I hope you are all well and enjoying the current return to rugby following the most difficult of times over the past 15 months or so.
All Essex rugby clubs have been contacted by the County Chair of Discipline to be made aware of a number of serious incidents involving players and spectators recently playing adapted forms of the game as we all plot a path towards a full return to normal. I will not go into the full details of these incidents suffice to say that they resulted a number of red cards and serious injuries and have led to the following warning being given to ALL clubs:-
“We have had 3 red card incidents resulting in serious injury to players whilst involved in touch rugby games. Please make clear to your players, coaches and spectators that any red card incidents that occur under the Ready 4 Rugby protocols will be dealt with by the Essex Disciplinary Committee. Physical abuse of another player that occurs under these protocols is likely to have additional weeks added to any sanction as an aggravating factor, as it is so contrary to the spirit of touch rugby or the amended rules.
I would ask that you also remind all players, coaches and spectators (whether or not they are members) that they are bound by the Core Values of Rugby.”
Last Saturday, we all enjoyed a very successful Senior Tag Tournament where the behaviour of the players was beyond reproach and the spirit in which the games were played a welcome reminder of why we love the game. I am sure that this will be carried forward by all but be aware that the strictest of sanctions will be considered by the County who, in addition to any internal sanctions, will be looking to punish any such behaviour very severely (potentially both player and club).
It is proposed to arrange a refresher FAQ session around discipline in September so that any issues, concerns or comments can be raised by attendees.