Staffordshire Rugby Union - July 2014 Newsletter No.31
Staffordshire Rugby Union - July 2014
Newsletter No.31 - July 2014
Inside this issue:
Womens World Cup,
Lichfield girls get
Iain Haley elected SRU President
reports for 2013/2014
RFU Cup draws from
Age Grade Competition Review - Progress
Walsall RFC Under
14’s require coach
Dates for Diary
At the recent 2014 Staffordshire Rugby Union AGM held at Burton Rugby
Club, Iain Haley (Newcastle RFC) was elected SRU President for 20142016.
SRU Web site
RFU Touchline magazine
Rugby Club magazine
Rugby World magazine
Staffs RDT on Facebook
Iain has served as Vice-President for the past 2 years to the outgoing
President Mr Michael Procter.
In the words of Iain it will be a hard act to follow Michael, but he welcomes
the challenge and looks forward to the next 2 years, building upon the work
put in by Michael.
With the Rugby World Cup 2015 falling in Iain’s term of office it will surely
be an exciting time.
Lichfield girls get their England shirts before the World Cup game
Sat. 9th August- see England v
Samoa live at Lichfield RFC. Fun
starts at midday.
Click on links below for more info on
Womens Worl Cup.
England Team News
Team by Team guide
L/R - Vicky Fleetwood, Sarah Hunter, Emily Scarratt
and Natasha Hunt
The Women's Rugby World Cup gets under way in August,
holders New Zealand take on Kazakhstan in France.
The Black Ferns have won the last four tournaments and
are favourites to lift the trophy again at the final in Paris.
Wales and Ireland will compete in the 12-nation event,
with England, runners up at the last tournament in 2010,
hoping to go one better.
England flanker Maggie Alphonsi said: "I want people to
recognise us as the best team in the world."
The Red Roses have lost the last three World Cup finals to
New Zealand and the hurt of 2010 has driven Alphonsi and
the other 11 survivors from the defeat in London on.
The Six Nations Grand Slam winner said: "Losing in that
World Cup was horrendous."
England play Pool A rivals Samoa on Friday in Marcoussis
and Spain on 5 August, before a duel with Canada on 9 August.
Ireland head into the finals having won the Six Nations in
2013 and hoping to better their seventh-placed finish
Wales finished ninth in the last two World Cup tournaments and had a disappointing Six Nations in July with
just one victory.
But captain Rachel Taylor sees signs the Welsh team
are closing the gap to the best teams in the world.
"We have put some massive performances in against
some of the best teams in the world," Taylor told
"If I can take a little bit of every game and make one
game out of it, we'd have a really good strong team."
Wales play hosts and 2014 Six Nation Grand Slam winners France in their opening game of Pool C, followed
by Australia and South Africa.
All pool fixtures will be played across three match
days - 1, 5 and 9 August - on a series of pitches at
France's National Centre of Rugby in Marcoussis.
The semi-finals and final will be staged at the 20,000capacity Stade Jean Bouin in central Paris, the home
of Stade Francais rugby club, on 13 and 17 August.
Winger Grace Davitt said: "I'm so excited for this one,
it's definitely been the best preparation for any of the
three World Cup's I've been involved in so I'm just really
looking forward to getting over there and getting stuck
The Irish open their campaign against Pool B opponents
USA, before facing world champions New Zealand and Kazakhstan.
SRU President and Chairmans report 2013/2014:
As you are all aware I have just completed my second, and
final, year in office as Staffordshire Rugby Union President.
I wish to thank; both Walsall Rugby Club and Trentham
Rugby Club for my nomination, the past presidents for
their wisdom and advice, and all of the committee members for their efforts behind the scenes to make Staffordshire operate in an exceptional manner.
Over the past four years, along with members of the management team, I have moved around the county, and it has
been a pleasure to witness how clubs operate. Some clubs
have plenty of volunteers, others have just a handful, but
all ensure that rugby throughout the Constituent Body
thrives. I extend my gratitude to you all.
My county schedule throughout the year has been well
recorded, but here is a taste of some its events and
achievements which have taken place:
• A Sportsmen’s Lunch hosted by Wolverhampton Rugby
Club for five hundred guests
• 2015 Rugby World Cup launches
• ‘Golden oldies lunch’ – revisiting Staffordshire’s 1970
County Championship victory
• U7s-U12s Festivals – 1400 children taking part across
• U13s-U17s League and Cup competitions – 26 teams competing in 13 finals
• Senior Cup Competitions hosted by Newcastle Rugby Club
and Stoke Rugby Club
• County representative games across both genders and all
• Presentation of four Staffordshire senior XV caps
(awarded for competing in five county championship
• Seven Accreditation Presentations to clubs (meaning
fifteen of the county’s clubs are now accredited)
• Recognition and thanks shown to eighteen volunteers
from our county’s clubs at a Valued Volunteers dinner
• Developing Player Programme (DPP) for U13-U16 year
• Increased support for safeguard management
• Investment into and development of club Facilities
• Investment into and development of student recruitment
On the playing front, I have had the great pleasure of
Our county representative teams are committed to making sure that the player experience is at the fore. I can
only hope that clubs continue to facilitate progress by
allowing players the opportunity to play on a stage greater than at club level.
Back in November I had the opportunity to attend Cheshire v Staffordshire U15 girls and U18 ladies rugby at Birkenhead Park. This was a fantastic afternoon of rugby.
The manner, attitude and spirit with which these young
ladies played took me back thirty years, reminding me of
the way in which rugby was intended to be enjoyed.
Rugby is about participation, respect, discipline and enjoyment; this must be acknowledged if our game is to
Perhaps it would be remiss of me not to mention one item
which grows ever nearer, the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the
official launch of which saw the creation of a number of
Firstly, all Constituent Bodies have been linked with a
European nation and as such our Constituent Body has
been linked with the Czech Republic.
Also, a network of ‘Club Champions’ and ‘Young Rugby Ambassadors’ has been established in our county. Next season this network will really begin to enable clubs to make
the most of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Lastly, I’d like to thank a school teacher of mine who
first gave me the opportunity to play and get involved in
I hope I have repaid you in full.
President and Chairman
Staffordshire Rugby Union
presenting caps, ties and broaches to players representing
our county. Some of these have had their first taste of
rugby at a county level, others are more experienced, but
all have acquitted themselves excellently.
Staffordshire Rugby Union - July 2014
SRU Hon. Secretary’s Report 2013/2014:
Several Staffordshire clubs have had an excellent season,
winning more than their fair share of trophies, but I want
to put things in perspective for those clubs which have had
a far less successful season.
You may have lost more games than you won. You may have
lost to your bitterest rivals. Not only that, but they absolutely thrashed you. At least it was all over in 80 minutes.
Now imagine following England’s cricket team on their last
Ashes tour to Australia and being hammered five games on
the trot (no pun intended), spanning 20 days spread over
seven weeks. It wasn’t a cheap trip either! On the plus side,
the fifth and final Test was over in just three days so we
were able to consol ourselves with a trip to Bondi Beach. As
Eric Idle sang, “Always look on the bright side of life.”
I dare say that England’s travelling footie fans have the
distractions of Copacabana Beach but with the Rugby World
Cup just over 12 months away what are we left with if England lost their pool games to Wales and Australia? It
doesn’t bear thinking about does it?
Much of the CB’s work with the RFU and increasingly with
our clubs is geared towards RWC 2105. Club representatives have been able to attend presentations about the expected impact the tournament will have on the game in general and on rugby in England in particular.
Clubs have been given the opportunity to provide nominees
for The Pack, the RWC Volunteer Programme. Each club
should have a RWC Club Champion, someone whose role will
become more prominent as the tournament approaches.
Each CB is part of a RWC Legacy Group. Staffordshire
form part of the Area 5 Group with Fran Cotton as its
Chairman. In April he hosted a dinner to launch the Legacy
Group activities. The dinner was attended by the Club
Champions as well as CB and RFU officials and sponsors.
The RWC Community Rugby Priority Access to tickets has
just closed. There has been a high take up rate of the ticket allocations despite the prices of tickets to attend the
matches at Twickenham.
There are also funding opportunities linked to RWC 2015
along with an increased provision of courses to cope with
the expected influx of people wanting to play a role in our
However, the attraction of newcomers to rugby union,
though very welcome, also presents challenges. Those of us
involved in the game already “get it” but what we need to do
is pass on the core values of the game; teamwork, respect,
enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship and not be afraid
to do so.
The increasing interest in rugby, particularly in attending matches at Twickenham, where even the
Army-Navy game is virtually sold out, means that
club officers who deal with tickets need to be extra
The Twickenham matchday experience is becoming
much sought after and with the RWC the demand
will only intensify for club members to obtain tickets for “a friend of a friend”. If tickets fall into the
wrong hands or appear for sale on unauthorised websites ticket sanctions can follow whether the offender is an international player, a CB or a club.
With regard to a couple of items mentioned in my
report last year, firstly, the RFU Corporate Governance Report was completed and accepted without
too much fuss at grassroots level. Likewise, the RFU
Competitions Review finally came to its conclusions.
Following a series of amendments, its recommendations were approved at the last RFU Council meeting.
Clubs will probably become more aware of the Review than the Report although the full implications
may not be apparent until season 2016-17 when the
changes in the league structure kick in.
More immediate changes will be apparent in agegrade rugby next season with the decision taken by
the county’s Mini/Youth Rugby Committee to dispense with leagues at U13s to U15s.
It is pleasing to see that several clubs took up the
invitation to apply for small grants from the Staffordshire RFU Rugby Development Fund, a new initiative announced at last year’s AGM. The invitation
remains open for other clubs to apply next season.
Having written last year about the importance of
communication links for a CB or club secretary,
I would like to acknowledge the work of John Atkin
in launching the new county website and also continuing to develop the online monthly newsletter. The
link between a CB and its clubs should be a two way
process which is fundamental and mutually beneficial
in all sorts of ways. Input from club representatives
is always welcome. Remember, those who serve on CB
committees are probably just those club reps who
attended one too many meetings. Finally, going back
to my opening remarks about putting things in perspective, as a resident of Burntwood I have just two
words – Stephen Sutton.
Staffordshire Rugby Union - July 2014
SRU Hon. Patrons Secretary Report
I write this report reflecting on England’s recent tour to
New Zealand (3-0 defeat). Despite this loss I feel we should
look back to the beginning of summer 2013, which saw the
Lions tour Australia and England tour Argentina.
Whilst many English players were instrumental in the Lions
tour, many experienced players were rested, giving a chance
for young talent to flourish in Argentina. England’s talented
youth and back room team were given the opportunity to
step up and make their mark, which they duly did, taking on
and winning two tests for the first time since 1981; a fantastic achievement.
The autumn QBE internationals saw England host Australia,
Argentina and New Zealand. Our ticket allocation for these
games was met. For those who were able to witness the
Twickenham games first hand, the support was very special.
Every effort was employed to ensure that England supporters got behind their team to
– “CARRY THEM HOME”.
England were victorious against Australia 20-13 and once
again defeated Argentina 31-12. In their final game of their
Northern Hemisphere tour, despite an impressive England
display, New Zealand won 22-30 regaining the Edmond Hilary Trophy. England was left thinking of what might have
On the home front our county clubs and county teams continue to improve. Our U20 county side advanced through the
group stages and into the 1/4 finals of the RFU U20 competition.
Both our club and county representative teams, spanning the
genders and age groups, continue to improve and their progression is right on your doorstep, there for all to see in
both evening and weekend fixtures.
Over the years some memorable and epic games have
been enjoyed and with the retirement of Jonny Wilkinson be strengthened.
Back to our clubs, congratulations to Leek Rugby Club
who won the Midlands Cup and advanced through the
national competition to experience playing at Twickenham.
I know that many patrons were able to witness this
My special thanks go to Richard Nadin, our RFU representative, who helped out with tickets when demand,
yet again, out-stripped availability. Richard’s continued
support is much appreciated.
Our website and monthly newsletter continue to inform
all about what is happening throughout Staffordshire.
I encourage you to please have a look at this.
You will also find a new page “Staffordshire 2015” to
highlight events taking place throughout the county
for next year’s World Cup.
As I mentioned at the beginning of my report last
year, the opportunity to be both President and your
Patrons Secretary has been a true pleasure and enabled me to meet many of you personally.
Hon Patrons Secretary
Please see our new county website
for up-todate fixtures, venues and events.
Your local teams need your support!
On to the six nations, with two away games England had not
the easiest of starts with a 26-24 defeat in France. However, moving ever-forward England did not lose another match.
Wins against Scotland, Ireland and Wales gave them their
first Triple Crown since 2003. Yet again the Six Nations
came down to the final games of the championship. England’s
52–11 win over Italy in Rome was not sufficient and the honours went to Ireland.
RDP Report - Robin Websdale - Chair of RDP
The partnership is now in its 10th season and as we have
done in the previous nine we have continued to support the
development of rugby in Staffordshire alongside the RFU
professional staff. Many thanks must go to Simon Hincks
for all his support during the year. As always the player is
at the centre of all we do whether a boy or girl and as I
have said before I believe that rugby is a vehicle which
enables players to develop skills that they carry with them
for the rest of their lives.
Over the last two seasons the New Rules of Play have
been introduced to the younger players and during last
season we had a meeting to look at the blueprint for mini
and junior rugby. Many of you attended the Blueprint
Roadshow at Sir Graham Balfour School, Stafford and
listened with interest to the many suggestions and ideas
coming from the RFU. Whether all those suggestions take
place we will see over the next few seasons, I know a number of you had concerns over reducing the size of teams
at under 13 to under 15 levels. My view on this is that we
stay at 15 aside and if a team has only 12 or 13 players
then we play 12 or 13 aside. As long as we have a game of
rugby which the players enjoy and gain a lot from I personally would be very happy.
As always I have been very fortunate in working with many
dedicated volunteers especially in the County Representative sides at 16, 17 and 18, who give freely of their time.
A great loss to Staffordshire rugby is the untimely death
of Brian Gayton, who for many years worked hard for the
minis and youth in the County, he will be sorely missed. We
are grateful to the people who have stepped into his place
ensuring the good work continues.
There are many people in this county who I am very grateful to for all their hard work and I thank all of these fantastic volunteers who have helped the RDP in fulfilling its
Developing Player Programme
At this time last season we did not know what was going to
take the place of Schools of Rugby. During the summer
months I was involved in a number of meetings and discussions with staff from the RFU and Leicester Tigers. From
this we worked out what was best for the players in the
Leicester Tigers catchment area which involves Norfolk,
NLD, Leicestershire and ourselves. We came to an agreement where the RFU, Leicester Tigers and the CB’s will
contribute funding into the developing player programme.
This year the funding for this program came to about
£90,000, approximately £22,000 of this came from the
RFU, £4000 from each of the CB’S and the rest from
Leicester Tigers. Across the Tigers area eight centres
were set up, we had two in Staffordshire one based Longton and one at Walsall, though the latter one occasionally
ran at Burntwood. Head coaches Simon Robson and Anthony Nixon have worked hard at setting out the programme
to improve not only the rugby skills but also the player’s movement skills.
There have been some hiccups but overall the programme has worked very well with many players and
clubs benefiting from the high standard of coaching.
Mini and Youth
It was agreed at a meeting in January that we would
not have leagues at U13, U14 and U15 age groups.
There have been many discussions over the last few
years with regards to these leagues, some arguing for
some against but unfortunately there have been a number of incidences where in the heat of a league match a
minority of coaches and parents have forgotten about
the five core values of team work, respect, enjoyment,
discipline, and sportsmanship. Therefore we felt that it
was time to concentrate more on getting players to
play rather than focus on the winning side of the game,
where only the best players play. This year we will be
going back to a cup competition at these age groups
where the first round winners continue in the cup and
the losers move into the plate. This means that the
clubs and the players will have more opportunity to
make new friends and play teams from outside of Staffordshire, helping to increase players and coaches understanding of the game. Above all it should enable the
less able players to play more rugby and stop the elite
players being overplayed.
Staffordshire County Schools Union
Under the leadership of Ian Rowlands the County
Schools Union have built upon last year’s hard work and
continued to introduce new players to the game. The
England Rugby Football Schools Union have put money
into the Staffordshire PFR plan which was spent this
year in developing girl’s rugby in schools.
Many teachers in difficult situations have continued to
put out school rugby teams in their own time whilst
they are under immense pressure in fulfilling their
teaching role, where unfortunately the academic side is
much more important than the playing of sports.
In one school where a teacher died suddenly the boys
U18 side continued to run due to the fact that the
boys did it themselves. My congratulations go to Ian
West and his team mates for all the hard work that
they put in to ensure they had a successful conclusion
to their school season.
Throughout the season schoolteachers organised cup
competitions at all age groups which all were successfully concluded even with many matches being postponed due to the inclement weather.
I attended the Year 7 tournament at Longton, which
was organised by George Glenn (CRC), at which 28
schools took part and had a very successful and
RDP Report (cont) - Robin Websdale - Chair of RDP
by recruiting new players, for example Trentham gained
seven new players.
My thanks go to all the schoolteachers who have put in
hours of work to give the opportunity to the children to
RFU All Schools Programme
At the start of this year two areas of Staffordshire were
identified to have an all schools programme, one based
around Longton Rugby Club and a second based around
Wednesbury Rugby Club. Three schools that fitted in with
the criteria set down were identified around each club and
were asked if they would like to take part in the programme. It meant that each school would have £10,000
spent on them over the next three years. All six schools
that were asked agreed to take part. Wednesbury Rugby
club has benefited immensely with many new players joining
their youth age groups. Longton Rugby club has been less
successful but have still gained some new players plus a few
players have gone to clubs nearer to them.
The schools themselves have put out teams at various age
groups all supporting the Year 7 county tournament and the
players have developed their rugby skills. Part of the programme is to introduce the RFU core values to the children
enabling them to be better disciplined in the school situation.
Initially the year 7’s and 8’s were the main focus with the
year 9’s becoming part of the programme later in the
At Sandon High School in Stoke all age groups have played
in either tournaments or matches. Wodensborough School
near Wednesbury reached one of the County School Cup
Finals, a marvellous achievement in their first year. Each
school has benefited from coaching from RFU coaches
equivalent to about seven hours per week as well as being
given balls, cones, bibs and playing kit. In some schools
posts have been put up and post pads given to them. At the
England versus Wales international a pupil representative
from all the new schools in the country were officially presented to with their own designed shirts from Canterbury.
Not only have the players of these schools benefited but
staff have attended a teacher’s course to help them develop their knowledge of the game and be able to safely coach
it in their schools.
Ben White from Denstone College and Stoke Rugby Club
was selected for the Midlands u16’s Squad. He played in
the Wellington Festival against France West and Wales
Druids. He was then selected for the England Roses squad
who played against England Lions on the final day. Ben’s
successful season was capped with being invited to go to
Academy. Our congratulations go to him and we wish him
the best of luck at Leicester.
Staffordshire U16s Season Review
The mid-summer training day at Denstone College was
repeated. However the fact that the County side lost
to the school side in the training game, suggested the
season would be a difficult one. This proved to be the
The tight schedule for the Midlands fixtures did not
allow for a warm up game prior to the first fixture
against North Mids.
The training sessions this year took place at Longton
RFC to correspond with DPP training. This did not prove
entirely successful and will need some revision in coming
seasons if the squad are to get full benefit from the
switch from Lichfield RFC.
There was a large squad of players involved in initial
training. This may well have hampered selection somewhat as it became a difficult task in trying to keep all
members of the squad involved in preparation for the
The mid-week game played at Burntwood RFC against a
strong North Mids side was lost 5-58, Staffs only
score coming from a try by Levi Davies (Denstone Coll.
& Burton RFC). It was a sobering experience for the
whole squad, and presented difficulties in considering
selection for the first Super Sunday game against
Leicestershire held at Bromsgrove RFC. However, it was
thought that the squad deserved a further chance and
there were no wholesale changes for this game.
It was however, a repeat performance as similar problems occurred with Leicestershire running out winners
There were periods in the game when the Staffs side
played well, especially defensively, but they lacked an
attacking threat to worry the Leicestershire defence.
It was a similar story in the second Super Sunday game
held at Leicester GS against NLD. Good defence
against a bigger pack, but without any real attacking
threat and a final score of 5-33. The Staffs try coming
from Sam Lewis (Denstone Coll. & Stoke RFC). Following these performances, it was unlikely that Staffordshire would supply many players for Midlands coaching.
In fact three members of the squad
Ben White (Denstone Coll & Stoke RFC), Simon
Mitchell (Newcastle Sch. & Stoke RFC) and Jack
Furnival (Newcastle Sch. & Whitchurch RFC) went to
Midlands training, with Ben going on to represent the
Midlands and the England Roses XV at the Wellington
Although the season’s results paint a gloomy picture,
the boys can be commended on their attitude to training, playing and representing their County. The boys
RDP Report (cont) - Robin
Websdale - Chair of RDP
Staffordshire U18s Season Review
We began with a nervy performance against Warwickshire
at a cold and damp Walsall RUFC. It was evident it was our
first game and we ended up losing 21-11. Our second CB
game was against North Midlands at Stourbridge RFC. We
wanted an improved performance from the lads and certainly got one as we put in an amazing effort to beat them
24-22 (we scored a last minute try). Therefore, during
Super Sunday we were drawn in the 3rd/4th place playoff against NLD. In a very open and entertaining game we
ran out victorious 17-12.
Staffordshire U17s Season Review
We began with a scrappy performance against Leicestershire and eventually lost 34-14. However, our second game
against Lancashire was a much tighter affair and we eventually just lost 21-14.
During this season I have supported the ladies teams as
much as possible by attending their meetings and as necessary advising them. The younger age groups received
new kit and played a few games.
I attended one of the County Seniors matches playing
against Leicestershire and it was a pleasure to present all
the players with their County pins.
The Women’s and Girls Forum have worked extremely hard
to introduce the game to even more ladies by organising
various events. I wish to thank them for all their hard
work in what is becoming a fast developing area of rugby.
My congratulations go to Wolverhampton U17’s players and
coaches on winning the National U17 Cup. I have added
below a short match report that can be found on the county website. WOLVERHAMPTON lifted the National Under
17 Cup with a hard-earned 7-3 win over Sevenoaks in today’s final at the A J Bell Stadium, home of Aviva Premiership club Sale Sharks.
All the points were scored in the first half with Wolverhampton recovering from going 3-0 down to an early Sevenoaks penalty. Centre Marinus Augostine scored the only
try of the final with fly-half Tom Jones adding the conversion.
A fantastic achievement that shows that we have players
and teams in Staffordshire who can match and beat the
best teams from across the country.
As I said last year within the RDP structure there are
other groups of people, who have all contributed much to
Staffordshire Rugby. I thank you all.
R. J. Websdale
Chairman of the RDP
Safeguarding Managers Report Jamie MacDonald
There have being a number of issues around the protection of children in Staffordshire during the 2013-2014
season. These have been dealt with at national level or
are still on going.
There have been cases of poor practice that seem to
demonstrate a lack of understanding of the “Core Values”.
Some organisations are failing to acknowledge their responsibilities in respect of providing services to children
through “Regulatory Activity” and are struggling to embed these responsibilities among all those engaged in
delivering this service, including all stakeholders involved.
Some clubs, following input from the Safeguarding team,
are demonstrating areas of exemplar practice in creating a safe environment for children. The Safeguarding
team will be working with the SRU Management Committee in some innovated ways with the aspiration that we
can lessen the number of poor practice incidents and
support Clubs in creating safe environments.
Two Deputy Safeguarding Managers have being appointed; Kim Geering from Burton RFC and Elizabeth Lennon
from Stafford RFC. They bring a skill set that will help
in delivering support to Clubs to promote the creation of
a safe environment for children by championing both
safe practice and organisational governance. Some clubs
have already benefited from their input and support.
The provision of Safeguarding Workshops to suit clubs’
needs, requests and calendars has been effective and
will continue next season.
The Safeguarding Team will be providing every club with
a “Gap Analysis” tool. This tool will belong to each club
and will enable them to establish a baseline as to where
they are in respect of Safeguarding and organisational
governance. From that baseline self-assessment they
can then identify areas for improvement and formulate
an action plan. It is intended that the tool be used as an
iterative document to be reviewed and updated as required.
With the new CB website we will be able to have a more
comprehensive and “one stop shop” for resources for
clubs in respect of Safeguarding.
If there are any areas of Safeguarding in Staffordshire
where you think I can be of help please do not hesitate
to contact me.
CB Safeguarding Manager - Staffordshire
Safeguarding Through Education, Advocacy, & Best
Tel: 07711 614761
Community Rugby Report
Community Rugby in Staffordshire covers Volunteering, Club
Development and Facilities, these 3 key areas continue to overlap positively and have created a sound platform for Staffordshire clubs to be able to share experience, initiatives and gain
support to enable the further enhancement of the game and
continually offer an improved rugby experience for all in Staffordshire.
Volunteers: The importance of growing, developing and sustaining clubs in the country has never been so high on the agenda as
we work towards the Rugby World Cup in 2015. This is only
made possible by fantastic volunteers in clubs.
Volunteering activity in Staffordshire is constantly recognised
by the RFU as being ‘outstanding’! Every season the work of our
exceptional volunteers is recognised by the SRU at the Valued
Volunteers Awards, this year once again proved how popular and
important the event is. The club nominations were both impressive and diverse with attendance clearly exceeding the previous
year. The evening continues to lead the way in recognising and
rewarding our clubs most valuable assets!
Succession planning must come high on all of our agendas to
ensure a healthy future for all of our clubs – it is vital that the
skills, experience and knowledge needed to run a successful club
are shared and passed on to the future ambassadors of the
Facilities: The Funding & Facility committee have enjoyed seeing many successful projects this season, exceed expectations.
Under the ‘professional’ guidance of Tom Bartram it has been
possible to put more clubs on the map with enhanced facilities.
These clubs have already seen huge returns for their efforts,
both in player retention and recruitment and overall recognition
in the local community.
Our facilities are the face of our clubs and will help secure the
future and retainment of players - it is crucial that we maintain
and develop our facilities to encourage new participants into the
Rugby Force weekend has become a dedicated point in the year
when clubs focus on what they ‘have and hold dear’ and has become one of the most proactive weekends for volunteers in the
club calendar! The next clear opportunity for focus on facilities
is the ‘Rugby World Cup 2015’ where preparation in the lead up
to the event must ensure we welcome as many new members into
our clubs as possible - we have to be ready!
Development: Club Development relies on the initiative, enthusiasm, drive and dedication of its membership. From the Mini
and Youth section through to the 1st XV, across varying levels,
the management structure and individuality of our clubs in
Staffordshire is a credit to the people who run them week in,
Playing Committee Report
Quite a satisfying season in many ways after last
years performance. Solid performances were put in
by the Under 20’s after an intense training regime
and with many players being exposed to a higher
standard of coaching they were able to reach the
quarter finals of the National Competition bowing out
to Oxfordshire away.
This has been our most successful season at this age
group for a number of seasons and bodes well for
next season as a large proportion of players are retained at this age group.
Moving on to the Senior Squad and a warm up match
was inaugurated against Derbyshire away which will e
an annual fixture before the Championship which we
will host next season. The importance of this game is
to invite and look at players in the lower tiers of rugby within Staffordshire.
Whilst losing all three games by a solitary score if
the AGM considers at Cumbria for instance had previously registered scores of 40-5 and 70-3 and this
season being beaten 18-12 brings the progress into
A major step has been taken in engaging all Clubs and
for a number of players from Longton and Lichfield.
With now having three Clubs at Level 5, I feel the
forthcoming County Championship could prove interesting.
My first requirement is for us to be competitive and
for our opposition not to undersetimate us and see us
as easy points in the Championship which has been
the case in the past which I feel has been achieved
Many thanks to the General Committee for its support and for the team behind the scenes including
Eric Field, Craig Wilson, Ian Bailey, John Atkin and
Becky Davies, impromptu physio who stood in at short
Many thanks also to the Clubs who hosted our home
Chairman Playing Committee
Clubs in Staffordshire benefit from a fantastic support network, provided by the RFU Professional staff and the work of
our Rugby Development Officer, Simon Hincks requires our special thanks for this season.
Community Rugby Representative
Staffordshire Coaching Society report
We experienced a difficult time in the early part of
Firstly we were not clear where the Society and Club
Community Coaches demarcation lines were drawn regarding CPD events, etc., we were both trying to organise events for the same group of coaches.
It was eventually agreed that the Coaching Society
would organise two high profile CPD events and a
Coaching Conference each season, together with regular meetings with Coaching Co-ordinators to raise their
As reported in previous years there has been poor support for CCC meetings and a serious attempt will be
made to improve this in 2014/15.
A further problem we had was the resignation due to
pressure of work of our Chairman, Mark Donovan. It
was agreed that the Secretary and myself would administer the society to the end of the season. Thanks
to Mark for his contribution during his time in office.
Mansell Thomas and Simon Jones who have worked hard
to make a success of the programme covering six
Next season we hope to mentor eight coaches and having the benefit of experience we will improve. It is
hoped that the success of our Mentoring programme will
be noted at H.Q.
Thanks to the Management Committee for their financial support to carry out our various programmes.
(Treasurer on behalf of Staffordshire Coaching Society).
A successful Coaching Conference was held in September 2013 with excellent presenters. Unfortunately the
idea of moving the date from June/July to September
to suit mini/Junior coaches did not work, so this year
we will revert to June to suit Senior and mini/Junior
Owing to the uncertainty regarding CPD events it was
January 2014 before we held our first CPD at Newcastle RFC. This was a combined event delivered by two
new coaching friends from Sale Sharks – Ray Unsworth
who carried out an indoor session on Identifying and
Developing Talent and Dave Wilks who delivered an
excellent outdoor Backs session with the County Under
17’s who performed with distinction.
This year’s AGM was very poorly attended, with only
Burntwood, Eccleshall, Newcastle, Tamworth, Trentham and Willenhall being represented, which begs
DO THE CLUBS WANT A COACHING SOCIETY?
However, Mike Bezus from Trentham was elected
Chairman and we look forward to his leadership in the
On the positive side, a new RFU Coaching incentive this
year has been Coach Mentoring. We have run a successful programme under the supervision of Dave
Livesey (Area Training Manager) and we are fortunate
to have four trained Mentors – Arnie Evans, Eric Field,
Competitions 2013/2014: Steve Barr — Competitions Chairman
In common with most people involved in rugby, the competitions committee found the 2013-14 season a challenging one, with many of the issues being weather related. However, we got there in the end, with five of the
six cup finals taking place on the date originally proposed.
On the league front, too, despite what seemed at the
time to be week after week of multiple postponements,
all programmes were eventually completed almost on
Congratulations are due to those clubs who were promoted at the end of the season. Lichfield and Burton (the
latter after a nail biting play off against near neighbours
Derby) join Longton at Level 5 in National Three
Leek won Midlands Two West (North) and will face Stoke
and Walsall in Midlands One West next season.
Trentham move up a division to South Lancs/Cheshire 2
and Rugeley’s promotion, having topped Midlands 5 West
(North), revives a classic local derby (against Cannock in
Midlands 4) in 2014-15,
Barton-under-Needwood, after a season playing mainly
Coventry and Warwickshire clubs, coming back into the
same league. St Leonards are the only Staffordshire
club to be relegated and they swop places with Rugeley in
the league structure.
Detailed first team league tables can be found on the
Staffs website, as can the 2nd/Reserve Team Leagues
and the Merit Tables – all of the latter thanks to the
countless hours put in by John Atkin.
Leek also enjoyed a spectacular run on the national
stage, winning the RFU Midlands Intermediate Cup and
progressing through the national semis to the Final at
Twickenham on May 4 where sadly they were edged out
by the narrowest of margins by Trowbridge. By all accounts, a great day was had by all, despite the disappointment of the result.
Regrettably, the dual pressures of league and national
cup meant that the Staffordshire Cup had to take a back
seat. Reluctantly, the competitions committee decided
that they could not agree to delaying Leek’s semi final
until after their Twickenham appearance, with the consequent implications for a rearranged date for the final
and potential clashes with the County Championship. As a
result, Leek had to withdraw from the Staffordshire
competition, as did Longton at the semi final stage.
Another Staffordshire side, from the other end of
the county, went one better than Leek when Wolverhampton won the National Under 17s Cup in the closest
of matches at Sale’s A J Bell Stadium, scoring a single
converted try against Sevenoaks’ lone penalty.
The Staffordshire Cup final, hosted by Newcastle, was
therefore between Lichfield and Walsall. After a tight
opening quarter, Lichfield eventually ran out as comfortable winners.
The Senior Final was preceded by the Colts Cup Final
in which Stoke took the honours 23 – 11 against Willenhall.
The Colts Plate Final took place at Burton the following
Friday evening, when Stafford narrowly beat Walsall
26 – 19.
President’s Day saw the now traditional three finals,
efficiently accommodated by Stoke.
Newcastle won the Intermediate (Lewis Taylor) cup
Cannock beat Barton-under Needwood by a single
score to take the John Owen Cup.
Rugeley made it a league and cup double, winning the
Rubery Owen Cup against St Leonards.
Full match reports can be found in the SRU May Newsletter at www.staffsrfu.com .
The U 13 – U 16s cups were all also successfully completed on their “Super Sunday” in April, as well as two
U17s finals, and thanks are due to the Referees Society for providing match officials throughout the season
and Teams of Three for all the finals.
My sincere thanks go also to all members of the competitions committee for their support and hard work
throughout the past ten months. It has been a team
effort with willing volunteers to, for example, take
minutes and attend Midlands meetings.
Steve Briggs merits a particular mention as,after two
seasons, he is
standing down from the difficult job of organising the
colts cups, and Mick Procter’s presence at meetings
has been invaluable (Iain Haley – please note!).
Competitions Committee Chair
There has been much success over the past season, with
a shift in our focus in recruiting and retaining 14-24’s the
work we have done has had to adapt moving away from
lots of traditional primary school delivery to secondary,
HE & FE and most obviously Adult.
In working with YOU, the volunteers its been pleasing to
see that new volunteers are coming on board at a time
when the work load in running clubs seems to be ever increasing.
• Over 50% of the clubs in Staffordshire are now accredited, 15 have received accreditation and a further 3
should be in a position to be awarded it come September.
• Staffordshire provided TWO of the four clubs in Area
5 to be taken on as a KIDS FIRST club. Both Barton Under Needwood RFC Burton RFC have embraced the programme and already seeing the benefits of the initial two
day workshops and subsequent CPDs.
• Again the CRCs have delivered a full and varied CPD
programme with just 5 courses cancelled because of low
numbers, for the first time we ran a team selection CPD.
Last summer we ran 3 New rules of play sessions and
again these have been planned in for summer 2014.
• Staffordshire Young Leaders course again ran successfully in Oct & Feb with 18 going through the two days.
Better still is Staffordshire’s commitment from our
young people as over 40 from 13 different clubs attended
one of four RWC2015 Young Rugby Ambassador conferences we ran, the latest phase two being ran at
• Our focus in delivering Touch Rugby during the summer
period continues to grow. North Staffs Touch series (4
clubs) has increased to 7 with on average 10 sides playing
fortnightly on Friday evenings. With a second series in
the East of the County starting this summer, Staffordshire can boast lots of summer touch activity on top of
our five o2 Touch clubs, Longton, Burton, Handsworth,
• More secondary schools than ever are playing Rugby,
the year 7 schools tournament was capped at 32 schools
for the first time ever, Teacher strike day however reduced the days participant to just 26 schools – watch
this space though 40 schools next year!
The two All schools programme in and around Longton and
Wednesbury have seen the school participate in County
competition with Wodensborough reaching the Plate Final. Over 240 Students experiencing for the first time.
Limited success with just the two new junior sides at
Wednesbury RFC as a result but a solid year one performance.
• We have a number of strong large junior section clubs in
the county, so with some focussed delivery and support
we have managed to help some smaller section clubs like
Cannock, significantly grow their Mini & Junior section
to over 80 Children,
Wednesbury and Rugeley now also have sections with
both having an U14’s / U15’s teams.
This being the season before the RWC2015, lots of the
support and delivery will be aimed at building capacity
and exposing new audiences to rugby.
New teams, particularly social and Colts will be targeted through various initiatives working with clubs:
• More clubs offering touch rugby and opportunities to
participate in touch rugby events at clubs. The CRCs
are being tasked to work with companies to link corporate touch with local clubs and O2 touch centres.
• All Schools in their 2nd year will have their own fixture programme to ensure regular and meaningful competition independent of RFU support while RFU coaches
target next year groups and focus on teacher education for sustainability.
• We have plans to support clubs in giving more nonSaturday playing opportunities to help reengage X players and Students. U23’s and/or Social flood lit rugby.
• Working very closely with the small army of Young
Rugby Ambassadors and RWC Club Champions that we
have will be key and as such both RDO and CRCs will
inevitably work together on a number of club initiatives
to link in with Educational establishments particular
Colleges and sixth forms.
• We have three Geographical Rugby Development
Groups with a number of clubs working together so
some key delivery/work linking RWC 2015 will be done.
Examples being ‘Rugby in the Park‘ with the Walsall
RDG or Touch leagues as proposed by North Staffs
There is no doubt that the coming year leading up to
the World cup is our chance to not only showcase the
sport, but an opportunity to invite new people into our
Clubs and give them the very best experience, more
coaches delivering quality coaching will give us more
players and more teams.
Its been a very demanding and eventful year, but over
the next 12 months we should all begin to see the expected growth prior to the RWC. The CRCs George and
Simon, as well as myself will continue to work hard on
behalf of the CB, Club or age group/team to grow the
game best we can.
Rugby Development Officer
Women and Girls Report:
During the season the 6 Staffordshire ladies teams performed well in RFU leagues:
• Burton Girls continue to develop at 15s and 18s and
have created a new U13s section this season. Mark Tolly
still continues to develop the successful satellite clubs at
the local Burton Schools to feed the club. They have
tried to set up a Ladies section with my support but this
has not got off the ground as yet.
• Cannock successfully set up their Ladies team and are
taking part in the Touch League again for this coming
season as well as participating in the West Mids Contact
Development Competition Framework for this coming
season. They have played at least 4 contact games and a
10s contact tournament
• Essington successfully set up their Ladies team and
work with Cannock to play contact games. They will also
take part in the Competition Framework this coming season.
• Lichfield 1st XV finished 6th in the Premiership in a
challenging year with many players missing due to XVs
and 7s duties. It was a good year to give experience to
those U18s girls moving up to senior rugby
• Lichfield 2nd XV came 4thin Championship 2 North as
they provided players up into the 1st team • Lichfield
U15s and U18s continue to develop with more work
planned at the 15s age-group next season and potentially
an U13s to complete the rugby offer at the club
• Longton Ladies came 5th in National Challenge 2 Midlands North this season but made a valliant effort to get
as many fixtures completed as possible. A new volunteer
set-up here has seen a positive to recruit and retain this
coming season as they opt to be a part of the new Competition Framework rather than enter the leagues
• Stafford have grown their Ladies again and finished
5th in National Challenge 2 Midlands which is 1 place up
from last year. They completed all of their fixtures with
a full squad
• Wolverhampton made the move from Touch to contact
this season with 3 fixtures played and will take part in
the Competition Framework next season.
W & G Forum
New Chair – Maz Grieve (Essington) supported by secretary (Rhi Greenaway) have really made the forum a success. 90% of clubs attend regularly with attendance
from 100% at at least 1 forum during the year. The result of this has meant that we now have a new contact
Competition Framework for next season to include
Essington, Cannock and Wolverhampton where they will
play at least 5 fixtures; take part in 5 Pitch Up and Play
Development Festivals and attend a 10s tournament.
The aim is to have at least Essington playing in the RFU
leagues in season 14/15 and for each team to play their
own fixtures with all of their own players by the last
fixture in the programme.
4 Staffs Women’s & Girls’ sections were also involved in
the Local Rugby Partnership programme through the
RFU where they received funding for coaching courses;
free kit and equipment and focused support from me to
help recruit and retain. Cannock, Essington, Stafford
and Wolverhampton have all recruited on average 5 – 10
players per club and have achieved their aims set out
for the season. They also all took part in the Senior
Pitch Up and Play events held at Cannock and Essington
hosted by the RFU. Funded by the RFU, Stafford hosted a Girls’ U13s and U15s Pitch Up and Play day event
where 45 girls from all over the West Mids came together to receive coaching sessions and play in contact
games. This will go ahead in 14/15 season as well and we
are looking for clubs to host these events.
This season, the County Programme continued to be an
integral part of the player pathway for all age-groups
and players were selected for Divisional squads from
the County programme that took place in the first half
of the season.
• From the senior county squad we had players from
Cannock, Essington, Lichfield, Longton and Stafford.
• From the U18s county squad, players were from Burton and Lichfield.
• From the U15s county squad, players were from
Burton and Lichfield. This is the first time that Staffs
have put together an U15s county squad in 4 years and
is the product of developing at both club level and
through the county development programme last season
• U15s were unbeaten all season:
o 1st in the Midlands U15s Festival
o Won 70 – 5 v Leicestershire
o Won 7 – 32 v Cheshire
o 4th in the Midlands U18s Festival
o Won 17 – 12 v Leicestershire
o Won 0 – 54 v Cheshire
• Seniors were starting a new look programme with 3
o Lost 0 – 63 v Leicestershire
o Lost 55 – 14 v North Mids
Women and Girls Report (cont.):
Staffordshire Rugby Union Council
Representative - Richard Nadin
Divisional & Academy
U15s Divisional – 5 Staffs players (Burton and Lichfield) and
Midlands came 4th in the Divisional Programme:
• Lost 15 – 43 to London
• Lost 5 – 27 to South West
• Lost 12 – 25 to North
U18s Divisional – 6 Staffs players (Burton and Lichfield) and
Midlands came 4th in the Divisional Programme:
• Lost 17 – 38 to London
• Lost 7 – 43 to South West
• Lost 31 – 26 to North
Seniors Academy – 11 Staffs players (Lichfield) and Midlands
came top in the Divisional Programme:
• Won 32 – 27 against London
• Drew 17 – 17 with South West
• Won 27 – 15 against North
5 players from Lichfield made it into the England U20s squad
this season: Emma Harbage, Sarah Nicholas, Chelsey Fuggle,
Becky Noon and Henrietta Burkinshaw
The approach at Twickenham has changed so that we
now talk more about rugby and, more importantly as far
as Staffordshire is concerned, we talk more about
The Adult Competition Review has been discussed,
changed and now approved. There are still details to
sort out, so the new system will not start until
We have had an exciting season with Staffordshire
clubs being promoted, well done. We look forward to
next season with Lichfield and Burton joining Longton
at Level 5, Leek being promoted to Level 6, Trentham
to Level 8 and Rugeley to Level 9.
Congratulations to Wolverhampton under 17s for a superb season in which they were unbeaten and crowned
their season off by winning the RFU National Cup.
A particular thank you to Leek for giving me the pleasure to be part of the Twickenham folk who looked after them on their RFU Intermediate Cup Final day. The
atmosphere and the whole day were magical.
8 Lichfield players played for the full England squad this
season. England went to New Zealand and lost 3 – 0 in a test
series but in very very close games so this bodes well for the
England came 2nd in the 6 Nations losing out to Grand Slam
winners France after a shock defeat in their first game –
similar to the men.
Thank you, too, for the wonderful welcomes and hospitality that I have received in our clubs when attending
by myself or with President Mike, Vice President Iain,
John Atkin and others.
We have something very special in our Staffordshire
clubs thanks to the hard work of our volunteers.
However a 17 – 10 victory over Ireland at Twickenham in
front of a 15,000 crowd was a highlight in the tournament.
Emily Braund, Vicky Fleetwood, Harriet Millar-Mills, Justine
Lucas, Georgina Gulliver, Natasha ‘Mo’ Hunt, Emily Scarratt
and Sarah Hunter all await the selection for the Women’s
World Cup to be held in France in August.
Well done everyone.
Staffordshire representative on the RFU Counci
Games will be in 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th and are televised live on Sky Sports. An event will be held at Lichfield on
9th August around the England v Canada. Good luck to all the
Staffs girls that make the Squad!
Women’s Rugby Development Officer – Area 5
West Midlands Girls Calendar
MIDLANDS CB FESTIVAL (AYLESTONE ST JAMES TBC)
FESTIVAL (Birmingham Exiles)
AREA CUP FINALS
AREA CUP FINALS
AREA CUP FINALS
AREA CUP FINALS
Easter Tours & Festivals
NATIONAL CUP SEMIS (15s & 18s only)
CB / Div
NATIONAL CUP FINALS (15s & 18s only)
RFU CLUB FESTIVAL
RFU Endorsed Tournaments Only
END of SEASON
Calendar Is draft and may change after reviews of this season's current programmes, please refer to the RFU Website for most up to date calendar
Staffordshire Rugby Union - July 2014
Sport England offer grants from £300 through to £1m
plus. The more readily available grant programmes are
Small Grants Programme, Inspired Facilities and Protecting Playing Fields. These 3 schemes will help to support
most projects that concern rugby clubs subject to the
club fulfilling the criteria of the grant programme.
Rugby Football Foundation
The RFF is a charity set up by the RFU to support the
development of the community game. Grants range from
£500 to £5,000 and there is an Interest free loan programme of up to £100k. The RFF will fund most capital
based projects at a rugby club, with the exception of one
or two areas that the charity is unable to fund.
Landfill Communities Fund http://www.entrust.org.uk/landfill-community-fund
An innovative tax credit scheme that allows Landfill operators to put money back into community projects. Find
a Landfill operator via this link and find out about their
various grant programmes. Rugby Clubs across the country have been the recipients of the LCF allowing them to
improve their facilities.
For an informal chat about funding opportunities for you
club please contact:
Tom Bartram (RFU Area Facilities Manager) on
Game Management System
As you may be aware the RFU is about to launch a brand
new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
which will allow our game to have a single view of everyone that interacts with the RFU regardless of if they
are a fan, a player or a club volunteer. This will go live on
the 31st July.
A key part of this programme has been to redesign the
current Rugby First system and replace it with a new system that is designed to have all of the tools and functionality to make club administration quicker and easier for all.
As previously communicated at Council and CGB, the old
Rugby First system will be switched off on the 18th July
and be replaced with the first phase of the new Game
Management System (GMS), the launch of englandrugby.com and our new CRM platform on 31st July.
This short break in the systems is to allow for the large
amount of data we have to be migrated ready for launch.
As use of the current system has be shown to be less at
this time of year we do not envisage the impact of not having a useable system available between the 18th and 31st
July will be significant. However for those that use the
system on a daily basis on areas such as online course
booking and competitions, further information as to the
recommended process during that time will follow.
When we do go live all of your existing data will be automatically transferred to the new system so you do not
need to do anything with your data in the meantime. However when the system does go live it would be a good time
to make sure that everything you have is up to date so you
can make the most out of the system in the future. For
those with large amounts of member data in other systems, a bulk upload of individuals into GMS will also be
To train all users of Rugby First on the new system we are
also going to be running road shows in your area to train
you on how to do this and get the most out of the rest of
the system on the dates below. Please put these in your
diary and the formal invitations and timings for your sessions will follow shortly via your CB. Whilst we appreciate
August is not going to suit everyone, these dates have
been set to try and ensure as many clubs as is possible
have been trained on the system ahead of the start of the
new season. For those that are unable to make these sessions we will ensure that follow up sessions in your area are
provided by your local area teams. If you cannot make
these dates please contact your local RDO to discuss the
Please also be aware that as previously communicated, the
new GMS will not provide a website builder tool and therefore all existing RugbyFirst websites will no longer be
The training in Staffordshire will be on August
20th at Stafford Rugby Club.
Please contact: John Atkin on [email protected] if you
need more details
SRU Referees Society Report
Manage the Society
1. We have enjoyed an invigorated relationship with the SRU
and I would personally like to thank Mike Proctor, Iain Haley
and the other members of the SRU Committee for welcoming
me as the SRUSR representative.
2. We have benefitted significantly from developing a full
financial plan and forecast for the next 4 years with both
SRU and RFU agreement. This has enabled the society to
invest in infrastructure and support initiatives
3. The first ever SRUSR member survey has been undertaken
. It broadly shows;o The membership are happy with the training, development &
o They want more development and less Society business at
o There is a gap between their own expectations and their
o They want us to be more forceful with our feedback on
We will be looking at the Survey results and how we can become even better at supporting referees, during the summer
4. As a result of the good ideas within the survey, we need
more members to step up and volunteer to take on more projects within the Society. This will benefit the development
and support of the members – however if volunteers are not
forthcoming then a number of the projects will have to be cut
5. We will again review the SRUSR 13/14 season Red Card
sanctions and repeat next season, that the training of the
referees is developed with emphasis on the evidence of what
the red cards have been for during this season.
6. The current Officers of the Society will continue into
2014/15 season, except for the position of President and Vice
• Develop Referees
1. The Society has agreed that The Club Watcher programme
is key way forward during next season to gain regular assessment of referees and this will be fully implemented next season.
2. The launch of the Staffordshire continuation of the Lichfield Referee Academy has now been discussed with Newcastle and Stoke. They will be the next set of Academies in
Staffordshire. Over the next 4 years a total of 5 will be set
3. We have now bought the technical capability to deliver
some of our training via a trial of TV internet broadcasting to
hold content which will help referees view issues in their own
• Promote the society
1. We have agreed terms for another 2 year sponsorship
with Staffordshire Gold, beginning 2014/15 season, Given the
original sponsorship was to supply large amounts of kit, we are
happy the continued support will enable us to ‘top-up’ the supplies
2. For the second year running we have officiated at all Senior, Junior and Schools Cup Finals, in most occasions with
Teams of 3. This is an exceptionally good advert for our Soci-
ety and a much more enjoyable experience for the players.
We should encourage our members to play an even greater
role in managing rugby across all sectors of Staffordshire
Rugby – its fun
3. A key move forward during this season has been the development of the good working relationship with the SRU
Coaching Society. This has proved very beneficial for both
parties at the training meetings.
More emphasis will be given to this next season because
greater communication will improve player enjoyment
• Grow the Society
1. We will be doing an audit of new members and retirees at
the end of the season, but it would appear the net manpower growth of the Society will be +6 for this season
• The Society in General
1. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first season as Chairman
and my thanks go to all referees, assessors, coaches, mentors and committee members for their hard work during
2. We have a good year with many referees being developed
into more proficient referees, in my opinion it’s not just the
younger referees who should benefit from this support, but
everyone who has the capacity to improve.
3. We should also celebrate those of who have developed
and stayed at a high level. This season they include;• Craig Maxwell-Keys – Premiership National Panel
• Greg MacDonald – Premiership National Panel
• Dave Huson – Midlands Group Referee
• Adrian Holmes – RFU AR National Panel
• Steve Woolley – RFU AR National Panel
• Mark Liddell – Midlands Referee Mentor and
RFU Panel AR
• Colin MacDonald – RFU Panel Referee Mentor
• Steve Barr - RFU Panel Referee Mentor
• Peter Harvey – Midlands Selector and Match
• Leigh Davenport – Midlands Match Observer
4. We would like to introduce 3 awards for the Society
to award, to recognise effort and ability. • Young Referee
of the Year, • Most Improved Referee of the Year, • Society Member of the Year.
These will be decided by the SRUSR Committee in March of
each season and presented at a suitable date.
5. It should also be noted that next season sees the 50th
Anniversary of our humble beginnings and we intend to celebrate this with a dinner during the season. If anyone would
like to get involved in helping organise
this, then please let me know
6. Lastly and fittingly when I mention the 50th Anniversary, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our current President Stuart Lister for his unwavering support to
the Society in many roles, since the society was started.
Stuart is moving to Vice President after tonight’s meeting
but will stay involved with the Society and I for one am
very grateful for his past sage wisdom. Stuart will be our
guest at the 50 Anniversary Dinner, where we will recognise
him at that moment.
Shaun Godfrey, SRUSR
RFU Cups draws for the Midlands
RUGBY Lions, last season’s beaten finalists in the RFU
Junior Vase, will begin next season’s campaign with a trip
to St Neots in the first round.
Rugby Lions won the Midlands Junior Vase in March
when they beat neighbours Long Buckby in the regional
final but then missed out at Twickenham when they were
beaten by Longlevens in the national final in May.
The first round of the RFU Junior Vase on October 4
will feature Shropshire club Church Stretton for the
Church Stretton were formed last year and will enter
the league structure for the first time next season.
They will host Cannock in their historic first tie in a national competition.
Stewarts & Lloyds, who won the Midlands Senior Vase
last season will participate in the RFU Intermediate Cup
next season following league promotion.
The Corby-based club have a bye to the second round of
the Intermediate Cup.
Leek, who the Midlands Intermediate Cup but were then
beaten by Trowbridge in the national final, will not be
able to defend their regional title as they are now too
highly-ranked following their promotion to Midlands One
Bridgnorth, who were beaten by Leek in the Midlands
final in March, will have home advantage against Malvern
in the first round on October 4.
RFU Intermediate Cup, first round draw (Midlands):
Bakewell Mannerians v Tamworth, Bridgnorth v Malvern, Dronfield v Leicester Forest, Dunstablians v
Newbold on Avon, Ludlow v Old Yardleians, Matlock
v Stafford, Peterborough v Nottingham Casuals,
Shrewsbury v Droitwich.
Ties to be played on October 4.
Byes: Ashbourne, Ashby, Camp Hill, Coalville, Kidderminster Carolians, Leamington, Loughborough,
Lutterworth, Market Bosworth, Market Harborough, Moseley Oak, Northampton Old Scouts,
Oadby Wyggestonians, Old Coventrians, Old Laurentians, Old Leamingtonians, Old Saltleians, Pinley,
Spartans, Stewarts & Lloyds, Stourbridge Lions,
Veseyans, Wellingborough, Wolverhampton.
RFU Senior Vase, first round draw (Midlands): Bedworth v Lincoln, Boston v Rushden & Higham, Chesterfield Panthers v Uttoxeter, Ledbury v Harborne,
Northampton Casuals v Melton Mowbray, Pershore v
Handsworth, Queens v Sleaford, Shipston on Stour
v Stockwood Park, Willenhall v Cheltenham North.
Ties to be played on October 4.
Byes: Amber Valley, Aston OE, Aylestone St James,
Bloxwich, Burntwood, Daventry, Eccleshall, Edwardians, Harbury, Long Buckby, Manor Park, Mellish,
Newcastle, Northampton BBOB, Northampton Mens
Own, Nottingham Moderns, Old Wheatleyans, Rugby
St Andrews, Southam, Southwell, Upton on Severn,
RFU Junior Vase, first round draw (Midlands): Barton & District v Cleethorpes, Barton under Needwood v Tupton, Bedford Swifts v Trinity Guild, Birmingham Exiles v Cleobury Mortimer, Bourne v East
Retford, Brackley v Warwickians, Buxton v St
Leonards, Church Stretton v Cannock, Evesham v
Greyhound, Five Ways OE v Telford Hornets, Gainsborough v Skegness, Keyworth v Creswell Crusaders, Long Eaton v Meden Vale, Redditch v Bromyard,
St Neots v Rugby Lions, Stoke OB v Chaddesley
Corbett, Thorney v Bingham, Warley v Bishops Castle, Worksop v Sileby Town, Yardley & district v
Ties to be played on October 4.
Byes: Alcester, Ashfield, Atherstone, Belper, Birstall, Corby, Coventry Welsh, Keresley, Old Newtonians, Rugeley, Westwood.
Age Grade Competition Review (AGCR) – Progress Update
The AGCR has moved on significantly in recent months.
This update covers progress so far, key considerations
and where we are going next. The next 4 months are
crucial in shaping up the detailed framework for the
future and a schedule is underway to build this and
share it with the game.
The Review recommendations will be presented to the
Community Game Board (CGB) in late autumn before a
further consultation phase for refinement and ultimately presentation of the final framework to RFU
Council in the New Year.
This important piece of work which has been in process
since late 2011, was triggered by recognition that there
was an absence of competitive framework in the youth
game. This results in a lack of clarity, consistency and
appropriate level of competitive opportunity across the
game; impacting on the attraction and retention of players of all standards.
Following the great input from over 500 people at the
Blueprint Roadshows, a schools consultation event and
further work with the CGB and key stakeholders, an
Implementation Development Group (IDG) has been
formed. The group will drive, alongside RFU staff, completion of a draft developmental framework of competitive opportunities and format for rugby union at Under
18 and below. The group will also formulate for CGB
recommendations relating to playing opportunities in the
transition from youth to adult rugby.
People involved in organising the game on a practical
basis from all areas of age grade rugby are on the IDG
which will meet 4 times in all between July and September. This includes representatives of club mini, junior
and youth, girls’ rugby, independent and prep schools,
developing state school rugby, the college sector and
the RFU Council. Areas under discussion are wideranging and focused on the practicalities of implementing a framework, including:
New Rules of Play to 15-a-side Transition
Consistency of the Age Bands Formats
Girls Rugby and Competition
Structured Competitions v Local Participation
Post 18 Competition and Transition
Other areas of progress since February include the
trial and agreed regulations of the U18 one-term national schools competition; working with the pilot New
Rules CBs on U13/14 rules; engagement with a Prep
Schools consultation group; and valuable insight at a
Schools stakeholder day in May into the challenges and
differences that need to be considered in the schools.
In addition, the following specific items related to age
grade rugby have been advanced in the last few weeks:
Under 13 Girls Rugby
It has been decided that the time is right to remove the
dispensation for girls who are Under 13 to play up to
Under 15 Rugby. But clubs will need time to prepare for
it, so the dispensation will be removed for the Season
2015/16. Therefore for the 2014-15 Season any U13
female players who have been registered to a club as an
U12 player on Rugby First for the 2013-14 season can
apply for dispensation to play up in the U15 age band. To
apply for player dispensation please click here: U13
Girls Dispensation Form
Local RFU staff are on hand to support any individual
club who needs it and there are significant coaching resources available on RFU.com and there is also a full
DVD available, produced by Gary Street. See the video
links to coaching the U13 game: http://www.rfu.com/
Under 13 New Rules Pilot
The RFU Council has agreed a pilot set of rules for the
Under 13 game. The rules are designed to help build the
transition from U12 New Rules towards 15-a-side rugby.
This will be trialed as per the established New Rules of
Play “system” in the 2014/15 season and then reviewed
with the pilot counties. For the majority, there is no
need to react at this stage! Discretionary and mandatory rollout would follow the timescales already established by RFU Council in all other counties, so 2016/17
and 2017/18 seasons respectively.
Initial rollout of the AGCR recommendations is targeted
for September 2015 with any major changes coinciding
with the implementation of the main elements of the
Adult Competition Review from the 2016/17 season.
The RFU is committed to keeping the game informed on
this important and exciting work. There will be regular
updates from now on with the next at the end of the
'LIFE' THOUGHTS BY 'DUCKY'
I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with 'Guess' on it. So I said 'Implants?' She hit me.
How come we choose from two people to run for president and over fifty for Miss America
I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose fitting clothing. If I HAD any
loose fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in the first place!
When I was young we used to go 'skinny dipping,' now I just 'chunky dunk.'
Don't argue with an idiot, people watching may not be able, to tell the difference.
Wouldn't it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press 'Ctrl Alt
Delete' and start all over? AMEN, AMEN !!
Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?
Wouldn't you know it.... Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever.
Why do I have to swear on the Bible in court when the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed outside?
And remember: Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes
Two women called at my door and asked what bread I ate; when I said white they proceeded to give me a lecture
on the benefits of brown bread for 30 minutes. I think they were Hovis Witnesses.
A couple are lying in bed. The man says, 'I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world.'
The woman replies, 'I'll miss you...'
Why do we buy hamburgers in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight..
Why do supermarkets make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while
healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front?
Why do we leave cars worth thousands of pounds in our driveways and put our useless junk in the garage.
Why do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke
can't women put on mascara with their mouth closed
don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'
is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'
is lemon juice made with artificial flavouring, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons
don't sheep shrink when it rains
Walsall RUFC Under 14's Require An Assistant Coach
Walsall RUFC U14's are seeking a coach to assist and support the Head Coach through the 2014/15
season and beyond. The team currently are into their second season. The Club are looking for an assistant coach to help develop the playing squad and achieve the goal of creating a team that can sustain a
good level of development in the forthcoming seasons.
This is a great opportunity to be a part of a club that is growing within the community and that is creating commercial partnerships with local and national companies to continue development into the future.
The Assistant Coach will develop individual player skills, fitness and game understanding. They will be a
good motivator who puts the players' needs first. They will be able to work with players to find successful solutions to problems and will have a desire to create an exciting brand of rugby within the
Commitments will be a minimum of Wednesday evenings (6.30-8pm) as well as Sundays (10:00am onwards) for matches / training.
This role is a voluntary position; however, the club will provide and support coaches through their development where appropriate.
Work alongside Head Coach to plan and deliver Wednesday night and Sunday morning training
Identify the players potential throughout the squad and help them to develop
Help to develop the “whole club” environment and create a playing culture that provides opportunities for all at every level
Support club recruitment initiatives
Support the development of our Junior Section
Qualifications and attributes:
Ideally qualified to Level 2 standard, although it is open to the person with the right attitude and
rugby philosophy or an experienced player/ex player who would like to get into coaching.
Must have a desire to constantly develop, gaining appropriate qualifications. Willing to take on
board feedback and be open to different styles of play and methods of training
Must be passionate and able to communicate that passion through their enthusiasm when training
and when motivating players
Should have a sound technical knowledge for all areas of the game
Flexible when working with groups or individuals and comfortable leading and assisting sessions
For further information, please email Rob Hollis via:
Email on [email protected], or phone 0758 1039318
For more information about Walsall RUFC Under 14's.
Closing date for applications is August 31, 2014.
Staffs Rugby Union - Newsletter July 2014
Dates for the Diary:
10th - Trentham 10’s
20th - Game Management System presentation @ Stafford RFC. (Rugby1st Replacement)
26th - SRU committee meeting
8th - Coaching Co-ordinators Meeting @ Newcastle RFC
15th - RDP Committee Meeting @ Newcastle RFC
23rd - SRU Management Committee meeting
Please email any items/photos for future editions
John Atkin (SRU Webmaster)
Email: [email protected]
tel: 01543 472605
Blessed are those that can give without remembering, and
take without forgetting. One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill,
and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you,
I'm doing community service this week.'
The florist was pleased and left the shop.
When the barber went to open his shop the next morning,
there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for
him at his door.
Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to
pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept
money from you, I'm doing community service this week.'
The cop was happy and left the shop.
The next morning when the barber went to open up, there
was a 'thank you ' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him
at his door.
Then a Member of Parliament came in for a haircut, and
when he went to pay his bill , the barber again replied, 'I
cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Member of Parliament was very happy
and left the shop.
The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there
were a dozen Members of Parliament lined up waiting for a
free haircut. And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country
and the politicians who run it.
A husband went to the police station to report his
My wife is missing; she went shopping this
morning and hasn't come back yet.
Inspector: Can you describe her? her height ?
Inspector: Slim or healthy?
Not slim, so probably healthy.
Inspector: Colour of her eyes?
Never really noticed.
Inspector: Colour of her hair?
Changes according to season.
What was she wearing?
Not sure. Possible a dress or maybe
trousers and a top.
Was she driving?
Inspector: What type of car and what colour was it?
A silver Audi A8 with a 4.2 liter V8 TDI
engine generating 321 horse power teamed with a 6
speed tiptronic automatic transmission with manual
mode. It has full adaptive LED headlights, which use
light emitting diodes for all light functions. It has a
very thin scratch on the front left door.
At this point, the husband starts crying.
Inspector: Don't worry sir. We'll find your car.