Scottish Rugby Updates: COVID-19
Scottish Rugby has been providing regular updates to clubs, supporters, sponsors and partners during this period of uncertainty with COVID-19. This page consolidates all of Scottish Rugby's updates so far and will be updated with information as and when it becomes available.
Latest update from Scottish Rugby
Threat Management Group Update - 7 August 2020
Please see below the weekly update from the TMG
Regrettably, over the past week there have been a number of clusters of positive coronavirus cases breaking out across the country. These have been a stark reminder to us all that the virus is still out there and the current situation in Scotland remains very fragile.
In light of the recent significant outbreak at the Hawthorn bar in Aberdeen and its increasing number of reported positive cases, the Scottish Government announced a reintroduction of lockdown restrictions in Aberdeen on Wednesday. These restrictions are expected to last at least 7 days and include a reintroduction of the 5 mile travel limit and the closure of all indoor and outdoor hospitality.
Not only does this incident prove how extremely infectious and dangerous the virus still is, but most importantly it demonstrates how complacency is the enemy of progress.
The FM described the situation in Aberdeen as the “the biggest wake-up call”, urging us all to learn from this lesson and follow the rules in order to effectively aid the Government’s containment of the virus.
Particularly as we move closer to the much anticipated PRO14 resumption date, it is imperative we follow the public health guidelines, avoid complacency and remain vigilant to the ever present risks.
It was great to see Glasgow Warriors players and catch up with the operational staff this week on my visit to Scotstoun. It was pleasing to see everyone strictly following the protocols in place and obeying government advice. It was fantastic to be back in the stadium after such a long time and see all the TMG’s hard work in practice, a special thanks to all those involved in preparing Scotstoun as a safe second training venue, and may we continue to operate safely and responsibly to further progress.
Once again we would like to take this opportunity to urge everyone to continue following the rules of the Scottish Government’s public health campaign FACTS:
- Face coverings in enclosed spaces
- Avoid crowded places
- Clean hands and surfaces regularly
- Two-metre distancing
- Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms
We continue to monitor the daily and weekly coronavirus figures from the UK and Scottish Government’s closely. Although we are now in our 20th consecutive day of no deaths as a result of a positive COVID-19 test result in Scotland, we are becoming increasingly conscious of the rising 7-day rolling average figures of positive cases within Scotland and across the whole of the UK. In the last couple of weeks we have seen the percentage of positive cases arising from testing in Scotland increase from 0.2% to 1.3%. Although fluctuations in the numbers is to be expected it is important we treat this upsurge as a reminder to strictly follow the public health guidelines in place.
The work of the subgroups has continued to progress as we move closer to the targeted PRO14 and ECPR resumption dates, and the recent announcements of the rescheduled 2020 6N fixtures and the new autumn test campaign have further pushed the subgroups to develop longer-term plans with definitive goals in sight.
The Return to Events group have continued to concentrate on finalising plans for behind closed doors events and are in a ready state for the PRO14 1872 Cup Edinburgh v Glasgow game on the Saturday 22ndAugust. The team also remain in consistent dialogue with the Government in order to further explore our pilot event plans and agree a proposed date to put these plans into practice.
Meanwhile, the Return to Training group have been predominately focused on restarting the Women’s team training. Gemma Fay, Andy Boyd and Allan Macdonald have worked hard to complete all necessary documentation and risk assessments to re-start training within the next couple of weeks to allow the women’s team sufficient training time before their rescheduled 6N fixtures in October.
The Return to Rugby Clubs & Schools have also been busy developing new and existing initiatives to support clubs financially and logistically, and have continued to provide regular guidance to help Clubs in preparation of opening their facilities. The second stage of the Club Hardship Fund closes this weekend for applications and aims to provide funding for clubhouse safety checks prior to reopening, there has been a decent take up already, with a late rush expected from clubs in the coming days. Communication is also being shared with Clubs to remind them of the Phase 3 guidelines and also around encouraging the hosting of online AGM’s as opposed to indoor meetings, in line with Government guidance. The team are also looking at longer-term planning and continuing to work closely with the Government to map out a gradual and modified return to contact training within clubs and schools.
As always, we remain in constant communication with the Scottish Government. We are engaged in daily correspondence to ensure all our plans are fully aligned with their timelines and public health requirements and we have a meeting scheduled for next week with Joe FitzPatrick, Minister of Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing to further discuss our pilot event plans. However, whilst we wish to resume normal service as soon as practical we are first and foremost dedicated to protecting the safety of our people, and our society, and will continue to support the Government in this effort.
As a leading sports governing body we have the fundamental responsibility to lead by example. We all have the responsibility to protect ourselves and others, hence it is essential we all continue to adhere to the rules in order to help the Scottish Government suppress this virus and restart our society as soon as practical.
Thank you again for your continued patience and support of the organisation, and we hope to give more detailed updates next week.
Dom and Dr James
Scottish Rugby Updates in July 2020
Threat Management Group Update - 31 July
Please see below the weekly update from the TMG
It’s been another busy week across Scottish Rugby for everyone, for my own part I was particularly pleased to spend some time in BT Murrayfield this week catching up – socially distanced of course – with colleagues who are working at BT Murrayfield. It also gave me an opportunity to check in on progress in respect of our new stadium build for Edinburgh Rugby. It was so exciting to see the progress that has been made since even my last visit a few weeks ago. The team at Edinburgh Rugby will be sharing some more imagery shortly and I am sure you will be impressed with the speed of progress.
Yesterday afternoon the Government announced that there will be no movement into Phase 4 as the virus is still a significant threat to public health, with minimal changes over the next 3 weeks as a result of this.
The advice has changed for those who test positive for Covid, are now advised to isolate for 10 days instead of 7. Contacts of those who test positive should continue to isolate for 14 days – and quarantine for people who have been travelling from non-exempt countries remains 14 days.
The Government confirmed that schools will return from 11 August with all pupils expected at school full-time from 18 August at the latest, further guidance will be published later.
Some very helpful statements made by The First Minister from our perspective following our ongoing discussions with the Scottish Govt included;
The Government announced that from Monday 14 September, it is hoped that sports stadia will be able to reopen from that day for a limited number of spectators, with physical distancing in place.
Some professional sports events may be arranged for spectators before then – with Scottish Government agreement – to test the safety of any new arrangements..
Return to Rugby Clubs & Schools - We have also had some very welcome news in respect of the grassroots game and are offering further guidance to clubs with regard to a potential phased return in line with the Government’s revised route map.
Please find the Return to Rugby Player Guidance | Community Rugby Stage 3 video link here.
Our Return to Events team have continued to work and plan for the various matches scheduled for the coming months. The team are in a good place with Health & Safety and operations in readiness for the Behind Closed Doors matches between Edinburgh & Glasgow.
Our Return to Training group have worked hard to get both teams back up and training in the last few weeks. Glasgow Warriors players are now back at their home training facility at Scotstoun having made the final transition on Monday this week. Edinburgh players continue their training at BT Murrayfield. Both Pro teams have been up for media this week. The good progress made this week is another further positive step in the return to rugby and is welcomed by both teams.
Finally, statistics indicate that COVID has been suppressed to a low level in Scotland, though it is important to remember the virus is not yet completely eliminated within the community and hence everyone has to remain cautious and follow the rules of the public health campaign,
Face coverings in enclosed spaces
Avoid crowded places
Clean hands and surfaces regularly
Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms
Threat Management Group Update - 24 July
Please see below the weekly update from the TMG
Return to Events - the team have continued to work and plan for the various matches scheduled for August and September.
Return to Training sub group have continued their work to support Glasgow Warriors players with their transition from BT Murrayfield to their home training facility at Scotstoun on Monday 27 July.
The Return to Rugby Clubs & Schools sub group have finalised and shared a video on Return to Training Facilities Guide for Club & School Game. The video includes some guidance and advise on preparation of opening of Club facilities. Clubs are being advised, the key to safe operations is creating a ‘new normal’ for all coaches, players, match officials, staff & volunteers within the club.
All recommendations should be undertaken in line with the Scottish Government guidelines. Clubs should carry out a risk assessment by a competent person prior to the re-opening of any facility. The assessment should be signed off by a Member of the Club Committee or a COVID19 Safety Coordinator. We are also pleased to say we now have 172 COVID19 Safety Coordinators in place from across clubs and schools. For your awareness, you can find our RTR video focusing on the safe re-opening of facilities HERE.
The Return to Rugby sub group are also working on a Communications plan for stages 5 & 6 of the Scottish Rugby Roadmap, the plan will identify key triggers for continued progress through the Roadmap and will provide clubs, schools and our stakeholders with clear benchmarks which will support the planning process for clubs and schools.
Second phase of Club Hardship Fund - 15 July
Phase 2 of the Club Hardship Fund is to assist clubs with the safe reopening of their clubhouses. The purpose of the fund is to enable clubs to complete the Scottish Rugby and sportscotland recommended safety checks prior to re-opening.
Threat Management Group Update - 15 July
Please see below the weekly update from the TMG
The Return to Events sub group - a proposal for a small pilot event on Saturday 22 August for the PRO14 1872 Edinburgh v Glasgow match was submitted to the Government on Friday last week. We hope for some feedback in the coming days. The comprehensive operational plan included all the relevant health and safety documentation, advocating the concept of physically distanced matches at BT Murrayfield.
As mentioned last week, the plan has been developed in collaboration with Celtic FC and the SEC, and Scottish Rugby has drawn upon Scottish Government medical advice and specialist international event advice in protecting all those attending our events. This concept has been shared with, and supported by, the Scottish Government’s Events Industry Advisory Group, Police Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.
The Return to Training sub group have been working on the latest transition for the players and a step closer to full fitness for the players. Glasgow Warriors players will be returning to Scotstoun on Monday 27 July to finalise their training ahead of the first PRO14 match on Saturday 22 August.
Following the publication of their six-stage roadmap for season 2020/21, the Return to Rugby Clubs & Schools sub group have been busy hosting webinars. The webinar scheduled for Friday 10 July to provide an update to clubs and schools on all aspects of the Stage 3 guidance was extremely well attended, as was the Safety coordinator Phase 3 update webinar which hosted yesterday at 7pm. Clubs are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Co-ordinator in place, and a full risk assessment carried out before pitches can open. The COVID19 e-learning course for all players, coaches, match officials and volunteers will be available from this Friday.
Return to Rugby Stage 3 Guidelines for Clubs & Schools
Scottish Rugby has released the Return to Rugby Stage 3 guidance for clubs and schools to follow the Scottish Government’s own Phase 3 announcement yesterday (9 July).
The Stage 3 guidance has been developed by the Scottish Rugby Threat Management Group’s Return to Rugby sub-group and comes into effect as of Monday 13 July. Detailed information can be found at scottishrugby.org/clubs-and-schools/return-to-rugby.
A webinar is being held at 3pm today (Friday 10 July) (registration link - https://tinyurl.com/ycu3m4h8) to provide an update to clubs and schools on all aspects of the Stage 3 guidance. The webinar will be recorded and uploaded to the Scottish Rugby website afterwards.
Threat Management Group Update - 9 July
On behalf of Dom McKay, Chief Operating Officer & Dr James Robson, Chief Medical Officer
Yesterday the First Minister confirmed Scotland’s move into Phase 3 of lockdown easing following the sustained decline in national statistics.
The most recent statistics indicate COVID has now been suppressed to a low level in Scotland, though it is important to remember the virus is not yet completely eliminated within the community and hence the FM urged everyone to remain cautious and follow the rules of the public health campaign, FACTS:
- Face coverings in enclosed spaces – mandatory in shops from tomorrow
- Avoid crowded places
- Clean hands and surfaces regularly
- Two-metre distancing
- Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms
Some of the major changes confirmed in the ministerial briefing were:
- 10 July– Extended groups allowed to meet outdoors and a maximum of three households can meet indoors (with physical distancing)
- 13 July– Organised outdoor contact sports for children and young people can resume (subject to guidance), and non-essential shops inside shopping centres can re-open (following guidance and with physical distancing)
- 15 July –All holiday accommodation permitted (following relevant guidance), and indoor hospitality can resume (subject to physical distancing rules and public health advice)
More information on the changes can be found on the Scottish Government Coronavirus page here.
Although these changes are certainly welcome and bring the prospect of a much brighter future, we remain on high alert until we are completely clear of the virus in order to guarantee the safety of all our people and continue making progress to resume rugby and normal operations.
Please see below the weekly update from the TMG
The Return to Rugby Clubs & Schools group have been busy following the publication of their six-stage roadmap for season 2020/21. Sheila Begbie and her team hosted a well-attended webinar last Friday to provide further clarification of what the roadmap exactly means for clubs and offer them an opportunity to raise any questions they may have. Following the success of this webinar, Rugby Development plan to host webinars after every key Government announcement to maintain alignment within the rugby community, with another webinar scheduled for today at 3pm – registration link at https://tinyurl.com/ycu3m4h8.
Also, to increase our reach across the wider rugby community, the group established a brand-new newsletter, The Clubhouse. The first issue of this ezine was released on Tuesday this week, providing the latest information and digital content to over 7,600 receipts to ensure even people involved in rugby across Scotland can be connected.
The focus of the TMG has also been on the Return to Events sub-group work. The team have produced a comprehensive operational plan, furnished with all the relevant health and safety documentation, advocating the concept of physically distanced matches at BT Murrayfield and a proposal for a small pilot event on Saturday 22 August for the PRO14 1872 Edinburgh v Glasgow match. This proposal is to be presented to the Government today (Friday) for review.
This plan has been developed in collaboration with Celtic FC and the SEC, and the team has drawn upon Scottish Government medical advice and specialist international event advice pertinent to protecting all those attending our events. This concept has been shared with, and supported by, the Scottish Government’s Events Industry Advisory Group, Police Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.
We are confident we can deliver this event safely and responsibly. As members of the Events Industry Advisory Group, we are at the centre of active collaboration between more than 120 senior representatives from across the sector, including event organisers, local authorities, venues and the supply chain. The aim of this group is to establish a unified voice to use in dialogue with the Government and facilitate the sector’s recovery. We are delighted to say Scottish Rugby has been at the forefront of these discussions, and with this proposal and our close working relationship with the Scottish Government, we believe we can open the gateway for the Scottish Government to gradually and appropriately restart the wider major events sector and assist the recovery of the Scottish economy.
Further detail on current guidance within the events sector and the work of the Events Industry Advisory Group can be found on the VisitScotland webpage here.
Finally, the Return to Training group continues to progress through Phase 1 of their training plan and have now focused their efforts on finalising plans for Phase 2.
It has certainly been encouraging to see the advances we are making in paving the way to restarting rugby and resuming normal operations across various aspects of the business, though again we would like to reiterate the need to remain cautious whilst the virus still poses a threat in society.
We would like to extend our thanks to you all again for your continued patience and take this opportunity to urge you to continue adhering to Government guidance, stay safe and protect others.
Dom and Dr James
Return to Rugby Roadmap for Season 2020/21
Return to Rugby Roadmap for Season 2020/21
A roadmap outlining how rugby could return in Scotland for the 2020/21 season has been unveiled by Scottish Rugby today 3 July 2020.
Scottish Rugby’s six staged roadmap for clubs and schools is aligned to the Scottish Government’s own phased exit from lockdown and in line with recommendations from World Rugby.
Taking physical distancing and Scottish Government’s own phased routemap into account clubs are being advised that no adult competitive rugby is envisaged before October 2020. This is due to the number of stages to be worked through and, specifically, the uncertainty around timing of when full adult contact rugby training and therefore matches can resume.
Clubs should not expect a traditional season in 2020/21. The rugby season may look very different, with regional and/or local fixtures likely to replace the competitive league programmes at many levels in order to stay in line with Scottish Government Guidelines, physical distancing and travel restrictions.
Clubs and schools will be required to meet three specific criteria before any rugby activity can begin and meet further requirements before full contact training and matches can begin.
Compliance with the public health, hygiene and physical distancing requirements in place locally at that time will be required at all times.
Updated Phase 2 Return to Rugby Guidelines for Clubs and Schools
In addition to the guidance issued on Friday 26 June, Scottish Rugby has updated the Return to Rugby Phase 2 guidance in relation to outdoor hospitality and catering. This guidance comes into effect from Monday 6 July 2020.
Outdoor Catering: As of Monday 6 July, clubs are able to open their outdoor space for catering (as long as they adhere to Scottish Government guidelines). Before doing so, it is recommended that clubs have appointed a Covid-19 Safety Coordinator to oversee public health and safety measures across the club, ensuring that the club is operating in a safe manner and following Scottish Government and Scottish Rugby guidelines.
Threat Management Group Update - 2 July
Please find below our weekly update from the Threat Management Group.
This week the number of positive cases and deaths in Scotland have continued on a downward trajectory, however it is essential we avoid complacency given the still apparent threat of the virus in society.
The Return to Clubs & Schools Rugby group have continued to liaise with the Government to secure further clarification on various recent announcements affecting grassroots rugby. With Government approval secured yesterday, Sheila and her team will share the season re-start roadmap with you tomorrow. This will be communicated via Club Comms followed by a webinar to outline the plans in more detail to member clubs.
The Return to Events group has also made significant progress in their work this week. Following Ms Fiona Hyslop’s agreement to consider our proposal to use BT Murrayfield as a test venue last Thursday, the team have been developing a robust plan to welcome spectators back into BT Murrayfield on Saturday 22 August for the PRO14 1872 Glasgow v Edinburgh match. We are confident we can deliver this event to an excellent standard and ensure the safety of our players, employees and spectators, and we look forward to presenting the final plan to Government for approval next week.
Throughout this pandemic we have built an excellent working relationship with the Scottish Government and have since been in almost daily dialogue with government representatives. Yesterday we met with Andy Sinclair, Head of Active Scotland, and his deputy David Hamilton, along with Claire Harness, Tavish Scott, Dr James Robson and Sheila Begbie. It was a productive meeting which resulted in a number of positive outcomes for Scottish Rugby:
- Physical Distancing Measures – The FM has announced today a sectoral approach to reducing the current 2m distance requirement. Going forward individual sectors will need to demonstrate what public health mitigations would be used to justify a reduction from 2m. Therefore, we plan include the case for 1m+ physical distancing in our submission to the Government next week advocating BT Murrayfield as a test venue. A reduction in physical distancing could potentially allow us to welcome more spectators into the stadium and help drive the business’ financial recovery.
- BTM as a Test Venue – We are to submit our operational proposal for the 1872 match on 22 August next week, with a clear understanding that the date may change depending on government assessment at the time. The success of this event would demonstrate our capabilities to the Government proving we can safely and responsibly host events and hence potentially open up further opportunities down the line.
- Community Rugby – The Government approved our communication to Clubs that the 2020/21 domestic season will not begin in August and have allowed us to share our season re-start roadmap with Clubs. As previously mentioned, this will be communicated to Clubs tomorrow.
All the above demonstrate the great progress we are making and continue to make, and with further meetings with the Government and event industries across Scotland scheduled for next week, I hope to see further advancements in the near future. Nevertheless, we are at a critical point and must remain on high alert whilst the virus still poses a threat.
Chief Operating Officer
Scottish Rugby Updates in June 2020
Updated Phase 2 Return to Rugby - 26 June
Scottish Rugby has updated the Return to Rugby Phase 2 guidance for clubs and schools. This guidance comes into effect from Monday 29 June.
To begin preparing for when rugby can resume work has been developed by the Threat Management Group’s Return to Rugby sub-group to help clubs have appropriate measures in place to manage the safety of players, coaches and members.
The information updated below outlines both guidance on re-opening pitches, guidance around players training and also new roles within clubs specifically to provide a safe environment.
Scottish Rugby’s Threat Management Group - 26 June
Please find below the weekly update from the Threat Management Group. Click here to read the full update.
In Scotland we are now in the 8th consecutive week of a continuous decline in the number of COVID-19 related deaths, whilst the number of positive cases in hospitals and new positive cases are also dropping. It is encouraging to see this sustained decline which has enabled the Scottish Government to make such major changes to lockdown rules and the preservation of this will certainly support our plans for resuming “normal” service.
On Monday we commenced Phase 1 Return to Training, with both Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors players participating in voluntary fitness sessions at BT Murrayfield throughout the week. The process has so far been successful, with players and coaches praising the outstanding work of the Return to Train sub-group which enabled this to happen.
The success of this first stage of returning players to training has certainly been reassuring and given the TMG and its various sub-groups the confidence to continue building upon our robust plans for the future.
Particularly for the Return to Rugby Clubs & Schools group, who continue to develop their roadmap for a return to train for clubs and community. Updated Phase 2 Return to Rugby documents will be released later today via our Club Comms and website outlining specific guidance for clubs and schools coming into effect from Monday 29 June and we hope to provide further clarification as we progress discussions with the Government.
Furthermore, yesterday (Thursday) we met with Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, along with Scottish Rugby colleagues. In the meeting we explained our current plans for the sport at all levels and we proposed the use of BTM as a potential test venue with circa 1000 spectators on Saturday 22 August for the Warriors v Edinburgh 1872 PRO14 match.
We are pleased to announce that the Cabinet Secretary, supported by Scottish Government’s National Clinical Director, Professor Jason Leitch and Andy Sinclair from Active Scotland, agreed to consider a formal Scottish Rugby plan for a BT Murrayfield test event in August, subject to agreed public health mitigations.
This is a welcome sign and demonstrates the dedication of the Government to get sport in Scotland, elite and community, back up and running as soon as is practical.
Overall, this week has been a positive step in the right direction for our sport, our people and our society as a whole.
Though, in a time of constantly changing and varying government guidance across the UK we remain in consistent communication with the Scottish Government, sportscotland and the events industries across Scotland to ensure we keep making informed and proactive decisions to enable a safe resumption of our sport as soon as possible.
Again, thanks to everyone for your constant support of Scottish Rugby and the work of the TMG and we very much hope to give you more detailed updates as we continue to move forward.
Clubs and Schools Return to Rugby: Phase 2 Guidelines - 19 June
Scottish Rugby has published Phase 2 Return to Rugby guidelines for clubs and schools.
Scottish Rugby’s Threat Management Group - 19 June
We are beginning to see some good news regarding the pandemic and over the last seven weeks, the number of deaths in Scotland have continued to decline including the number of infected people. This is going in the right direction for society as we start to see some movement in the easing of lockdown. It was heartening to see the announcements from the First Minister yesterday as we move into Phase 2.
This will support our plans of getting the players back to training and playing in the weeks ahead.
Whilst we continue to cover off the main core topics of Government, Medical, Operations, Stadia, Our People, Performance Rugby, Community Rugby and Finance- we also received important updates from all the work groups ongoing to support the work of the TMG.
This week the work of the Return to Train and Return to Community Rugby have been the main focus.
As we prepare for players beginning voluntary fitness sessions next week, a cross section of staff from many different departments have all worked together to get BT Murrayfield ready for this first activity since the start of lockdown.
Access to BT Murrayfield will continue to be heavily restricted only to those that need to be on site for critical business or performance reasons. This will allow Scottish Rugby to maintain a protected environment in the management of risk around COVID-19.
For players, staff and others visiting the stadium, face coverings will be mandatory and provided. Temperature checks may be processed, and health questionnaires will have to be completed on arrival.
Work on Project Eden, the new stadium for Edinburgh Rugby has also recommenced this week on the back pitches and as a result we have worked hard with all parties to ensure plans are in place to ensure there is no cross over between ‘sites’ – Project Eden & BT Murrayfield with entirely separate access arrangements and thorough risk assessment measures in place.
A detailed route map for Return to Train for clubs and community rugby along with appropriate guidance is being finalised ready for circulation. This will include all the information the clubs need to support them through the various Government phases over the coming weeks and months.
Director of Rugby Development Sheila Begbie and the respective sub-groups have done a tremendous job here and we look forward to sharing this as soon as we are able to do so and the timeframes are signed off by the Scottish Government.
There will be an update next week on follow up meetings we have with the Government. Topics we will be discussing include grassroots roadmap and our plans to restart the wider event industry through small scale test events.
Finally, even as lockdown measures ease ever so slightly, the Scottish Government has launched a public awareness campaign called FACTS – which is designed to help us all remember the things we should be doing as we move into Phase 2.
F – Face coverings in enclosed spaces
A – Avoid crowded places
C – Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
T – Two metre distancing
S – Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms
Club Hardship Fund Update - 17 June
Scottish Rugby has announced details of the recipients of its Club Hardship Fund (CHF) with each of the 82 applicant clubs across the country set to benefit from the financial support initiative.
Scottish Rugby’s Threat Management Group – 12 June
The TMG continues to review all aspects of the challenges facing us as Scottish Rugby and sport in general.
The TMG sub-groups continue to work towards the Government’s Phase 2 of lockdown easing with the main focus over the past week being on the Return to Community Rugby and Return to Training, with the Return to Office, Return to Hospitality and Return to Events sub-groups also continuing.
The respective teams are working on a route map for return to train for clubs and community along with appropriate guidance. Scotland’s National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch was once again on our Podcast – see link - and spoke about the challenge of rugby returning at Grassroots. If you have an opportunity please have a listen to the podcast as Professor Leitch covers numerous topics relevant to everyone connected to sport in Scotland.
Scottish Rugby has also had follow up sessions with the Scotland-wide Events Industry Advisory Group this week with attendees from various industries including, sports, music, event operators etc. We are looking to progress talks with the Government as a sector on how we might work through the current challenge and restart in line with Government guidelines and an important area given how our own sport relies heavily on events and crowds. This will be an important group to support Government in restarting the whole sector.
We continue to work very closely with our counterparts in Scottish FA, SPFL such that we are aligned in any documentation that we present to Public Health Scotland for approval for behind closed door matches and socially distanced matches with crowds, which again generate revenue for the benefit of the whole sport.
Jason Leitch: Sport has crucial role to play - 11 June
Scotland’s National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch has confirmed sport is very much on the agenda when it comes to moving out of lockdown in an in-depth interview on this week's Official Scottish Rugby Podcast.
Clubs and Schools Return to Rugby: Phase 1 Guidelines - 5 June
Scottish Rugby has published Return to Rugby guidelines for clubs and schools during Phase 1 of the Scottish Government's easing of lockdown restrictions.
The document provides a practical guide on the proposed Return to Rugby plans amidst the current Covid-19 pandemic. The following information is aligned to Scottish Government, sportscotland and World Rugby guidelines for Phase 1 of the route map for exiting lockdown. Scottish Rugby is working with the Scottish Government to ensure the domestic game can begin a phased return in line with its lockdown restrictions easing and aiming to help clubs through this process. Further information on future phases will be communicated when appropriate.
There is a dedicated page on the Scottish Rugby website for details on facilities, events and competitions, coaching and other useful information for clubs and schools regarding the first phase of a return to rugby.
Scottish Rugby Updates in May 2020
Scottish Rugby statement – Scottish Government meeting - 29 May
Scottish Rugby participated in a successful meeting with Minister for Sport Joe FitzPatrick and Scotland’s National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch today.
Threat Management Group Update - 29 May
This week the TMG and the supporting workstreams have made excellent progress in planning the safest strategies to return to rugby.
Latest Government advice affecting rugby clubs - 22 May
Scottish Rugby is advising rugby clubs across Scotland that they should not expect to resume any form of rugby training until Scottish Government and public health advice allows.
Summer Tour Statement - 15 May
Scottish Rugby can confirm the 2020 Summer Test matches scheduled against South Africa and New Zealand have been postponed in light of the international impact of COVID-19.
Supporting #AsOne - 14 May
Scottish Rugby would like to recognise the work of our Partners during this time and highlight the work they’ve being doing during COVID-19 outbreak to support key and front-line workers and those most in need over the past weeks.
Jason Leitch talks rugby and COVID-19 Impact - 12 May
Scotland’s National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch says he is impressed by Scottish Rugby’s proposed phased approach for elite players to resume training in an exclusive interview on this week's Official Scottish Rugby Podcast.
Update following COVID-19 meeting with Scottish Government - 5 May
A statement has been issued by Scottish Rugby following our participation in a multi-sport round table meeting with Minister for Sport Joe FitzPatrick this afternoon (5 May 2020).
Medical Update - Letter to all clubs from Scottish Rugby CMO Dr James Robson - 1 May
Firstly, thank you for your ongoing compliance with the important prevention measures introduced by the Scottish Government in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19). By following these you have, and will continue to; prevent transmission of COVID-19, reduce your own risk, reduce pressure on the NHS and save lives.
Like all individuals in society, and specifically as Rugby Players, I appreciate that the current coronavirus pandemic has resulted in major changes in your lives and the lives of your families. Within the wider Scottish Rugby family we have unfortunately seen the complete spectrum of the COVID-19’s physical effects and undoubtedly there will continue to be cases. The disease’s effect on individuals mental health and wider society can also not be understated. Scottish Rugby and all our Clubs have worked hard to facilitate a number of ways by which you can help the overall health of yourselves, your clubs, Scottish Rugby and society.
In Scotland, and across many parts of the world, as we move through the current situation it is inevitable that all of us are going to experience some negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours. While a number of these and their extent are normal! It is important for us all to try to recognise when these are becoming too negative. Just like any ‘work on’ in your rugby skill set, or indeed at the time of injury, getting support to work through these will be important.
Please see the attached link which highlights several ways COVID-19 can affect your health, and signposts you to important resources. I would ask that you review it and refer to it over the next period.
NHSinform is the official Scottish NHS website: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19
Please continue to make good decisions, stay safe and look after each other.
Dr James Robson
(Chief Medical Officer Scottish Rugby)
Scottish Rugby Updates in April 2020
Sheila Begbie reflects on the COVID-19 crisis - 27 April
Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby Development, Sheila Begbie MBE spoke to the media last week to reflect on the current COVID-19 crisis and how Scottish Rugby and the Rugby Development Department were working to support clubs across Scotland.
Dr James Robson reflects on COVID-19 Crisis - 24 April
Scottish Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer Dr James Robson MBE spoke to the media this week to reflect on the current COVID-19 crisis and how Scottish Rugby and himself were working to support players and the wider organisation. Here is what he had to say.
Scottish Rugby Board Update - 23 Apri
Scottish Rugby's Board issued an update in relation to the COVID-19 crisis.
Joint Scottish Rugby & RPS Statement - 14 April
Scottish Rugby and Rugby Players Scotland (RPS) have today issued a joint statement. Scotland’s top rugby players’ salaries may be reduced for five months as the country continues to fight Coronavirus and the resulting closedown of rugby and all sport. This follows discussions between Scottish Rugby and Rugby Players Scotland (RPS), the players’ association.
Click here to read the full statement - Joint Scottish Rugby & RPS Statement
Scottish Rugby Update - 13 April
Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive, Mark Dodson issued an update in relation to steps being taken to manage its operations in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
Click here to read the full update.
Scottish Rugby Updates in March 2020
Scottish Rugby Update - 31 March 2020
The 2019/20 domestic rugby season in Scotland has been classified as null and void, with Scottish Rugby joining its Irish, Welsh and Italian counterparts in coming to this outcome.
This decision follows the earlier interim suspension and then final closure of the season based on Government advice in relation to the Covid-19 virus and is being issued today, 31 March in line with the previous objective of informing clubs by the end of the month.
The decision to declare the 2019/20 season null and void – meaning there will be no automatic promotion/relegation - was reached following an extensive consultation process involving the participating clubs, the Championship and Competition Committee members and Scottish Rugby’s own Rugby Development Department.
Click here to read the full update - Scottish 2019/20 Season Declared Null and Void
Scottish Rugby Board Update - 31 March
The Board of Scottish Rugby met on Friday 27 March by conference call to discuss once again the on-going impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on both the sport in Scotland and Scottish Rugby as an organisation.
The welfare of all our staff, clubs and players were top of the agenda and a full discussion held on the steps put in place to ensure they are all supported at this difficult time. It was noted that significant and detailed work is also on-going, at a pace, to review the considerable financial impacts on Scottish Rugby and the game in Scotland at all levels in respect of COVID-19.
- Board agree all Board Directors (both Executive and Non-executive) to take a 25% deferral of salary/fee from April 1st to September 1st and CEO will take a 30% deferral for the same period.
- Additionally, Director of Performance Rugby and our Head Coaches from the National Team, Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors also agreed to a 25% deferral for the same period.
- Scottish Rugby’s “Threat Management Group” continues to meet via video conferencing each day to discuss key operational topics in light of COVID-19 including updates on health, our people, finance, professional and domestic rugby competitions, rugby development, stadium and facilities
- All work on Project Eden, the new stadium for Edinburgh Rugby development on the BT Murrayfield back pitches, has been suspended until further notice in line with public health guidelines.
- Scottish Rugby continues to work closely with World Rugby and its fellow Unions in relation to the international calendar moving forward.
- All non-critical capital expenditure on BT Murrayfield stadium and wider projects placed on hold until further notice.
- Full support given to promoting Govt public health messaging across Scottish Rugby’s own channels and joined the #LightitBlue campaign in recognition of the NHS last week.
National Clinic Director praised Scottish Rugby community - 30 March
Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government, has praised the Scottish rugby community for their ongoing efforts as the country works together to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Leitch took the time to praise those involved in rugby in Scotland and asked for more of the same.
Scottish Rugby Update - 20 March
Scottish Rugby has determined the current (2019/20) domestic season will not be recommenced, and that the suspension of all rugby remains in place until further notice.
Club Hardship Fund
Scottish Rugby is now open to applications for funding from its newly created Club Hardship Fund (CHF). The fund was set up by Scottish Rugby to support clubs during the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak and premature end of the 2019/20 season, confirmed by the Scottish Rugby Board earlier today. The fund is designed to provide grants to clubs to sustain their business during this unprecedented period and help them to continue to deliver rugby in Scotland.
Guinness PRO 14 Rugby Update - 19 March
The suspension of the 2019/20 season of the Guinness PRO14 is now on an indefinite basis due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Click here to read the full update - Indefinite suspension of Guinness PRO14 Season.
Hardship Fund Launched - 15 March
Scottish Rugby has today (Sunday 15 March) launched a significant new funding support initiative.
A new £500,000 Club Hardship Fund (CHF) will offer financial assistance to grassroots clubs facing cashflow and immediate financial challenges through the impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Designed to help clubs through the period of uncertainty created by the Coronavirus outbreak, the CHF would release funds to support identified financial issues caused by a lack of fixtures or pressures on other revenue streams.
With a lack of fixtures and reduction on public gatherings clubs may struggle for cash-flow and Scottish Rugby wishes to help and support them.
In addition to the £500K Club Hardship Fund, Scottish Rugby is also accelerating its collective club support payments by a month, to April from May, which will in itself exceed £500,000 in funding to ease the financial burden.
Click here to read the full story - £500k Hardship Fund Launched
Wales v Scotland postponed - 13 March
Wales’ Guinness Six Nations clash with Scotland at Principality Stadium in Cardiff has been postponed.
Scottish Rugby suspends all rugby in Scotland - 13 March
Scottish Rugby has today taken the decision to suspend all rugby in Scotland following the evolving Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation.
In light of government restrictions on public gatherings and the resulting pressure on emergency services and healthcare provision, Scottish Rugby has decided that with effect from Sunday 15 March at 6pm there will be a short period without domestic competition (or training) whilst a further assessment can be made. This will be in effect up to, and including, 29 March 2020.
Click here to read full update - Scottish Rugby suspends all rugby in Scotland.