U16’s County Cup Statement


Sep 2023

Following an appeal to Leicestershire and Rutland Rugby Union regarding a decision in relation to entering the County U16s Cup, please see the below rationale and background to the decision.

Oakham RFC appealed the decision of the competition secretary that they be excluded from the U16 county cup for the 2023/24 season.

The decision to exclude was made in relation to provision 2b of the cup regulations: “not played within the spirit and ethos of the Laws of the Game”. There were also concerns raised about safeguarding.

In considering the appeal the executive have applied the competition regulations (County Age Grade Cup/Plate/Colts Cup (U14-U18) Competition Rules and Requirements– 2023/2024)

In considering eligibility to enter in relation to Oakham RFC’s there is no reason to exclude them:
3) Membership and Eligibility of Clubs
a) The competition is open to any club in membership of the LRU and the Rugby Football Union.
b) It is the intention of the LRU to provide competitive rugby for as many players as possible”.

On the grounds of safeguarding, the power to exclude is one that can be exercised when a club breaches RFU Regulation 15, however the competition rules include the following: [4.f] “Where players have played a game of rugby on the previous day, a risk assessment should be undertaken by their club and parental consent should be obtained for their participation in an LRU Age Grade County Cup/Colts Cup/Plate game”.

On rule 2b the competition rules are implicit this is about the playing of the game: [2] “b) The LRU Age Grade Competition Secretary and the LRU Age Grade Chair have the power to exclude any club or team from the LRU County Age Grade Cup/Plate and Colts competitions organised by the LRU if that club or team has not complied with the Regulations of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) or has not played within the spirit and ethos of the Laws of the Game”.

The executive found no evidence that Oakham RFC had not complied with the Regulations of the RFU and as no games have been played no way to apply the spirit and ethos provision in relation to the Laws of the Game.

In conclusion there were no reason within the competition rules to exclude Oakham RFC U16s from the county cup and the Executive voted Oakham RFC U16s be included.

As the competition rules state the appeal is a decision of the Executive a vote on this recommendation is required: [2.d] “a further right of formal appeal against their rulings to the Executive Committee”. On this basis as the competition is run under the LRU there is no right of appeal by any party.