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RFU Cluster Fixture proposals (Nov 22 2020)

The following statement was issued by RFU Competitions on Friday 13 November 2020. Copies were sent via members of the RFU North DOC to all North CB’s, requesting Clubs to respond to the Cluster proposals by 30 November 2020, using the Survey Link highlighted here.


“Following the decision from the RFU Council to cancel the 20/21 League Season for Men’s (Level 3 and below) and Women’s (Level 2 and below) competitions, plans have been developed to instigate ‘local cluster’ fixtures to help facilitate a return to contact rugby match play when we are able (hopefully in the New Year).


This proposal is based around five principles;


·         Providing Clubs with structured local competitive fixtures

·         Based on contact rugby (either full contact or adapted variations dependent on HM Government advice)

·         Minimised travel times

·         Local Clusters of up to 7 teams (the number will vary according to specific regions and on agreed local needs)

·         Relaxed regulations to remove barriers to participation


The make-up of these clusters is contained with this note. To ease travel and in support of player welfare they are constructed based on geography and current level of play and will offer a number of both home and away matches. Some of the Women’s clusters are smaller due to the lower density in teams within the league pyramid. Clubs in these smaller clusters will have the ability to play each other multiple times as well as crossing over with other local clusters.


Participation is optional and the results of any matches will have no impact on promotion or relegation in the league pyramid.  Clubs are free to opt out of being included if they wish to play in another locally organised model or to simply arrange matches on an ad-hoc basis. By opting in clubs can support each other by travelling to respective grounds and selecting appropriate squads of players to ensure meaningful and enjoyable games. We believe that this engagement can play a critical role in the game’s recovery after nine months without activity.


The format of the game will be that agreed between the RFU and Government under return to contact rugby protocols and is likely, at least initially, to involve law adaptations.


Clubs can opt-in or out of their proposed clusters by filling in the following short survey here. Please be aware that clubs with multiple teams in the pyramid will need to fill out a response for each team.


Based on the attached initial detail, clubs are requested to confirm their ‘opt-in’ by 30th November to enable Organising Committees time to finalise the clusters and develop fixture lists.


The use of “Game On” principles will be encouraged at Levels 5 and below in the Men’s game and at all levels in the Women’s game. This enables further adaptations to be made where both teams agree to enable games to be played, for example, with less than 15 players or with a shorter playing duration.  In addition, and on agreement, clubs will have the flexibility to change fixture dates and playing format according to what format of the game may be permissible at the time of a fixture.”


Draft Northern Division structure for 2020-21 (April 15 2020)

The draft structure for the Northern Division for the 2020-21 season is now available to download here.


RFU Youth Rugby and Half-Game sanctions (20 September 2019)

Here is a table detailing the sanctions clubs can face if they don't meet the rules surrounding the RFU's laws about players getting to play in youth rugby. Download it here


RFU National Cup Competitions - Northern Division draw (August 25 2018)


POOL ROUND 1    November 10 2018

Intermediate Cup Level 7

Senior Vase Level 8

Junior Vase Level 9

Bolton v Aspatria

Aspull v Furness

Old Bedians v Oxton Parkonians

Old Rishworthians v Novocastrians

Northallerton v Whitley Bay

Thornensians v Blythe


POOL ROUND 2    February 2 2019

Bowdon v Bolton

Congleton v Aspull

Ellesmere Port v Old Bedians

Novocastrians v South Shields Westoe

Whitley Bay v Sunderland

Blythe v Seaton Carew


POOL ROUND 3   February 23  2019

Aspatria v Bowdon

Furness v Congleton

Oxton Parkonians v Ellesmere Port

South Sheilds Westoe  v Old Rishworthians

Sunderland v Northallerton

Seaton Carew v Thornensians


North West league restructuring (June 14 2018)

The North DOC are very much aware of the concerns expressed by some Clubs over the proposed North West League Structures for 2018-2019. These have been discussed and have been noted.

However, the DOC has to enforce the current RFU Rules & Regulations relating to the formation of League Structures, once the previous season’s Promotion, Relegation, and Level Transfer issues have been settled. It is accepted that following the very disappointing withdrawal of 19 Lancashire Clubs from the English Clubs Championship, those issues related to in compiling the 2018-2019 League Structures for the North West are more complex than usual.  

A lot of effort has been made by the DOC, and will continue to be made, in trying to resolve the problems referred to, but the DOC has to try and maintain as near as possible, ‘the status quo,’, as laid down by the RFU, which effectively means retaining a North Lancashire/Cheshire Cumbria League and a South Cheshire Lancashire 1 League at Level 7, plus Lancashire/Cheshire and Cumbria Leagues at Level 8, dependent on the number of Clubs available to form such leagues.

Where possible, and when requested by Clubs, the North DOC will arrange Fixture Lists, primarily for the North Lancashire Cumbria League to minimise the possibility of travelling and playing of matches in bad weather The DOC is also willing to approve requests from Clubs who want to alter Kick Off times, in order to ensure that Players affected by working on days when matches are scheduled have sufficient travel time to do so.

Other similar requests by Clubs to make the playing of matches easier, will be accepted and considered, where appropriate.

The DOC hopes that Clubs will co-operate and support each other, to ensure that a full North West League Structure be realised, and that Rugby’s Core values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship are upheld.

The confirmed structure of the English Clubs Championship for 2018-19 can be downloaded here


North West Leagues proposed restructure (June 2 2018)

The Northern Division Competitions Committee have redrafted the structure of the Leagues in the North West for the 2-18-19 season, and the new draft proposals can be downloaded here


New clubhouse for Anselmians RUFC  (28 February 2018)

Anselmians  RUFC are celebrating the news that they have been granted planning permission for a new clubhouse, pitches and facilities – and for the 2018-19 season they will be playing home games at Vauxhall Motors, Rivacre Park, Rivacre Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH66 1NJ.

They had previously had an offer from Wirral RUFC to host their home games for which they are very grateful, but they will now be playing at Vauxhall Motors' facility which has two pitches.


Easter Saturday, 31 March 2018

Would all Clubs please note that owing to the large number of League games still to be played, as a result of the extreme weather encountered this past Winter, it has been decided by the RFU North Divisional Organising Committee, that Easter Saturday, 31 March 2018, will have to be used as a designated League Saturday.  

This decision is regretted, but found to be necessary, as there is currently a backlog of 150 outstanding League games still to be played in the North.

In addition, Clubs are also advised that it may be necessary to ask League Secretaries to prioritise those outstanding League fixtures involving teams who are involved in either Promotion and or Relegation issues.

Also as previously announced, Clubs are reminded that the current season does not officially end until Monday 28 May 2018, and therefore in some cases, Clubs may be asked to fulfil League fixtures during the month of May 2018.


Mike Smith, Chairman, RFU North Competitions Committee.


RFU  Cup Competitions - Northern Final draws (February 19 2018)

The finals to be played on the 24th February are:

RFU Intermediate Cup: York v Bowdon

RFU Senior Vase: Wath v Winnington Park

RFU Junior Vase: Old Otliensians v Ramsey

The winners of the above matches will go forward to play the winners of the Midlands matches in the national semi finals on March 31.


Yorkshire Four and Lancs/Cheshire Three fixture postponements (February 12 2018)

Yorkshire Four and Lancs/Cheshire Three have now entered phase two of their fixture programs, which do not have many reserve Saturdays available between now and the end of the 2017-18 season.

For this reason, please note that any matches postponed for reasons other than weather will result in the non-offending team being awarded a walkover (worth five points) and the match will not be re-arranged.

 The offending teams may also receive a five-point deduction.

Number of replacements at Levels Eight and below (19 July 2017)

The Northern Division Competitions Committee wish to clarify that at levels eight and below, clubs are allowed up to five replacements, of which one must be a front row player. The only exception to this rule is in Cumbria as before.


Changes to the Structure of Yorkshire Four and Five (June 14 2017 


SEASON 2017-2018

Yorkshire 4 North West (4NW)


Yorkshire 4 South East (4SE)


Bramley Phoenix


















Rossington Hornets


Leeds Corinthians



Rotherham Phoenix





Sheffield Oaks





Stanley Rodillians





York Railway Institute

·         16 teams. Split into 2 x 8. WEST AND EAST.


·         WEST. Each team plays one another Home & Away = 14 matches.

·         EAST. Each team plays one another Home & Away = 14 matches.



·         After completion of 14 matches, top 4 teams in WEST play top 4 Teams in EAST.

·         After completion of 14 matches, bottom 4 teams in WEST play bottom 4 Teams in EAST.

·         To ease fixture congestion, the results of matches played in the first half of the season (ie. Phase 1), will be carried forward into the second half of the season, for teams who were in their leagues during the first half of the season. This will result in each team playing eight matches in the second half of the season – giving 22 matches in total for the whole season.

It is also proposed, to relax the RFU Competitions Regulations in respect of:

1.       Unplayed matches: Where a team does not fulfil a fixture, the non-offending team will be awarded 5 match points, and the offending team will be deducted 5 match points. The unplayed game will not be rearranged.

2.       Failure to notify the League Secretary of the Match Result in the allotted time: There will be no Monetary Fine. Instead 2 Match Points per Offence will deducted from offending teams.

·         Existing Regulations in respect of Front Rows, Player Registrations, Match Card information, Postponement Procedures, will continue to be enforced, but these will be reviewed at the end of the season, with a view to further relaxations in subsequent seasons.


Background to Adjustment of Durham/Northumberland Leagues for the 2017-18 season (May 26 2017)

·         At the end of the 2016-2017 season, three teams were relegated from North 1 East (Level 6) to Durham Northumberland 1 (Level 7) and Yorkshire 1 (Level 7).

Two Clubs, namely Durham City and Guisborough were placed in Durham Northumberland 1. One Club, Wheatley Hills was placed in Yorkshire1. 

·         In the Play Off between the Runners Up of Durham Northumberland 1 and Yorkshire 1 to determine which Club was promoted to North 1 East, West Leeds won, resulting in the defeated Club, South Shields Westoe remaining in Durham Northumberland 1.

This resulted in Durham Northumberland 1 having 15 teams, with the result that a request for volunteers was sought for one club to Level Transfer to Yorkshire 1 who only had 13 teams. No Volunteers were forthcoming, so in line with RFU Regulation 13.2.11, Middlesbrough will play in Yorkshire 1 for the 2017-2018 season. As a result, both Durham Northumberland 1 and Yorkshire 1 will have 14 teams. 

·         The relegation of Acklam from Yorkshire 1, resulted in them being placed in Durham Northumberland 2 (Level 8), which resulted in this league having 15 teams, when only 14 teams are required.

This means that Blyth who finished third bottom of DN2, are relegated to Durham Northumberland 3. RFU Regulation 13.2.7 (f) applies. Durham Northumberland 3 will then have 12 teams.


Vacancy for a League Secretary (April 26 2017)

The RFU North Competitions Committee is seeking a person to be the League Secretary for League Yorkshire 2 for the 2017-2018 season. 

Persons interested should not be connected with a Club who will play in Yorkshire 2 for the 2017-2018 season.

To express an interest and obtain further details, please contact Mike Smith, Chairman, RFU North Competitions Committee on 01422 882879, or via email at, denexlowe4232@yahoo.co.uk.


Potential Changes to Level Transfer Regulations (5 March 2017)

Notice of possible change to current method of determining which Clubs to Level Transfer.

The RFU North Competitions Committee (DOC) have become concerned that a Level Transfer imposed on a single club in successive seasons could be regarded as an unfair and significant disadvantage.  This is particularly so when other club(s) in close proximity could also reasonably make the required move.

RFU Regulation 13.2.11(g) allows the DOC to vary the strict application of ‘Lowest Total Mileage’ and nominate another Club for Level Transfer, “which would remove or reduce the significant disadvantage for the benefit of the game of rugby union football in the locality.”  The DOC have formed the view that this principle would be served if the burden of a Level Transfer is shared from one season to the next between clubs located close to each other.

It is stressed that by invoking 13.2.11(g) the DOC do not intend to comprehensively change the criteria laid down for selecting a Club(s) for Level Transfer, but if circumstances arise where a conflict, or a significant disadvantage to the Club selected arise, then the RFUNCC would remove that disadvantage by selecting another Club for Level Transfer.  


 RFU 13.2.11 Level Transfers Regulations can be found at:



World Rugby Sanction table changes (3rd January 2017)

Unions recently took part in the World Rugby consultation on its disciplinary process and sanctions table.

The RFU, including representatives of the professional and semi-professional leagues and the Constituent Body Disciplinary Panels contributed to the consultation and as a result a revised sanctions table will come into force in the game globally from 3 January 2017.

The revised sanctions table is attached, but the key changes are as follows:

·         Incidents of foul play involving contact with the head shall be at least a mid-range entry point


·         Increased entry points for striking with the elbow, stamping and spitting


·         Various entry points altered and expressed in an even number of weeks

·         Sanctions for ‘tip tackles’ at all levels have been increased by 2 weeks


·         An extension of the description under Law 10.4.M relating to ‘testicle grabbing or twisting or squeezing’ to incorporate other acts of foul play against both male and female players.


·         Sanctions for verbal abuse of players, match officials, spectators, coaches or support staff based on religion, race, colour or national ethnic origin, sexual orientation or otherwise has been increased and the definition expanded


In addition, the following changes have also been implemented:

1.       Physical Abuse of a Match Official has remained unchanged as per the previous sanctions table, however a new offence of ‘Incidental Physical Contact with a Match Official’ has been included.


The entry points for this new offence are as follows:-

Entry point


Low end

6 weeks


12 weeks

Top end

18+ weeks

 World Rugby recognise that there will, on occasion, be instances of ‘reckless contact with a match official that occurs in a dynamic situation where no injury is caused’ and it was felt that the previous sanctions did not adequately cater for this category of foul play.


2.       An amendment has also been made to Law 10.4.M Contact with the eye(s)/eye area. This has now been split in to two separate charges with two defined entry points. World Rugby have also defined ‘eye area’ and that definition will follow when received from World Rugby in the New Year.


The entry points for charges brought under Law 10.4.M ‘Contact with the Eye(s)’ are as follows:

Entry point


Low end

12 weeks


18 weeks

Top end

24+ weeks

The entry points for the new Law 10.4.M ‘Contact with the Eye area’ will be as follows:-


 Entry point


Low end

4 weeks


8 weeks

Top end

12+ weeks


·         World Rugby have also confirmed that all acts of foul play that involve contact to the head of an opponent (including striking, stamping, kicking and dangerous tackling) shall result in at least a mid-range entry point (top-end in the case of stamping and kicking). This is designed to safeguard the health and welfare of players and is based on feedback from former players, coaches, match officials and medical practitioners who were all part of the consultation process.

·         The final key point for all Panel Members and clubs to note is that all existing World Rugby Memoranda issued by the World Rugby Head of Judiciary have been revoked and are no longer applicable.


North Admin Rule Clarification 15.3 (i) (December 14 2016)

Further to recent cases regarding the above, the North Competitions Committee would like to apologise for any confusion this caused. The rule was written in trying to highlight the enforcement by the RFU  and should have read

"A club causing a match to go to uncontested scrums shall not be allowed to replace the player, and the offending side shall continue with 14 players."

 Again see appendix 2  15 (b) Page 232.

Please also refer to this flow chart when deciding on the correct course of action.


Club information - GMS Data Cleanse deadline (October 22 2016)

Club Data Officers have until Friday 11th November to clean up their club Game Management System data.

The spring clean has reopened after a successful summer period, giving you another chance to get your club’s data in order.

Ensuring data accuracy in GMS is vital in helping you get the most out of your data. It will enable you to communicate with your players, access vital information on your members and process payments.

Please double check that you are not inadvertently removing registered players and, in all cases, check your registered players list regularly to ensure you do not field ineligible players.

For further information and support, email springclean@first-sports.com or visit the GMS Hub for user guides.

Find all the information at englandrugby.com/GMS.


Important information about Player Registration (October 8 2016)

All Clubs, and in particular their Player Registration Officials are reminded, that they must only play or select as a Replacement or Substitute Players who hold Effective Registration for their Club in accordance with the Adult Player Registration Regulations set out in RFU Regulation 14.

Please note that the only conclusive evidence of Effective Registration is the Computerised Record held by the RFU as at the Kick Off time of the match in which such Players or selected to play or be a Replacement as listed on the Match Card.

Each Club is responsible for ensuring its strict compliance with this Regulation and must take all reasonable steps to ensure compliance.

This reminder has been issued in the light of several breaches of this Regulation which have occurred already in the first five weeks of the 2016-2017 season.


RFU Travel Funding (July 24 2015)

With the new season fast approaching we have once again designed a bank details form for clubs to complete so we hold accurate up-to-date details in order to make the travel payments for the 2015-16 season.

This process will enable the RFU Finance Department to pay travel payments more efficiently by BACS, rather than the laborious cheque process. 

In order to facilitate this process you have been sent this email because you will receive a contribution towards your travel costs.  In order to receive the funding, please click on the following link and follow the instructions: https://secure.jotformpro.com/form/50424027375955

For those clubs that received RFU travel funding last season and whose details have not changed, you still need to follow the link, but the process will be quicker. The supported file types for the upload function are: pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, csv, txt, rtf, html, zip, mp3, wma, mpg, flv, avi, jpg, jpeg, png, gifp  (up to 1024KB or 1MB in size)

Should you have any queries or require further clarification and guidance in relation to this form, please contact Katie Lister on KatieLister@rfu.com


RFU National Cup dates for the 2015-16 season (July 14 2015)

The dates for the early rounds of the RFU National Cup competitions have been announced as follows:

November 28 2015

February 6 2016

February 27 2016

March 12 2016 (quarter final)


 Player Registration tip for clubs (July 9 2015)

When clubs are registering players in the GMS system, it is now necessary for each player to have an email address assigned during the process.


Blank Saturdays in the 2015-16 season (May 14 2015)

Some Saturdays in the 2015-16 have been designated to have no league rugby. The dates are:

October 31 2015, December 26 2015, Jan 2 2016, March 26 2015 (Easter Saturday)

On the above dates there is to be no league rugby played, unless it is with the agreement of both clubs and the League Secretary.


League structure changes - RFU announcement (17 April 2015)

Further to the RFU Council meeting today, where the Adult Competition Review was discussed, we would like to update you on the following outcome.

While the Adult Competition Review and all its recommendations were passed by Council in June 2014, it was thought prudent to take into account recent feedback. This predominantly concerns 1st XV league and RFU Cup rugby. The Adult Competition Review also made recommendations, which were approved, regarding the organisation of rugby for 2nd and lower XVs, as well as for student competitions and other forms of the game, namely touch and sevens. 

As a result of the above, a resolution was passed to delay the implementation of the recommendations of the Adult Competition Review concerning 1st XV league and RFU Cup rugby by 12 months to undertake further consultation, including a detailed club and player survey. With this in mind the revised structured season for 2015/2016, with full details, will be forthcoming shortly.

The RFU Council reiterated their commitment to recommendations concerning 2nd and lower XV rugby, student competitions, sevens and touch to continue to be implemented in accordance with the agreed original timetable.


Outstanding travel allowances from the RFU (April 15 2015)

Several Northern Division clubs have still not claimed their travel allowance from Twickenham, totalling almost £7,000 - don't miss out!

Birkenhead Park




Halifax Vandals













RFU National Cups, semi finals (March 14 2015)

The national semi finals of the RFU Intermediate Cup, Senior Vase and Junior Vase will takes place on April 4. The draw was made as follows:

Intermediate Cup:

Scarborough v Bridgnorth

Senior Vase:

Melton Mowbray v West Leeds

Junior Vase:

Rugby Lions v Northallerton

Easter matches on 4 April (posted 14 Jan 2015)

The Northern Division Competitions Committee have ring-fenced Easter Saturday (April 4 2015) for touring. Unless both sides agree, league matches will not be re-arranged for this date.


Important Notice: Player Transfer Deadline 2014-15 (Jan 12 2015)

The Transfer Deadline this season is fast approaching and this year it is Friday 27th February 2015, therefore all registration paperwork must be received by the following dates:
* Friday 20th February for standard 7-day

* 12 noon Friday 27th February for expedited

This means that all registration papers (eg; fully completed Player Registration form, club release are present and correct as any incomplete applications may result in the player missing the Transfer Deadline.

A club may only apply for a Player to become Effectively Registered after the Transfer Deadline if he is either:

* a Permitted Player (as defined in RFU Regulation 1) or
* he is an England Academy Player seeking Effective Registration with the Club of whose academy he is a member
* he is an England Academy Player playing under licence in the Aviva Premiership in accordance with the applicable regulations
* he is a Loan Player seeking Effective Registration to return to the Club which loaned him and with which he still has a contract
* sixteen years old prior to the Transfer Deadline and turns seventeen after the Transfer Deadline and is entitled to register for the first time.

Important advice about Player Registration Lists (November 6 2014)

Clubs are reminded to keep their list of Registered Players up to date, and to have a 100 per cent up to date copy of the list of eligible players with you at all times when completing match cards.

Some clubs have already been disciplined for fielding players who they thought were registered, but were actually ineligible to play on the match date.

The death of Leslie (Legs) Bentley - (posted Oct 30 2014)

It is with great sadness that we learnt that "Legs" Bentley passed away last Sunday 26 October 2014.  

Les or as he was affectionately known "Legs" was the North East Co-ordinator and Secretary of the RFU North Competitions Committee for many years, and he was well known to many people throughout the six Counties who comprise the North Division. To many of us, Les was the father figure, who introduced us to Competitive Rugby Union Administration, and who was always there to provide advice, support, and encouragement. The added bonus of course was that he did so, with a wonderful sense of humour, and always, with a twinkle in his eye.

We have so many wonderful memories of him, ranging from our regular Committee Meetings at Morley Rugby Club, which were always preceded with a wonderful Buffet, brought by Les from home, and prepared by him and his wife Joyce, including thermos flasks of hot water, for the preparation of tea and coffee! To his organisation of our Annual Award Dinners both East and West of the Pennines, which Les took great delight in compering to such a high standard, and with great humour. In between these events, Les always carried out his duties enthusiastically, with great energy, and with a deep knowledge of the game, and its numerous Rules & Regulations.

The Funeral arrangements are still to be confirmed. Once received, details will be published on our Web site.

Rolling Substitutions allowed in Northern Division for 2014-15 season (Sept 1 2014)

Rolling substitutions are now allowed at every level of the Northern Division, and is explained in the RFU Regulations.

Click here for the regulations covering Adult Competitions

Click here for the appendix to the above regulations, which covers rolling substitutions


Play-Off matches 2013-14 (April 21 2014)

Level 5 Play Off

Stockport v Sutton Coldfield (at Stockport)

 Level 6 Play Off

Birkenhead Park v Huddersfield YMCA (at Birkenhead Park)

 Level 7 Play Offs

Dinnington v Guisborough (at Dinnington)

Bolton v Northwich  (at Bolton)

 All the above  games to be played on Saturday 26th April 2014

The Level 8 play off cannot be arranged yet due to an appeal.





POOL ROUND 1   16 November 2013

Intermediate Cup  Level 7                Senior Vase Level 8                             Junior Vase Level 9

Eccles v Aspatria                                Ormskirk v Windermere                          Birchfield v Prenton

Novocastrians V Consett                    Medicals v Hartlepool BBOB                  Goole v Seaham



Intermediate Cup level 7                  Senior Vase Level 8                              Junior Vase Level  9

Aspatria v New Brighton                      Windermere v Dukinfield                      

Consett v York                                     Hartlepool BBOB v Yarnbury                Seaham v Goole


Intermediate Cup Level 7                 Senior Vase Level 8                            Junior Vase Level 9

New Brighton V Eccles                       Dukinfield v Ormskirk                             Prenton v Birchfield

York v Novocastrians                         Yarrnbury V Medicals                            



Important Notice: Player Registration and Match Card Administration (Sept 17 2013)


 Despite extensively publicising the appropriate RFU Rules & Regulations relating to Player Registrations and Match Card Administration, already in the first few weeks of the 2013-2014 season, several Clubs have been issued with Default Notices because of alleged irregularities concerning these two important matters.

If the allegations are proved valid, then those Clubs face Championship Points Deductions, a Fine or both.

The Rules & Regulations are clearly defined, and may be found in the RFU Handbook, the North Division Administrative Instructions and also this Web Site. 

The impact of a Points Deduction anytime, and particularly at this stage of the season, may result in a Club ultimately missing Promotion, being Relegated, and in addition, the sanctions also have a demoralising effect on Player’s morale – who are in the majority of cases - not at fault.

Responsibility for ensuring that a Player holds Effective Registration for a Club, and is eligible to play League and Cup Rugby lies with the Officials of a Club. The same applies to the compilation of the Match Card, and all Match Day Administration relating to the Match Card.

The RFU North Competitions Committee is determined to improve both the Administration of Player Registrations and Match Cards, which are fundamental to Membership of the English Clubs Championship.

Your anticipated co-operation in helping the Committee to achieve that improvement is welcomed.


Club accounts - Please update your details! (Aug 7 2013)

To ensure prompt payment of credits from the RFU, would all Clubs please ensure that their Bank Account details are up to date, including name of Account, Sort Code, and Account Number.

All Clubs are asked to check their current details and where necessary, amend them, so that when credits are authorised by the RFU, they are paid promptly, into the correct Account.


North West Counties to discuss Lancashire RFU League Restructure Proposals (Apr 16 2013)

Following submission of Lancashire RFU's proposals to change the present structure of the North West English Clubs Championship Leagues, to include internal Lancashire Leagues, further discussions on the proposals are to take place, between the North Divisional Organising Committee (RFUNCC), Cheshire RFU, Cumbria RFU, and Lancashire RFU. 

A meeting of nominated representatives from all parties concerned, will be held at Preston Grasshoppers RFC on 16 May 2013. Chris Burns (RFU Tournaments & Competitions Manager) will also be present. 

Although some Clubs, through their Constituent Bodies, have already expressed their views over the Lancashire RFU proposals, if any Club wishes to comment further, they may do so, by contacting the RFUNCC Chairman/Secretary (Mike Smith), by 12 May latest. 


The Draw for the 2012-13 RFU Cup Competitions in the North (October 12 2012)

The draws have been made for the Northern group stages of the RFU Intermediate Cup, Senior Vase and Junior Vase.

As last season, each of the six counties has nominated one club to represent them in each of the three competitions. The exception is Cumbria, who have not put forward a club for the Junior Vase.

The six clubs in each competition will be divided into two pools, one covering Yorkshire, Northumberland and Durham, and the other including Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria.

The clubs at the top of these pools will then play-off against each other to see who will be the Northern Division representatives in the national semi finals.

Intermediate Cup
Pool 1
  Dec 1 2012:
Stockton v Alnwick, Upper Eden v Eccles
Pool 2
  Feb 2 2013:
New Brighton v Upper Eden, Bridlington v Stockton
Pool 3
  Feb 23 2013:
Eccles v New Brighton, Alnwick v Bridlington

Senior Vase
Pool 1
  Dec 1 2012:
Silloth v Trafford MV, Winlaton Vulcans v Blyth
Pool 2
  Feb 2 2013:
Dukinfield v Silloth, Selby v Winlaton
Pool 3
  Feb 23 2013:
Trafford MV v Dukinfield, Blyth v Selby

Junior Vase
Pool 1
  Dec 1 2012:
Newton Aycliffe v Prudhoe & Stocksfield, Parkonians v Manchester Medics
Pool 2
  Feb 2 2013:
Baildon v Newton Aycliffe
Pool 3
  Feb 23 2013:
Manchester Medics v Parkonians, Prudhoe & Stocksfield v Baildon



Season 2012-2013


·         In a League Match, where consent has been given by the appropriate Organising Committee  prior to the Season subject to Regulations (13.5.9 and 13.6.10) each team shall be permitted to use rolling substitutions of not more than the maximum number of the player interchanges (“Permitted Player Interchanges”) set out in the table below:

RFU North Organising Committee

Administration of Draft Regulations - Rolling Substitutions

Season 2012-2013

Number  of




Leagues: N3N, N1E, N1W, SLC1, NLC, DN1, Y1, SLC2, NL1, DN2, Y2.



Leagues: CUMBRIA, SLC3, NL2, DN3, Y3, Y4, Y5.




·         In a Play Off Match Permitted Player Interchanges pursuant to this Regulation  will only be permitted where both participating teams have played their previous League Matches with Permitted Player interchanges.

·         In the Intermediate Cup, the Senior Vase and the Junior Vase Permitted Player Interchanges are not permitted.

·         After the Permitted Player Interchanges have been made no other replacements, substitutions or Player Interchanges will be permitted for any reason including injuries and in the event that a player is injured the team will play with one less player and with uncontested scrums in the event that this involves a front row player and the game cannot continue safely with contested scrums.

·         Player Interchanges replace the “blood bin”. If a player has an open wound and thus has to leave the field, and the team has used all of its Player Interchanges, that player may not be replaced and the team shall continue with a maximum of fourteen players. The player is permitted to return once the wound has been treated and the bleeding stopped, subject to the 15 minute rule set out in IRB Law 3.10(a).

·         Not more than two Player Interchanges per team may occur at any one time and may only occur during a stoppage in play and with the knowledge of the Referee who is entitled in his sole opinion to refuse to allow or postpone a Player Interchange if he believes either that the Player Interchange would prevent the opposition from restarting the game quickly or where a player has been injured or that it would not be safe for the replacement player who has been previously injured to play in the match.

·         A player who is a replacement shall not be entitled to take a kick at goal until a passage of play has taken place since he has taken the field of play.







Nominated League Contact


All clubs shall appoint an official to be known as the Nominated League Contact. Such person will receive all information in connection with the administration of the leagues. A club is deemed to have agreed that it has received information sent to the Nominated League Contact, who shall be responsible for disseminating the same to the relevant members of the club.




Match Result Cards


Both clubs in each game must complete a Match Result Card. The cards must be completed fully and legibly in capital letters to record the names of the squad showing the surname first followed by the first name. The names should be recorded exactly as they appear on the Official RFU Computerised Player Registration Listing.




Clubs are strongly advised to ensure they have an up to date copy of the Computerised Player Registration Listing for their Club, on the day of the match, in order to check the names of the selected squad against their list of Effectively Registered Players. N.B. The names written on the Match Card must replicate exactly the names contained on the Computerised Player Registration List.




The Match Result Card must be presented to the Referee for checking before the game. Any change made to the Match Card, after it is presented to the Referee requires the Referee to initial any such changes, and agreement to the changes approved by the opposition.

N.B. The Match Card must make it clear who are the designated Front Row (FR) Players, including Replacement FR Players. Failure to do so may incur a Fine. 




Failure to present the Match Result Card to the Referee before the match is an offence.




Reporting Match Results


Both clubs shall telephone the match results to their League Secretary, no later than thirty minutes after completion of the game. Both clubs must also inform the League Secretary of the number of tries scored by each side.




After the game, the final score and the number of tries scored must be entered on the Match Result Card. The card should be signed by the Referee and the Officials of both clubs. The Match Result Card, with the agreement of the League Secretary may be scanned and then e-mailed to the League Secretary within 48 hours of the end of the game. N.B. Scanned copies must be fully legible, and be in a format, so as to be downloaded by the League Secretary without problems. If e-mailed, then in addition, the actual Match Card must be posted to the League Secretary, to arrive no later than 5 days after the end of the game. Where it is not practicable to use e-mail, then the actual Match Card must be posted to the League Secretary, to arrive no later than 5 days after the end of the game.




At level 9 and below, any Unregistered Player must have their date of birth written against their name on the Match Result Card.






Offending clubs will be notified by the League Secretary of any fines imposed.




Failure to pay fines within the 28 days allowed will result in the fine being increased, and may result in the offending club having 5 Championship Points being deducted.




Unplayed or Abandoned Matches


In the case of an Abandoned Match, the Home Club must provide the League Secretary with a certificate signed by the referee, indicating the time and score when the match was abandoned and giving reason for the abandonment. The League Secretary shall then notify the Organising Committee without delay. The certificate to be sent along with the Match Result Card to the League Secretary.




In the event of a game not being played, both clubs must contact the League Secretary, giving reasons for the non playing of the game.




Any club in default of these requirements may have sanctions applied in accordance with the schedule of fines and penalties currently approved by the Organising Committee.



Postponed Matches


No match shall be postponed for whatever reason, without the consent of the League Secretary or, if he is not available, a member of the Divisional Organising Committee.




If concern exists about the fitness of a pitch, the Home Club shall inform both the League Secretary and the Visiting Club immediately the first doubts about the state of the pitch are raised, and shall establish the intended travel arrangements of the Visitors. If time permits then the League Secretary may direct the inspection by a member of the local Referees Society.




Where a ground is pronounced unfit or is unavailable for play and the scheduled match is the first of the two games in the season between the Clubs, the venue shall (where time allows) be reversed if the oppositions pitch is fit and available for play. The Home Club shall be the Club upon whose pitch the game is played.




Games to be Played or Replayed


Any match ordered to be played or replayed for whatsoever reason shall be played on the next available Saturday unless the Organising Committee directs otherwise. The League Secretary shall determine the date and notify the clubs as soon as the requirement is known. Any appeal concerning this must be lodged within forty‑eight hours of being notified of the date.




The Organising Committee may declare a specific weekend 'unavailable' where it falls close to a public holiday or where it is considered inappropriate to play for other particular reasons.




League matches may be played over the Christmas and New Year period and on Easter Saturday by agreement between the clubs. Any such agreement must be advised to the League Secretary. In certain extreme circumstances, these dates may also be designated by the Organising Committee as available dates for the playing of previously Unplayed or Abandoned matches.




Clubs playing in 12 home and away leagues or less may request that a specific non league Saturday be not designated a next available Saturday by written request to the Organising Committee and no later than 30 September 2012. League Secretaries are not empowered to grant requests of this nature. Clubs playing in 14 home and away leagues may not request that a specific non league Saturday be designated for not playing league games. Clubs should also note that the season ends on 27 May 2013, and as such, if found necessary, Clubs will be expected to fulfill league matches during the month of May 2013.






When a club has registered a player on-line, it must send a copy (photocopy, fax or scan) of the signed registration document to the League Secretary within 14 days of the date of signing.




Any club in default of this requirement may have sanctions applied in accordance with the schedule of fines and penalties currently approved by the Organising Committee.




Appeals and Complaints


Primary decisions are made by the League Secretary. If the club does not agree with the decision of the League Secretary or wishes to present mitigating circumstances, it may appeal to the Organising Committee. All appeals must be in writing and should be addressed to the Secretary of the RFU North Competitions Committee and must be lodged within seven days (48 hours in the case of decision involving the next available weekend) of receiving notice of a decision. A fee of £75 is required (£100 Oral Hearing), and no appeal or complaint will be heard if the cheque does not accompany the application except where the appeal relates to fines. Cheques should be made payable to the RFU North Competitions Committee. The club concerned must also notify the League Secretary of their appeal. The appeal fee may be returned if the appeal is upheld.



Clubs wishing to join Leagues


All clubs wishing to join the English Clubs Championship must apply in writing to the Secretary of the RFU North Competitions Committee no later than 1st April to qualify for the next season.  By this date, the club must have met all the entry criteria laid down in the English Clubs Championship Regulations and those applied from time to time by the Organising Committee. A list of fixtures played in the foregoing season, together with the results, and Constituent Body Approval, must accompany the application.

(Application Forms may be obtained from the Secretary of the RFU North Competitions Committee, or the Secretary of the Constituent Body of which the Applicant Club is a member).




No application for entry to the Leagues will be accepted from a University Club (or any other Educational Establishment) unless the Club is able to demonstrate to the Organising Committee that it has

a)    Completed a regular fixture list on Saturdays for over two seasons; and,

b)    It has a sufficient number of Players in residence locally to the Club and is able to fulfill matches during vacation periods; and

c)    It has a separate Constitution to the University’s (or other such Establishment’s) Athletic Union. 




All Clubs wishing to join the Leagues shall lodge a bond of £200.00.

£100.00 of which will be returned after reasonable fulfillment of the first season and the remainder after reasonable fulfillment of the second season as determined by the Committee.




Honouring Fixtures


Where a club cannot fulfill a fixture in strict compliance with the Regulations, for instance, those governing front row players, the provisions set out in Regulations 13.5.9 – 13.5.14 inclusive shall apply provided that the offending club advises the League Secretary before the scheduled start of the game and a game is played. The Organising Committee may at its absolute discretion order the game to be replayed if it deems it to be appropriate for any reason.




For the avoidance of doubt, lack of Players or insufficient Front Row Players with Effective Registration whether through injury, illness or because of work or other commitments shall not be deemed to be a justifiable reason for not playing or seeking a postponement of a League Match.




Unregistered Players


Three Unregistered Players may be selected as players or replacements without penalty at level 9 and below provided that they are eligible for registration. They must not be played again before effective registration is obtained




Grounds, Match Management and Permitted Personnel


Clubs at all levels must meet the requirements of Regulations 13.7.3 – 13.7.5 inclusive.




Permitted Personnel – Regulations 13.7.6 and 13.7.7. All Clubs must take reasonable steps to prevent spectators from being in the playing enclosure. The only persons allowed in the playing enclosure between the touch line and the barrier are the touch judges, one Medical/Physio person per team, the Coach/Manager, the Replacements any two of whom may be water carriers and two ball boys. Coaches must not to go onto the pitch during play without the permission of the Referee.




Kick Off times


Kick off times will be 2.15 pm for the months of November, December, January and February and 3.00 pm for all other months. Variations in kick off times may be mutually agreed between the two clubs but the League Secretary and the Match Referee must be advised.




Warning of possible Sanctions


The North Organising Committee is allowed to sanction any Club that does not comply with or adhere to the RFU Regulations and the North Division Administration Instructions/Rules. Although not an exhaustive list, the following are some of the sanctions the North Organising Committee are able to impose on defaulting Clubs: - A Fine / deduction of points in the current or following season / ordering a game to be replayed / awarding the match to the non offending side /determining the result of an abandoned match ‘removal of a result from the league table ‘awarding of points to a non offending side / incorrect Match Card details. 




RFU Regulations and RFU Sanctions Guidelines give a more comprehensive list of the sanctions available to the North Organising Committee to impose.



Release of fixtures for 2012-13 season (April 9 2012)

It is anticipated that League Fixtures for the Northern Division will be available late May or early June 2012. 

When complete, these Fixtures will be published and issued to Members of the North Organising Committee, North League Secretaries and North Clubs. Fixtures for 2012-2013 will not be issued to any other third party until the the above people have received their copies.

Please note that whilst it is understood and accepted that other parties require details of the 2012-2013 League Fixtures as soon as possible. eg. Referees Societies, Constituent Bodies, and Organisers of Merit Tables and other Leagues - to avoid disappointment - please do not ask for information until the Fixture Lists have been prepared and published.


Player Registration Transfer Deadline (January 12 2012)

The Registration Transfer Deadline for the 2011-12 season is Friday the 24th of February 2012. Players must be effectively registered by this date. For future reference the Transfer Deadline is always the last Friday in February.


Guidelines - Pitch and Pitch Side Arrangements (October 24 2011)

In response to frequent questions we receive regarding Pitch Barriers and Technical Areas, below are published Guidelines, for acceptable Pitch and Pitch Side arrangements.

 §  Technical Areas and Sin Bins are recommended to be not less than 10 sm in size, but much depends on the space available between the touch line and the barrier surrounding the pitch.

 §  Of prime importance, is the need to ensure that only permitted personnel are pitch side. On no account should Spectators be allowed Pitch Side. A Club found not to be enforcing this condition will be reported with possible disciplinary action being taken.

 §  Clubs should be aware, that if non permitted personnel are injured whilst standing pitch side, they could be liable for any injuries sustained. 

§  It is the duty of the Home Club in conjunction with the Match Referee to ensure that non permitted personnel are kept non pitch side. I.e. behind the barrier.

 §  For further information please consult Regulation 13.7. RFU Handbook. Season 2011-2012, and or RFU North Administrative Guidelines. Rule 13. RFU Handbook. Season 2011-2012.


Match Result Card Guidelines (October 10 2011)

Rectifying mistakes on Match Result Cards

 §  Clubs are reminded that if they have to alter the Names of Players or any other detail after the Match Card has been written out, the Match Referee must be asked to acknowledge any changes made, by initialling such changes.

 Match Result Card

§  Deliberately false or misleading information.

Sanction Guideline: Deduction of not less than 20 League Championship Points on each occasion (in addition to any points deducted for a Player being ineligible.

§  Match Result Card (and Player Registration Certificates ie. Computerised Adult Player Registration List) – not provided to Referee and or not notified as required – information not accurate or legible., and or failing to telephone notification of match result within 30 minutes of end of game.

Sanction Guideline: £25 on first occasion liable to increase and/or deduction of League Championship Points on each and subsequent occasion during season.


Draw Made for the RFU National Cups in the North (September 6 2011)

The draw for the northern section of the 2011-12 RFU Knockout Cups has been made this week.

Intermediate Cup

Pool Stage One (Nov 26 2011)
    Fleetwood v Workington
    Ashington v Stockton

Pool Stage Two (Jan 21 2012)
    Workington v Winnington Park
    Stockton v Ilkley

Pool Stage Three (Feb 11 2012)
    Winnington Park v Fleetwood
    Ilkley v Ashington


Senior Vase

Pool Stage One (Nov 26 2011)
    Trafford MV v Netherhall
    Blyth v Bishop Auckland

Pool Stage Two (Jan 21 2012)
    Netherhall v Dukinfield
    Bishop AUckland v Wath upon Dearne

Pool Stage Three (Feb 11 2012)
    Dukinfield v Trafford MV
    Wath upon Dearne v Blyth


Junior Vase

Pool Stage One (Nov 26 2011)
    Mossley Hill v Prenton
    Seghill v Newton Aycliffe

Pool Stage Two (Jan 21 2012)
    Newton Aycliffe v Baildon

Pool Stage Three (Feb 11 2012)
    Prenton v Mossley Hill
    Baildon v Seghill


Season 2011-12 Rolling Replacements (August 1 2011)

New for Season 2011-2012.

“Rolling Replacements” at Levels 9 and below in league games.

1. At Level 9 and below, up to a maximum of 5 players may be named as replacements and players will be allowed to “roll on and roll off” on an unlimited basis, to hopefully maintain 15 players a side on the field of play at all times, other than when the game has moved to uncontested scrums when the side causing the uncontested scrums plays with 1 player fewer.

2. There is no compulsion to have 5 replacements and sides do not have to have equal numbers of replacements.

3. Replacements will be made, with the referees permission, at stoppages of play other than at penalty and free kick situations, to make sure that a replacement doesn’t come on to the field of play simply to take a kick at goal and then be replaced again.

4. The requirement to have one replacement front row player within the squad is still necessary, so that at the first time of asking a side can replace a front row player in order that the game carries on with contested scrums.

5. This rule is not intended to encourage clubs to pick the maximum number of replacements for league games to the detriment of turning out a second or third XV.


RFU North Administration Instructions 2011-12 (June 22 2011)

The Northern Division Administration instructions for the 2011-12 season are available to download here.

All club officials should read these instructions, which form part of the RFU Rules and Regulations governing the English Clubs Championship.

Littleborough Lose out in RFU Senior Vase (May 14 2011)

Littleborough 8-42 Teddington

Teddington RFC ensured that their short trip to Twickenham Stadium was a successful one, beating Rochdale-based Littleborough RUFC 42-8 in the RFU Senior Vase Final.

The Middlesex-based club, who have been promoted in four out of the last five seasons and are the current London 3 South West champions, secured their 62nd consecutive win in a dominant display.

After an early exchange of penalties, captain and centre Jonathan Dickson scored the first of Teddington’s seven tries. Wing Liam Lonergan slipped a smart pass inside to his skipper, who went over to round off a well worked team move.

In the 21st minute Teddington grabbed their second try of the afternoon, flanker Dominic Stone was given space out wide and had enough power to drive through last tackle and dive over in the corner.

Teddington No. 8 Tom Doran went over twice, either side of half time, to move the score to 25-3. But Littleborough hit back with 25 minutes left through lock Mark Forden who burrowed over after some good work by the pack, but it was too little too late.

Mathew Jones adding a fifth try for Teddington, who last lost a game on April 11 2009, touching down after a strong forward push. And there was still more to come from The Antlers, as full back Ross Swanson finished off a brilliant team move, instigated by the pace of replacement Jonathan Harte down the wing, who offloaded to Swanson who dived over beneath the posts.

Then with just six seconds left on the clock, Teddington replacement Henry Kirchner rounded off the scoring, taking his side’s points tally over the 40-mark, with the final score at 42-8.


2011-12 League Champions Cup Cancelled (March 26 2011)

The League Champions Cup competition for the 2011-12 season, which was to involve clubs at levels four, five and six, has been cancelled.

I statement from the RFU said: "Following discussions between the RFU and the Divisional Organising Committees the decision has been taken to cancel this season’s League Champions Cup competitions, the finals of which were to be held at Twickenham on May 8th.

"This decision is based on the difficulties faced by Divisional Organising Committees in ensuring matches are played in good time as a result of the severe weather across the country this winter.

"There will be further consultation with all parties involved as to the future of the competitions for the 2011/12 season and beyond and the outcome of these will be announced to the game in due course."

Tragic Death of Widnes RUFC First Team Manager (March 20 2011)

WIDNES RUFC first team manager John Ratcliffe died following a heart attack shortly after their Intermediate Cup clash with Bridlington on March 19 2011.

The RFU North Competitions Committee offer their sincere condolences to his family and all at Widnes RUFC.


RFU Cup quarter finals, results (March 19 2011)

Widnes are the North's representatives in the semi finals of the Intermediate Cup after beating Bridlington 14-8.

Similarly, Littleborough reached the last four of the Senior Vase after overcoming Barnard Castle 41-10, and North Shields' 28-20 win over West Park Warriors meant they will be the North's representative in the final four of the Junior Vase.


RFU Cups Quarter Final Line-ups Announced (February 27 2011)

THE teams who have reached the quarter finals of the RFU National Cups for 2010-11 have been decided following completion of the group stages.

All those games will be played on March 19, with the winners going through to the national semi final stage to play the winners of the Midlands quarter finals on April 2. The National finals will be held at Twickenham on May 14 (TBC).

Intermediate Cup, North Quarter Final: Widnes v Bridlington

Senior Vase, North Quarter Final: Littleborough v Barnard Castle

Junior Vase, North Quarter Final: North Shields v West Park Warriors


New Clubs Joining the English Clubs Championship for 2011-12 season (Feb 12 2011)

Any new clubs wishing to join the English Clubs Championships should fill in the new application form available here and send it in by April 1 2011.

This season, a new feature of application is a £200 bond, which has been introduced to ensure that clubs entering the league structure treat it as a long term commitment.

£100 will be returned after reasonable fulfilment of fixtures in their first season, and the remainder after reasonable fulfilment of the second season as determined by the Committee.

Download the application form here.

2010-2011 Player Transfer Deadline

Please note that the Transfer Deadline for this Season is Friday 25 February 2011. 
The Registration by a Club, of new Players must be completed by this date.
Where an application from a Club is received before the Transfer Deadline and
(1) the Player does not have Effective Registration with any other Club, it shall be not more than 7 clear days from the Registration Date.
(2) the Player has Effective Registration with another Club on the Registration Date, it shall be 7 clear days.  
For further information please consult RFU Definitions page 75-89 RFU Handbook.


Easter Saturday Now A League Saturday to Relieve Fixture Backlog (January 8 2011)

In Accordance with the North Administration Rules 2.3 (RFU Handbook page 439), the RFU North Divisional Organising Committee have agreed that Easter Saturday (23 April 2011) is to be designated as an available date for the playing of previously unplayed or abandoned matches.

Clubs will be informed by their League Secretaries should it be necessary to use this date.


Draw Made for the RFU Knockout Cups (September 28 2010)

The draw for the northern section of the 2010-11 RFU Knockout Cup has been made this week.

Some nominations from CBs are still awaited, therefore the names of the clubs taking part will be announced shortly.

The below draw will apply to all three levels of competition - Intermediate Cup, Senior Vase and Junior Vase.

Pool Stage One (Nov 6)
    Cumbria v Lancashire
    Durham v Northumberland

Pool Stage Two (Feb 12)
    Cheshire v Cumbria
    Yorkshire v Durham

Pool Stage Three (Feb 26)
    Lancashire v Cheshire
    Northumberland v Yorkshire

RFU North Newsletter Launched (August 25 2010)

The Northern Division Competitions Committee have launched a newsletter to keep clubs informed about all things to do with the game in our region.

Produced sporadically depending on when there is enough material, the first issue of the newsletter is available to download here

Match Cards for the 2010-11 season (August 24 2010)

Match cards for the 2010-11 season have now been sent out to clubs, with the last going to the Post Office on August 23.

Please do not leave it until the night before your first match to tell us you haven't got any!

If you have not received any match cards by August 28 2010 please call Frazer Snowdon on 0114 232 5555 who will tell you where they went.

We do have some spares, but not enough for every club. So we do ask that, if they have been sent to the wrong official in your club, you try to retrieve the cards before we send more out.


2010-11 Northern Division Fixtures (May 13 2010)

We are aiming to have the fixtures for next season prepared and out to most clubs by early June.

There are still one or two issues with league sizes and level transfers still to be resolved, but please rest assured we will do our best to get fixtures out to clubs as soon as possible.

Specific e-mails about issues that need addressing are welcome, but please try not to e-mail us just to ask when they will be available. Answering e-mails takes up time we could spend working on the fixtures!

Please also note that fixtures are not sent out for every league at the same time. Some will be released first and others delayed while league structures are fixed. Therefore please do not worry if a neighbouring club has received theirs but you have not received yours!


Northern Division League Champions 2009-2010 (April 24 2010)

Congratulations to the Northern Division league champions, as listed below:

National 3 North - Morley RFC

North 1 East - Billingham RFC

North 1 West - Lymm RFC

North Lancs/Cumbria - Wigton RFC

North Lancs 1 - De La Salle RFC

North Lancs 2 - St Edwards OB

Cumbria - Whitehaven RFC

S Lancs/Chesh 1 - Wirral RFC

S Lancs/Chesh 2 - Liverpool Collegiate RFC

S Lancs/Chesh 3 - Holmes Chapel RFC

Durham/N'Land 1 - Northern RFC

Durham/N'Land 2 - Ponteland RFC

Durham/N'Land 3 - Guisborough RFC

Yorkshire 1 - Wheatley Hills RFC

Yorkshire 2 - North Ribblesdale RFC

Yorkshire 3 - Roundhegians RFC

Yorkshire 4 - Rotherham Phoenix RFC

Yorkshire 5 - Mosborough RFC

Yorkshire 6 - Halifax Vikings RFC


Northern Division League Play-offs: The Latest picture (May 8 2010)

The Northern Division play-offs were completed on May 1 and 8.

In addition to the League Champions, also promoted are: Sandal, Team Northumbria, Kirkby Lonsdale, Didsbury Toc H.

Congratulations to the winners, and good luck next season.


RFU Cups Quarter Final Line-ups Announced (March 3 2010)

THE teams who have reached the quarter finals of the RFU National Cups for 2009-2010 have been decided following completion of the group stages.

Sale will entertain Northern RFC in the quarter final of the Intermediate Cup, while in the Senior Vase Whitehaven have home advantage for their match against West Park Leeds.

And in the Junior Vase, Bramley Phoenix will take on Holmes Chapel in the last eight of the competition.

All those games will be played on April 3, with the winners going through to the national semi final stage.


Intermediate Cup, North Quarter Final: Sale v Northern

Senior Vase, North Quarter Final: Whitehaven v West Park Leeds

Junior Vase, North Quarter Final: Bramley Phoenix v Holmes Chapel


Matches Called off After Death of Player (October 3 2009)

THE scheduled North Lancashire & Cumbria clash between Eccles and Upper Eden has been postponed as a mark of respect following the sad death of Eccles forward, Chris Tickle.

All Eccles matches on Saturday, October 3, have been called off, and club members are to meet at the club on that day to pay their respects.

 Tickle suffered a serious neck injury while playing for the second XV three weeks previously, and following complications he died in the early hours of October 2.

The thoughts of the whole RFU Northern Division Competition Committee are with Chris’s family and friends.

Effective Registration of Players (September 12 2009)

All Clubs competing in the English Clubs Championship and RFU Cup Competitions, are reminded that Players selected to play in such games must have Effective Registration at the time of Kick Off on the day of the match.


The only exception to this Rule applies to Clubs at Level 9 and below who are allowed to play up to two Players without Effective Registration. When Players are used in this way, their Date of Birth must be written on the Match Card. Please note that such Players cannot play again after their initial match until they are Effectively Registered.


It is strongly advised that all Club Administrators responsible for compiling Match Cards, regularly and thoroughly check their Computerised Registration Lists of Players to ensure that the names of Players selected for a match are properly listed, and that their Effective Registration Date covers the date of the game for which they have been selected.

This advice to thoroughly check - should be especially noted and implemented on the actual day of a game.


The use of Players not having Effective Registration, will result in sanctions being imposed for non compliance.

Suspected Bomb Forces Match Postponement (September 12 2009)

TRAFFIC hold-ups and bad weather are frequently used as excuses for a match being postponed, but long-standing league secretary Bill Cooper was given a unique excuse for the postponement of the Doncaster Phoenix v Huddersfield YMCA match on Saturday.

The Yorkshire Division Two match was postponed until November 21 because a ‘suspect device’ was found in the rubbish tip next to the pitch at Castle Park in Doncaster.

“I’ve heard many excuses in my time,” said Cooper. “But this was a new one on me. They tried to get the game played on an alternative pitch but couldn’t sort it in time, so we’ve re-arranged it.”

Bomb disposal experts were called to examine the device, although police were refusing to reveal any more about the discovery.

Durham & Northumberland Division Two promotion play-off result (August 29 2009)

Novocastrians will play in Durham and Northumberland Division Two in the 2009-10 season after winning the play-off clash with rivals Barnard Castle 29-5.

Leading 10-0 at half time, Novos consolidated their lead after the break to secure their place in the higher league following the play-off match at West Hartlepool TDSOB's ground.

Following the close finish to the 2008-09 season, the subsequent application of regulation 18.6.6 and the appeal from Barnard Castle, the Appeals Panel at Twickenham decreed that a play-off was the best way to solve the issue of who went up and who didn’t.

The result means that Barnard Castle have the consolation of playing in the new-look Senior Vase. See below for more on the Cup competitions.

Draw made for Intermediate Cup, Senior Vase and Junior Vase (August 19 2009)

THE draw for the new-look RFU Cup competitions has been made, with the first matches due to take place on November 21.

Click here for Intermediate Cup fixtures

Click here for Senior Vase fixtures

Click here for Junior Vase fixtures

The Northern rounds of the Intermediate Cup, Senior Vase and Junior Vase have been split into groups to minimise travelling, with the clubs nominated by Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria playing each other in pool one, with Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland playing in pool two.

Following the completion of pool stages, the winners of each group will play each other on April 3 in the national quarter finals, with the winner then going forward to the semi finals where clubs from Midlands, London and South West Divisions will provide the opposition.

The host club for the matches on April 3 will be the team which has the best playing record after the group stages, in line with the play-off regulations.

In the Senior Vase, the representatives from Durham and Northumberland are Barnard Castle following their defeat in the Durham/Northumberland Two play-off clash with Novocastrians, while the Northumberland representative will be Ponteland after Novocastrians won promotion into the higher league.

Durham and Northumberland Division Two play-off match (August 19 2009)

THE Durham and Northumberland Division Two play-off match between Barnard Castle and Novocastrians will take place at West Hartlepool TDSOB on August 29.

Following the close finish to the 2008-09 season, the subsequent application of regulation 18.6.6 and the appeal from Barnard Castle, the Appeals Panel at Twickenham decreed that a play-off was the best way to solve the issue of who went up and who didn’t.

The match was scheduled for 3pm on August 29, and all interested parties have finally decided on a location.

The match will be played under RFU play-off regulations, and as such the Northern DOC chairman Mike Smith will toss a coin with the club captains to decide which team will be classed as the away side in the event of a tie.

Barnard Castle will play in their all black strip, while Novocastrians will be in red shirts with black sleeves.

Spectators are welcome to attend the match at TDSOB’s ground on Wiltshire Way, Hartlepool, TS26 0TB.

Match Cards due to be delivered soon (August 10 2009)

The match cards for the 2009-2010 league season are due to be sent out over the next two weeks. We aim to have the relevant cards with clubs in good time for the first league matches on September 5.

Please be aware that cards will not all be sent out at the same time, so if you hear of a neighbouring club who have received their cards but you have not received yours, don't panic!

If you have not received your cards by August 28 please call RFU North administrator Frazer Snowdon on 0114 232 5555 and we will either help you to locate your club's cards or send out some replacements.

Temporary change of League Secretary in Yorkshire Division Five (August 8 2009)

LONG-standing Yorkshire Five League Secretary Graham Mapplebeck has been admitted to hospital for major surgery, and is therefore unable to carry out his duties as a league secretary.

Until further notice, Yorkshire Four League Secretary Kath McNally will also be looking after all Yorkshire Five affairs. See the Officials page for her contact details.

Everyone at the RFU North Competitions Committee wishes Graham a speedy recovery.

Sheffield Tigers to stay in the Northern Division (July 4 2009)

Halifax's withdrawal from the English Clubs Championship has meant that Sheffield Tigers will not now be level-transferred into the Midlands Division and will play their league rugby in National Division Three (North) for the 2009-2010 season.

The sad demise of Halifax after 90 years playing rugby meant Sheffield Tigers did not need to be moved to the National Division Three (Midlands), while the other knock on effect sees Luton staying at Midlands One, while Haywards Heath have been reprieved relegation and will stay in National Division Three (London).

Tigers simply take the place of Halifax in the fixture list, which had already been produced. However, this will inevitably mean problems for Tigers' other teams with fixture secretary Brett Speddings doing his best to ensure all XVs have a fair split of home and away games.

2009-2010 Fixtures released (June 1 2009)

The 2009-2010 Northern Division fixtures have been released, with the new-look structure meaning many clubs will play in a different league.

The creation of the Championship at level two of the game has meant that the old North Division One is now known as National Division Three (North), while the next tier down is now North One West and North One East.

The move to 14-team leagues has also impacted on the leagues, with up to seven teams from each league moving to a higher division, while a raft of new clubs have entered the leagues to fill the gaps at the bottom.

Overall, the Northern Division now has 19 leagues with 235 clubs due to begin their fixtures in September.

While most divisions are using the usual home and away structure, Yorkshire Five and Six will play each other three times to make up a total of 18 leagues games. Clubs in the Cumbria League will also play each other three times, giving them a busy 27-match schedule.

2008-09 Presentation Dinner (June 10 2009)

The presentation dinner and awards night for the 2009-2010 season was held at Rochdale RUFC on June 9.

League winners were presented with their respective trophies and plaques, while the guest speaker for the night was Derek Morgan, Past President of the RFU.

Senior Vice-President of the RFU, John Owen was also present, as well as long-serving former Secretary of the RFU Northern Division Committee, Alan Johnson.