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

RFU Area 4 GMS Update Webinar Programme


Jul 2020

Based on feedback from the game last season and a desire to streamline processes and time spent by clubs and players/parents, we are making two key developments to GMS for the 2020/21 season:

Personal Profile changes to improve the user experience for all GMS users.
Age-grade registration changes to benefit club administrators / registrars.

In addition, we will also be introducing a support portal to house GMS help materials.

To support clubs with these key changes and as a follow up to the webinar held on the 9th July found here https://www.englandrugby.com/participation/running-your-club/club-webinars  we will be running three webinars open to Area 4 clubs during the week beginning Monday 27th July. These are running at a variety of different day and times to allow flexibility to attend one of the sessions.  This is a National programme and will be run across all RFU Areas in due course. But whilst the target audience for these is Area 4 Clubs, clubs from other RFU areas are welcome.

To take part please email laurencekenyon@rfu.com to book a place, stating

  •   your name
  •   club
  •   role within the club (optional)
  •   your chosen session

Once your email has been received, you will then be sent a link to allow you to log in to your chosen session.

Dates for the Webinars;

Monday 27th July – 2.00pm

Tuesday 28th July – 6.00pm

Wednesday 29th July – 7.00pm

Last Chance to Register for NatWest Rugby Force 2019


Mar 2019

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to re-vamp your clubhouse or club grounds. Apply today at https://www.englandrugby.com/governance/club-support/natwest-rugbyforce/ to be in with a chance to win a host of exciting rewards and benefits, including £3,000 grants (six available), £500 grants (425 available) and online toolkits, to marketing and communications advice as well as access to special offers.

NatWest RugbyForce 2019 weekend will take place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June and promises to be another great event bringing the rugby family and local communities together.

Your club is welcome to run its NatWest RugbyForce weekend on a different date but the programme support and promotional activity will geared towards the 22nd and 23rd June.

Closing date for applications is Sunday 17th March.



Mar 2019

Your friendly RFU county staff are hosting drop in GMS workshops on:

Wednesday 6th March at Loughborough RFC

Monday 18th March at South Leicester RFC

Both sessions will run from 1pm – 8pm

These are FREE drop in sessions to discuss any training/support you may require with GMS. This could include assigning coaches to teams, inputting fixtures (relevant for International tickets), creating a website or viewing your club training report.

These sessions are invaluable if you are a regular or new user of GMS and maybe have areas of the system you can’t quite get to grips with.

Clubs have to use GMS so please make use of these sessions.

Groundsman Evenings


Feb 2019

There are two opportunities to attend a Groundsman Evening.

Tuesday 26th March @ Broadstreet RFC, 6.30pm start
Wednesday 27th March @ Nottingham (Lady Bay), 4.30pm start

The evening will cover:

  • The RFU’s local pitch contractor partnership
  • Keith Kent’s rugby club maintenance equipment package
  • Keith Kent’s off-season renovations advice and demons
  • Rigby Taylor – ‘breaking the myths’

Email groundsmenconnected@rfu.com to register.