All Age Grade players will be guaranteed at least half a game from next season as the Half Game rule becomes regulation.
Following a trial in 2017/18 and an implementation year in 2018/19, from next season Half Game will be regulation in all Age Grade Rugby across clubs, schools, colleges, representative pathways and academy activities.
The rule, applicable to players aged six to 18, will ensure that all players in a match day squad will get to play at least half a game.
The introduction of the rule follows consultation with players with research conducted by the University of Essex showing that players who regularly play half a game or more report higher enjoyment, self-esteem and rugby playing competence. Those who play half a game are six times more likely to enjoy the sport than those who don’t.
The regulation also follows feedback from the National Rugby Survey in which 85% of coaches and teachers agreed that Half Game rule is a positive change for Age Grade rugby and 90% who did it reported positive benefits.
All coaches involved in the age grade game are encouraged to ensure they follow the regulation and to work collaboratively with opposition coaches, match officials and parents to implement the rule and to also ensure their training and games meet the needs of the players.
More information will follow over the coming months which can be found here.
There has been a good public reaction to the proposal with many current and Ex-Pro’s also backing the concept:
Excellent stuff. Remember very clearly not being given a game because I was crap and it was a must-win (we were about 11) and being devastated. Still can’t quite forgive that coach. Seriously… https://t.co/Iips9gWqEF— David Flatman (@davidflatman) April 9, 2019
Any chance we can bring this into the professional game ??♂️?— Freddie Burns (@FreddieBurns) April 9, 2019
This is a cracking rule that other team sports should adopt too. Grass roots is the future of ALL successful sports and ensures its legacy. Once again the great game of rugby @EnglandRugby leads the way in sportsmanship ?— Chris Beckett (@ChrisBeckett75) April 9, 2019
Amazing initiative, would encourage more participation, inclusion and enjoyment— Ak Arshe (@ak_arshe) April 9, 2019
England’s Final November Test Confirmed
England have announced their fourth and final opponent of their November series this year
England have confirmed that Tonga will be their fourth opponent in their November series this year.
The game will take place at Twickenham on Saturday November 21st at 15:15 in what will be the third of their four tests.
It will be the fourth meeting of the two sides, but their first outside of a Rugby World Cup. They last played against one another last year at the World Cup in Japan, when England won as they have done on the other previous two occasions.
While after the Tongan encounter they face another southern hemisphere team in Australia on the 28th in the final of their Quilter Internationals for 2020.
Those tests could go a long way to deciding England’s seeding in the draw for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, with the draw set to take place at some point in November.
Before then the English will be focusing on the Six Nations, where they remain in title contention heading into the last two rounds.
Rugby Australia Claim Fox Sports Haven’t Walked Away
Last week it was reported that Fox Sports are set to end their 25-year long relationship with Australian Rugby, but Rugby Australia have now said otherwise
Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle has claimed that Fox Sports haven’t walked away from the Wallabies and believes they could continue their relationship into the future.
Last week it was reported that the media organisation were set to end their 25-year relationship with Rugby Australia, but despite not having come to a deal that suits all Castle’s believes they will bid for rights next month.
“We went through a negotiating process with them (Fox Sports) through their exclusive negotiating period. Unfortunately we couldn’t get to a place we were both comfortable with. So now we’re in tender and we would expect that as a market process they would step into that process,” she said.
Reports state that Fox Sports had ended their relationship with Rugby Australia after the two bodies failed to find common ground on a deal between 2021 and 2025.
Rugby Australia and Castle are set to make a historic move next month when they bring the broadcast rights to the market for the first time since the professional era began, but as stated above she is confident of an agreement between the two either way.
There is a fear among many that Australia’s struggling Super Rugby sides, three of which remain without a win so far this season, will make it harder for the organisation to get a good deal over the line.
However, all will become clearer by next month and Castle and co will be hoping that they can get the best deal possible.
Ireland Climb in Latest World Rankings
Ireland have had the biggest boost in the latest World Rugby Rankings ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw later this year
The boys in green have taken over the No 4 spot in the rankings following their 24-14 win over Wales in the Six Nations over the weekend, with their opponents dropping down to fifth.
It is a major boost for the Irish and gives them something to hold on to heading into the rest of this year’s fixtures as they are now currently in the top seeds ahead of the draw for the pool stages of France 2023.
World Rugby announced recently that they will hold the draw later this year meaning that teams will have less time to climb the rankings than last time around when they had 18 months between the previous World Cup and the draw for the next one.
A total of twelve teams will head into the draw as seeds in three brackets with the top four in the rankings being first seeds, meaning as of now Wales would be second seeds along with France, Australia and Japan.
Elsewhere in the rankings Georgia have moved up ahead of Italy, following the former’s latest two defeats in the Six Nations, while the biggest risers have been Portugal, who have moved from 22nd to 20th, but Russia have dived from 20th to 25th.
Ireland will be hoping to continue their perfect start to the Six Nations campaign when they take on the third-ranked team England away from home, whom they may look to overtake in the rankings before the draw.
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