and submitted a series of detailed questions that we felt needed answering. We received no direct response to those questions but did learn that it was the President’s intention to set up a ‘Task & Finish Group’ (Chaired by the Senior VP) to look at this whole subject.

The President introduced the subject in this way and I took the opportunity to state how disappointed I was personally, that we had not been given what we were promised and that the whole subject appeared to be being kicked into the long grass. The President assured me this wasn’t the case. The SVP said this wasn’t to be an exercise in the attribution of blame but rather a look forward at what we might do differently in the future. I said we could not learn any lessons without first understanding exactly what had happened in the past.

I have applied for a place on this T&FG and hope to have the opportunity to ‘keep it honest’ and transparent. I have yet to see any Terms of Reference.

So, we move on, in the meantime, to the Consultation phase. This is what we know so far:

Over the course of the next few weeks, the RFU will be launching a series of initiatives to listen to and learn from people across the game.
• Central to these will be a series of 24 consultation forums, 12 face to face and 12 virtual.
• The LRU can nominate 40 people to represent across the senior men’s and women’s game and the age grade game, including players, coaches, match officials, parents, teachers, Club and County volunteers, Disciplinary officers, Safeguarding and Rugby Safe officers.
• This should mean direct consultation with around 1000 people across the country.
• We have to submit our list of nominees to the RFU by noon on Friday 24 February 2023; so, if you want to be involved, please complete the online form which will shortly be available on the LRU website, ASAP
• An open survey will also be launched by the RFU on Wednesday 1 March 2023
• There will also be a series of online focus groups – though no details of these are yet available
This consultation, in its various guises, is currently the most direct route for the whole Game to have a say and to try to effect change in the start date, the actual tackle height and the law changes that will be required.

I urge you, please, to seize the opportunity to be heard loud and clear.

Peter A Howard
RFU Council Member for Leicestershire & Rutland
07912 057919

U18’s Boys Midlands Trials Sunday 29th January


Jan 2017

At 2.00 pm this Sunday 29th January at Leicester Grammar School, the Midlands U18s trials will kick-off featuring around 40 players from all rugby counties in the Midlands (Warwickshire, Staffordshire, North Midlands, East Midlands, Notts/Lincs/Derby and Leicestershire).

The selected players will then play The North in a game in February.  The game will feature 13 Leicestershire U18s players coming from the local clubs of Hinckley, Ashby, Lutterworth, Leicester Forest and also local schools of Uppingham and Welbeck College.

Come along and show your support for local players displaying some quality rugby. A third of the players are from Leicestershire, so we are confident we will see a number represented in the Midlands team. This is a fantastic opportunity to see potential professional players at early stages.

Good luck to all our squad.

‘Super Sunday’ U16 Festival


Jan 2017

This Sunday 8th January we see some of our U16 boys play in a county festival at Loughborough University. The event is organised by Leicester Tigers, but the squads are selected by CB coaches and include players who are in DPP and those selected through trials and scouting.

Leicestershire KO at 11am, with further details of the fixture attached.

All spectators welcome so why not come along and show your support.