The Schools’ season is well underway and I hope it will be a good one and enjoyed by all. I certainly was inspired by seeing our Sevens teams in the Olympics over the summer, and I am looking forward to watching the wheelchair rugby in the Paralympics. I hope our young players will be equally enthused. We especially welcome all those new to rugby be it as a School taking up the sport in your curriculum or new players who have joined playing squads. It is a great sport where you can develop many friendships and find new opportunities.

Reform to the way we introduce the playing of rugby and regulate the playing experience continues to unfold; these are changes that will smooth out previous pressures on ‘over playing’ and make the fun of playing rugby more player-centric and safer. Parallel and entwined with these changes are our increased awareness of how best to deal with concussion and generally improve player safety. I urge all who teach or coach in age grade rugby to be familiar with this approach.

It is, I feel, important to reiterate that in the new Playing Calendar there is no restriction as to when a school or club can stage its fixtures or training sessions. There are however restrictions on when competition can be programmed. There is now an onus on managers to plan ahead and communicate so as to yield priority on their players, should there be competing demands on a player’s time between their club and school, or if (s)he also participates in a CB representative programme.

Do all enjoy your season!

Nigel Orton
ERFSU Chairman