Dorset & Wilts. RFU Ltd 2007-2008
for the 62 Annual General Meeting
of Dorset & Wilts RFU and
the 1 Annual General Meeting of
Dorset & Wilts. RFU Ltd.
Wednesday, 9th July, 2008 at 7pm
Salisbury RFC Clubhouse
Dorset & Wilts. RFU Ltd - an Industrial & Provident Society, No: 30484R
Registered Office: Ashleigh, Salisbury Street, Devizes, Wilts. SN10 1QA
Report of Honorary General Secretary – 2007/08 – Nick Dark
Among my duties as Secretary, I produce a report as to the activities of the Union for
the preceding year. This task is made easy for me by the fact that my colleagues have
produced their own reports for you, outlining the activities for which they have each
been responsible. Those reports are printed below. They indicate the amount and
extent of the work that was done on your behalf by your hard-working Committee and
Officers, as they rose to the challenges of the season lead by President, Ron Jones.
I commend their reports to you.
For my part, I hope members will forgive me if I take as my starting point last year‟s
report from the outgoing Secretary and President. Arthur Bowden would have been a
hard act to follow; but, fortunately for me, he has remained an active part of our team,
encouraging and applying a light touch when and where necessary. Furthermore, we
have the services of an excellent and able Administrator in Chris Joslin, who shoulders
the burden on a day-to-day basis. As a result, I can keep my own report fairly general.
In addition to the usual activities, which should not be taken for granted (such as our
Competition administration, our Coach Development, Club Development and
Disciplinary functions, to name but a few) last season saw our inaugural Club
Conference, which was generally well-received and we hope will become a regular
event. George McElroy spear-headed local implementation of the RFU‟s successful
„Go Play‟ campaign, which is to be followed by „Play On‟ and will try to retain some of
those players who have tended to be lost to the game when they move on from School
or University. The Schools of Rugby have been implemented by the dedication and
single-mindedness of the people involved. Our U 20s reached the quarter-finals of the
National Championship – and have the potential to go further next season with the
benefit of another year‟s experience. Meanwhile, helped by Dave Wookey, the
challenges of RugbyFirst have been overcome in the main; and I can tell you that the
RFU continues to review that system in light of your feedback.
I can also report that, in accordance with the Resolution that was passed at the Special
General Meeting earlier in the year, we became incorporated (as Dorset & Wilts. Rugby
Football Union Limited) with effect from 16 May, 2008. As a consequence, we have to
file an initial Return with the FSA in respect of our activities for the first 16 days, to 31
May, 2008 – effectively a „nil‟ return but a necessary part of our administration.
Finally, this AGM sees the end of another era, in that Wally Wright and Noel Stafford
are now standing down after many, many years of service on your behalf. Wally has
been very effective in organising the u13 to u18 age-groups and in helping to set up the
Schools of Rugby. Noel may continue helping us with some league administration; but
we will miss the benefit of his thoughtful deliberations on the Committee. However,
we look forward to the coming season, when we will strive to represent the interests of
you, our member clubs, in the South West region and at Twickenham and will continue
to try and help you access national and local strategies as they become available.
Report by RFU Council Representative
1. RFU/PRL Eight Year Agreement. The England Team Manager, Martin
Johnston started his job on 1st July and selected England and Saxons Elite Player
Squads (EPS). These 32-man Squads form part of the new agreement that has
been achieved between club and country. As a result Martin will have
significantly more access to, and time with, the Senior EPS than any of his
predecessors. One of the most important areas of the agreement relates to the
Medical Protocol which gives the RFU the right to make the final decision on the
fitness of a Senior EPS player (except in the end of season „club block‟). The
agreement also contains provisions to reward clubs that support the development
of English Qualified Players (EQP). A Professional Game Board has been
created to oversee the new agreement and manage the elite game. Its first
meeting took place on 2nd July.
2. Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) 2008-09. Following the IRB decision on
April 13 ELVs will be trialled in England in all matches at all levels with the
exception of ELV 2 (shoulders must not be lower than the hips at the maul) and
ELV 3 (pulling down the maul) which will not be trialled at Under 19 and below.
Full details of the ELVs can be downloaded from www.rfu.com via the link on
the left hand side of the home page. The effects of the ELVs on the game will be
monitored closely during the season.
3. Twickenham Stadium - South Stand Development. Approximately £30m will
have been spent on this project during 2007-08, to give a cumulative spend of
~£110m but only ~£27m has had to be borrowed, less than was forecast at this
stage. The London Marriott Hotel, Twickenham should open in October in time
for the Autumn Internationals against Pacific Islands, South Africa, Australia and
New Zealand. The conference and banqueting facilities and theatre will also be
ready. When the Virgin Classic Health Club and RFU Offices are completed in
2009, the Stadium will become a 24 hr, 7 day week, 365 days a year site. The PA
system will be upgraded during 2008-09 as well as pitch drainage. A review will
be undertaken to develop proposals to reduce the RFU‟s carbon footprint.
4. RFU Finances. Next season the completion of the stadium means that the RFU
will receive ~£4.5m ticket revenue for each major international, a budget total of
~£29.7m. Television & Broadcasting provide ~£23.4m, Sponsorship ~£14.7m,
Merchandise & Licensing ~£1.3m. These figures are only part of the full revenue
income, which was £103.7m for 2006-07, with an operating profit of £28.1m and
an increase of net worth to £134.6m. However, 2007-08 was Rugby World Cup
(RWC) Year and this means that ticket income was reduced by nearly 50% due
to loss of the autumn internationals and the fact that there were only two home
Six Nations matches.
5. RFU Expenditure. Of the money that the RFU spends on rugby, Community
Rugby receives ~44%; Elite Rugby (which includes academies, sports medicine,
elite referees, etc) receives ~24%; the England Senior Squad receives ~11.5%
and Elite Clubs ~20.5% (which includes EDF Energy Cup payments to
participating English and Welsh clubs and First Division Rugby Funding).
Further details below:
Elite Rugby Costs. The RFU spent ~ £25.5m on Elite Rugby (£13.2m) and
Elite Club Funding (£12.3m) last year. For 2008-09 it will spend
approximately £26.8m. £11.9m on Elite Rugby, viz. England Senior Team
(£3.8m); Elite Player (£1.4m); Coach Development (£1.2m); Elite Referees
(£0.64m); Sports Science & Medicine (£2.3m); Director and Elite Rugby
services (£2.5m). Elite Club Funding will cost £14.9m but approximately
50% of this will now be paid directly to the players, as match fees and win
bonuses, and not to the clubs.
Community Rugby Costs. The RFU spent ~£19.5m on Community Rugby
last year, including ~£0.5m on Go Play Rugby. Government funding
provided £2.3m towards Community Rugby Coaches and £0.7m for
approved coaching centres. In 2008-09 it will spend approximately the same
amount ~£19.5m, viz. Volunteer Support (£0.4m); Welfare, Medical &
Equity (£0.4m); Community Referees (£1.2m); Rugby Development (£4.5m:
includes £2.4m for RDOs); Coach Development (£1.0m); Funded Projects
(£3.6m); CB Structure (£1.7m); Club Distribution (£6.6m : includes £3.8m
for Clubs‟ Insurance); and Director/Dept (£0.1m net).
Tournaments & Competitions Costs. The RFU spent ~£3m on
Tournaments & Competitions last year. In 2008-09 it will spend £3.2m, viz.
Leisure Rugby (£0.4m); Events & Regulations (£0.3m); Competitions
(£0.5m); Tours & Sevens (£0.4m: includes £0.09m, England Students;
£0.2m, 18 Group); England Counties (£0.2m); KO Competitions (£1.0m);
and Director/Dept (£0.4m).
Business & Administration. The RFU spent ~£12.8m on Business &
Administration last year. In 2008-09 it will spend ~£13.4m, viz. CEO
(£1.1m: includes £0.8m, staff costs; £0.3m, department costs); Business
Operations (£2m: includes £1.0m, Commercial Department; £0.8m, Ticket
Office; £0.2m, Museum); Marketing (£0.5m); Office Services (£0.5m);
Communications (£1.0m: includes Communications, £0.8m; Community
Relations, £0.1m); IT (£1.5m); Finance (£1.7m: includes Finance Dept,
£1.2m; IRB & Six Nations, £0.2m; non-legal Professional Charges, £0.4m);
Funding Planning & Resources (£2.1m);
Secretariat, (£3.0m: includes Legal Department, £0.6m; legal Professional
Charges, £0.3m; Discipline, £0.1m; and Human Resources , £0.7m).
6. New Vision - Catastrophic Injuries (CI). The Spire Rugby Trust was created
on 1st January 2008 through a merger of the RFU Charitable Fund and SPIRE
(Support Paraplegics In Rugby Enterprise). After detailed discussions with the
trustees, agreement has now been reached to make significant changes to the
RFU‟s provision of care to CI players (there are approximately 4 per annum). A
far more proactive approach will now ensure that financial resources are utilised
to maximise each player‟s chance of recovering from injury, reaching their full
potential and leading full, independent lives. The most important element of the
New Vision is the benefits framework which details various payments to be made
at specific points in time for various categories of injuries. This will replace the
fixed, non-discretionary insurance payment currently in operation. All potential
CI players (both spinal and head) will immediately receive a Family Support
Package of £2000 to cover immediate family travel/accommodation costs. After
one week all confirmed CI players will receive a Player Welfare Support Package
to cover immediate financial commitments. This will be £1k per month for up to
six months. After four to six weeks, a formal needs assessment will be
completed. Players will be eligible (on a needs basis) for a Rehabilitation and Re-
integration Package of up to £40k. After six to nine months a formal assessment
of permanent disability will be performed. This will trigger a Cash Benefit as per
a Benefits Framework. Discretionary grants will be available for the remainder
of a CI player‟s life for items such as holidays, equipment replacement, etc.
7. New RFU National Facilities Strategy. Following the launch of the RFU‟s first
National Facility Strategy 2002-2007 the game has seen unparalled levels of
investment for the facility needs of community rugby clubs. The past five years
has seen £25.65m of direct RFU investment into the game, which has supported
£46m of support from other stakeholders. The 2008 RFU National Facility
Strategy provides a new framework for the development of facilities at a national,
regional and local level. This framework will be used by D & W RFU to develop
its Facility Plan. Once a club has identified and agreed any project that will
increase or improve their facilities they must advise D & W RFU so that it can
included in the Facility Plan. Advice and guidance can also be provided before
the project is progressed to a stage which might preclude it from funding. The D
& W RFU Facility Plan will be used by the RFU to prioritise any funding that
may be available. In the first instance please contact Dave Harris (Tel: 01305
854337 (H), 07886 004236 (M), Email: firstname.lastname@example.org),
who is taking over from me as the D & W RFU Facilities Coordinator.
8. New Radical Sport England Strategy. Sport England has just published its
radical new strategy to get more people playing and enjoying sport and to help
those with talent get to the very top. It plans to work closely with the National
Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport, such as the RFU, to deliver the new strategy,
and will also create strong partnerships with local authorities. It will reduce
bureaucracy by combining its multiple funding streams into a single pot of
funding for NGBs. This should provide the RFU with £5M/year for 4 years for
investment in club facilities.
9. Rugby Football Foundation (RFF). Seventeen grants totalling nearly £74k
have now been received by D & W Clubs towards a range of different minor
projects. Seven interest free loans totalling over £300k to support major projects
have also been made to D & W clubs. The RFF has two capital funding streams:
Ground match Grant Scheme. Clubs at level 5 and below can apply for
grants between £1500 and £6000 on a matched 50:50 basis for capital works
projects that support the retention and recruitment of community rugby
players. Applications can be made online via the RFF Website on
www.community-rugby.com where full details are available. (The closing
dates for the remaining 2008 Awards Panels are 30th July, 11 th September,
and 13th November).
Interest Free Loan Scheme Clubs at level 4 and below can apply for an
Interest Free Loan of up to £100,000 for capital works which contribute to
the retention and recruitment of community rugby players. For further
information visit RFF Website.
10. Club Accreditation. 430 Clubs achieved the Seal of Approval accreditation of
their M & Y section and our RDOs are beginning to roll out the new Whole Club
Accreditation programme. North Dorset RFC was one of the runners up for the
Seal of Approval Club of the Year.
11. RFU SW Leadership Academy Ten candidates completed the programme this
year and demonstrated their commitment to the future of their clubs. They all
attended an evening launch to discuss their training needs, a one-day Leadership
workshop and numerous 'challenge and support' group meetings. Steve Keates,
Chairman of North Dorset RFC, was a one of the tutors and was congratulated as
having been a brilliant mentor. A range of topics was covered including funding,
facilities, whole club development, health & safety, volunteers. There were three
successful delegates from Dorset and Wilts: Glyn Arnold and Chris Davis from
Weymouth RFC, and Paul Simons from Corsham RFC. They all received their
certificates from RFU Vice President John Owen at a special awards evening at
12. RFU Coach Licensing and Registration Scheme. The aim of this scheme is to
raise and maintain high Coaching standards throughout the game. A feasibility
study will take place over the next 18 months in East Midlands and Notts, Lincs
& Derbyshire. This will provide a sound basis to extend Coach Licensing and
Registration to the whole game from 2010 onwards. This will ensure that we will
be regarded as a leader and innovator in coaching, as Sportscoach UK intend to
establish coaching as a professionally regulated vocation through coach licensing
for all sports, by 2016.
13. Rugby Landscape – Review of Competition Structure. It has been 20 years
since the RFU last reviewed the competition structure of the game. Much has
changed since then including professionalism at the top end of the game, the
emergence of different types of rugby (e.g., touch rugby, etc.,) and people‟s
lifestyles have also changed. The EDF sponsorship of the Anglo-Welsh Cup will
cease at the end of next season and there is uncertainty about the continuance of
the National Trophy, Intermediate Cup and Senior and Junior Vase KO
competitions. In order to ascertain the game‟s views as to what options should be
considered a thorough consultation exercise is taking place via an online survey
www.rfu.com/rugbylandscapesurvey. This was launched on 1st July and will run
for a period of 4 weeks.
14. Black Market Tickets. Three D & W Clubs have had their ticket allocations
reduced for a period of time as a result of international tickets appearing on the
15. England Rugby Travel. This had a successful and profitable third year, which
included supply of 14,000 tickets during RWC, a sell out of packages for the
Hong Kong 7s and helped 2000 supporters to travel to Rome, Paris and
Edinburgh during the Six Nations. The company has been appointed official
licensed operator for the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa.
16. RFU Grand Draw. This raised £442,000 compared with £385,000 last year. 697
clubs took part in the Draw. The Draw has now raised over £1.4m for clubs in the
last 4 years.
17. 2008 RFU AGM. This will be held at Twickenham on Sunday 20th July 2008 at
11.00 am. There are several resolutions, including a proposal to merge the AGM
and the Annual Financial General meeting and another to increase the RFU‟s
current borrowing limit from £50M to £100M. Please let me have your proxy
forms ASAP if you wish me to represent your club at the AGM.
18. Workload. This has included RFU Council, Community Rugby, CB and Club
Development committees, RugbyFirst Board and iRugby Project Board meetings.
In addition to attending D & W RFU meetings I have also been actively
supporting Nic Scott the RFU‟s Welfare, Medical and Equity Manager.
19. Club Visits. During the season I have visited the Blandford, Bournemouth,
Bridport, Chippenham, Devizes, Dorchester, Lytchett Minster, Minety,
North Dorset, Oakmeadians, Puddletown, Salisbury, Sherborne, Swanage & Wareham,
Trowbridge, Weymouth and Wimborne clubs. Many of these visits have been on a
Saturday with D & W President, Secretary or Treasurer. Other visits have been
undertaken in the evenings with Dave Stubley, RFU Funding & Facilities Manager SW
and our two excellent RDOs, Hamish Morton and Simon Culley. Many thanks to them,
and to the many committed volunteers in our clubs, for the huge amount of work they
now have to undertake to ensure that their clubs have the right facilities and
management structure, so they can continue to promote and develop the game within
Club Development Sub-Committee Report 2007-8
Members: AO (Chair), John Wilding, Willie Wildash, Ron Jones, SteveKeatesand
Dave Harris (co-opted during the year). Standing invitation to RDOs & other D&W
Meetings: 4 July; 12 Sept; 18 Oct; 7 Nov 07; 9 Jan; 2 Apr & 9 June 08
Dorset & Wilts Club Development Committee Action Plan: A review of the 2007/8
Action Plan shows achievement of all performance indicators (PIs) although club visits
were fewer than planned in the absence of a „Volunteers‟ Portfolio Holder.
Success in Plan Objectives
Increasing the number of Volunteer Administrators by 3% through
appointment of Club Volunteer Co-ordinators (target 80% in 2007/8) – we
have virtually 100% coverage for CVC reps listed for 31 S1 clubs on D&W
club web pages.
50% of S1 clubs to achieve Seal of Approval (SoA) by end 2008/9 (target 40%
in 2007/8) – to date 75% of S1 clubs have been supported. 6 new clubs have
been accredited during 2007/8 and all other accredited clubs have completed
their plan reviews. A total of 14 S1 clubs with mini/youth sections (56%) have
Devising a Draft D&W Facilities Development Plan - audit completed,
prioritisation for key funding initiatives of RFU agreed. 4 schemes targeted for
CCDP in 2007/8 with all bar Wimborne proposal proceeding.
Successful recruitment of a volunteer to act as champion for facilities
(Facilities Coordinator Dave Harris to be mentored by WW).
Increasing clubs‟ financial sustainability by registering 50% of S1 clubs as
CASC‟s by 2008-9 (target of 30% in 2007/8). NOTE: This indicator has been
adjusted to combine clubs incorporated/and/or CASC registered as clubs need
to determine which option is best to suit their needs. 6 clubs are CASC‟s &
others actively considering incorporation/CASC status.
Promotion of leisure rugby – PI over achieved for third year in a row.
Additional initiatives providing opportunities for more teams to participate.
Significant growth continues nationally with Bournemouth & Weymouth
Beach Tag providing strong performance for D&W.
Annual Conference (introduced to Action Plan for 2007/8) – Conference held
23 September 2007 at Dauntsey‟s School with good reports on quality and
range of content.
No clubs at immediate risk; a reduction from 3 to 1 in those listed as
potentially at risk within 3 years.
There has yet to be successful recruitment of a permanent volunteer for this
Committee to act as champion for volunteering.
Club Dev Cttee „trouble shooting‟ sessions at clubs although new Whole club
Development Sessions have been very rewarding.
Club Development Sub-Committee Finance/Funding
Obtaining routine management information is still a slight problem but the financial
appraisal and outcomes for 2007/8 show an underspend, mainly in club visits and
exceptional vfm obtained by using Dauntsey's as Conference venue.
Alan Ottaway, Chairman , Club Development Sub-Committee
Rugby Development Partnerships Report 2007-8
This has been a very demanding year for the RDP team on all fronts. Change allied to
challenging objectives for improvement is becoming the norm. Whilst the heads of the
various RDP sub-committees will submit their own reports, I will add that their
achievements this year have been impressive and represent a great deal of personal
sacrifice and hard work on their part.
I must add a special thanks to Wally Wright, who made a magnificent contribution to
the development of youth rugby over the years. We are greatly indebted to him and
wish him a long and happy retirement. Pete Mannifield has now taken over the role
and I am delighted to say he has settled in quickly and has made his mark already.
Rob Clilverd took over the Coaching Coordinator role at the beginning of the season,
but has now had to withdraw due to pressure of work. However, in his relatively short
stay in office he achieved a great deal and implemented some new ideas which have
improved the quality of coaching in the round. I am grateful that Topper Brown has
now stepped forward and taken over the role.
With a continuing shortage of volunteers able and willing to drive forward the many
initiatives emanating from the RFU, the RDOs, Simon Culley and Hamish Morton,
have been shouldering a great deal of the burden. In addition to their traditional support
work for the clubs, they are supporting Coaching, Club Education links and the Go Play
initiatives. Without their tireless efforts and enthusiasm, we would not have achieved
nearly as much as we have.
Recruitment and Retention Initiatives
The Go Play Rugby initiative aimed at improving recruitment and retention in the age
range 16 to 35 was started in January 2007. A strong management committee including
the President Ron Jones, Willie Wildash, Simon Drake, Denzil Brockhurst, and the
RDOs drove forward an ambitious programme, which included delivery of a club
launch event and 10 workshops to spread the message. 26 clubs across the D&W CB
signed up for the Go Play initiative and we will have succeeded in recruiting 240
players by the end of November 2008.
Go Play was followed on by Play On which was launched in Jan 2008, focusing on
improving retention, particularly across the club education links. Play On is proving to
be even more of a challenge and here again the RDOs are shouldering the lion‟s share
of the work. However, this initiative is fundamentally important to the health of our
clubs. We know from RFU surveys that 60% of those who start playing rugby in their
youth do not go on to play it as adults. Stemming just a small percentage of this loss
will have major benefits for our clubs. A wide ranging action plan has now been
submitted to the RFU for funding support. The main focus of our plans is the
strengthening of club education links through the new cluster groupings known as
Rugby Pathway Groups.
Ladies and Girls Rugby
Dave Harris has done a great job in coordinating activities in Ladies and Girls rugby
over the past few years. However, we now recognize that within the next year or so it
is likely that the RFUW will amalgamate with the RFU. With that in mind, I have
begun to integrate Ladies and Girls Rugby into the RDP. From next season there will
be a Ladies and Girls dimension to our objectives where appropriate. I held a workshop
on the topic in April and identified a number of areas for priority attention including
increasing the number of teams and the number of games, and improving the quality of
There is a great deal of work to be done to grow the Ladies and Girls game, but there is
good evidence to suggest that this development will make a significant contribution to
the game and to the health of our clubs.
George McElroy, Chairman, RDP
Coaching Development Sub-Committee 2007-8
Report by RDO, Simon Culley
The principal features of the season were as follows:
1. Recognising and Rewarding Coaches with CPD.
Dates and venues: 2007: 29th August , Corsham; 13th September ,Supermarine;
2008 :14th January ,Wimborne; 5th April ,Blandford; 20th May, Marlborough;
3rd June, Wimborne.
2. Subsidising Coaching Courses for Representative Coaches:
U18 Head Coach – Level 3 (50%);4 School of Rugby Coaches – Level 3 (50%)
Andy Smith – Level 3 Coaching Conference
3. Rewarding County Coaches With Kit:
All received Kooga Tongan Jackets
4. Forming and Training a Body of Independent Selectors:
16 people received training on the 28th June and will have their 2nd training session on
the 21st September at the U18 trials so as to be ready to start work for the district trials
in October. This project has been recognised by the RFU Coaching Dept and is now a
formally identified pilot scheme, hopefully to be rolled out as an official course over the
county in the future. Recognition was given in the form of official stash.
5. Training Front Row Mentors for Prop Idol:
18 trained so far ready for October roll out – recognition given in form of Nike RFU
6. Running a Summer Conference:
70 attended at Salisbury RFC on 28th June. The programme consisted of
workshops on Performance vs Development ; Selector Training ;
Prop Idol ; Kicking Development ; and Coaching a Development Side
with Game Sense
Overall, we have seen the birth of several exciting projects and the agreement on
objectives in the development workshop at the summer conference means we can enter
into an exciting time for DW coaching. There are now published aims and success
criteria for each age group. This accountability is furthered by the introduction of player
feedback forms to be given out at the last session of each season.
At the beginning of the season several problem areas were identified mainly through
anecdotal feedback – below is a list of issues and how we have attempted to overcome
Lack of Accountability in Coaching Performance
1. Player feedback forms on their county experience
2. Published guidelines on what the aims and objectives for each age group are
Lack of CPD courses
1. Bristol RFC engaged to run a defence session with Paul Hull
2. RFU staff engaged to run 6 sessions across DW (Already done 1 st of next
years plan this week)
Lack of Clarity in Appointments Procedure
1. Under 18 position was advertised and interviewed for – this will become the
norm for lead positions
2. Under 16 position was not advertised/interviewed because CB engaged RFU
Coach as part of his work programme
Perceived bias towards Public Schools in Selection
1. A group of independent selectors have been identified and have started to
receive training as part of an RFU pilot scheme.
County-wide obsession with winning over development
1. Workshop run at conference in order to educate county and Prop Idol staff.
If clubs see that even representative coaches are putting winning behind
Development, hopefully, some will follow.
2. RFU community staff will make this a priority discussion at coach education
Poor level of Front Row players at County trials
1. Prop Idol scheme to train front row mentors to train up club and school coaches
Simon Culley , RDO
I was on the periphery of the team last year when there was a breakdown in the
management and I offered to help out with kit and other small tasks.When I was press-
ganged into becoming more involved.I was aware of the problems encountered during
the 06-07 season, and for that reason I wrote in September 07 to 14 clubs setting out
these problems and asking for their support in putting forward players for selection and
training sessions.I received no contact from any club other than from those connected to
the coaching team.
During the season I had meetings with 3 of the coaching team to arrange and set down a
which would also lead to a friendly match against Somerset in April 08.We had no
training prior to the Somerset date and had to cancel the fixture.Only one session took
place on April 23rd three days before the match against Hampshire, which was attended
by 8 players from two clubs.
A team was picked for the first game at home but there were players who dropped out
on the day and we had to get a player from Yeovil at 1pm on the Saturday to cover the
three-quarter line. The following week I had on the Thursday morning prior to the
Sussex game 11 players with the chnace of gaining more players as nil and this was the
information reaching me for the game against Bucks to cancel these fixtures. I can only
say that this was a great embarrassment to me and you feel a complete failure.
I think that if there is to be any future in the senior team a manager should be a young
man who has recently completed his playing career who has good links with the players
and would therefore create an interest which seems to be lacking at present.
I would like to thank the coaches who have met me during the season and been so
helpful and made the general work less of a chore and I can only wish the person all the
best in the future and hope that he will have more success than I have during the year .
John Burgess, Manager
Under 20s Season 2007/8
Given that it was a standing start I‟m delighted at how well the squad came together
and the set of very good results they achieved. It‟s a pity that we didn‟t get to play at
Twickenham or the Rec but, that aside, the whole squad can be proud of some excellent
The squad, led by Head Coach, Paul Ninnim, plus Topper Brown, Alan Walker, Chris
Stagg and Andy Smith, included 28 players from 12 different clubs from across Dorset
& Wilts. Twelve players will be moving out of the age group and, I hope, into the
Seniors next season, but, encouragingly, of the regular squad members sixteen are still
eligible for next season.
The squad won through to the quarter-finals of the National Under 20s Championship
against the eventual Championship winners, Gloucestershire, eventually losing by 27
points to 0. However as the Gloucestershire coach acknowledged after the match it was
by far the hardest game they had had all season.
The final game of the season was against Bath Combination U20s It was a major
disappointment when the squad learnt only hours before the game that Bath RFC would
not allow the game to go ahead as arranged at the Rec. Players had travelled from all
corners of the Twin Counties and beyond, many taking time off work or university and
bringing family and friends for the experience of playing at the Rec. The teams and
hundreds of spectators were forced to decamp to the Combe Down rugby club, with
many getting lost on the way and, therefore, the pre-match preparation was hurried and
unsatisfactory. Apart from the D&W front row totally demolishing their opposite
numbers, the match was very even, with a late try the decisive score to earn a 7 points
to 3 win
Other results were s win against Berkshire by 38 points to 11 achieved through
powerful scrummaging, enterprising back play, and very solid defence. The game was
played in difficult conditions and both sides deserve much credit for trying to play good
rugby. The other championship match was against Buckinghamshire, which resulted in
a win of 31 points to 7. This produced a feast of high quality rugby much enjoyed by
the large crowd. A friendly match against Bournemouth University was won 17 points
to 7 and resulted in a letter from their manager thanking the squad for a great game and
acknowledging that, as it was our first game together, it was a massive achievement to
beat a team that has trained and played together for the previous 5 months. I will finish
this report with the words that he used “The set up of Dorset and Wilts Under Twenties
is a credit to the region”
Roy Farrant, Manager, D&W U20s
Under 18s Final Report - Season 2007/08
The Dorset & Wilts 2007 / 08 season has been one of the best organised and most
successful ones for many years !In summary, the squad played 4 and won 4 ! One of
which was a warm up match against a much larger (in numbers) Somerset squad.
Following the selection day in late September, and a Sunday squad training session, an
initial squad of 32 players was invited to take part in the final selection 'friendly' match
against Somerset RFU U18's. The match was held at Frome RFC on Sunday 7 October
and was supposed to have approximately 30 players in both squads however, Somerset
managed to bring along a massive squad of around 45 players so that they could also
perform 'final' selection of their squad.
Even though the final score was not a key focus it was very inspiring for the players to
play such good rugby and achieve a clear winning margin over their opposition.
Final selection of the initial squad to play against Bucks on 14 October was made
following the match and on the day at St Edwards School Oxford, D&W were easy
winners with some fine individual performances coming through as part of the squads
success. This initial success does no harm as players show more confidence in front of
As is always the case, changes for subsequent matches had to be made based on player
performance and unavailability due to injury and holidays. However, despite the
changes made to the squad, D&W 18's were never seriously threatened in either of the
two remaining games and went on to achieve a 100% record.....which is something that
has not been done for many seasons.
32 Players put on the D&W shirt during this seasons campaign and, as a result of the
squads success, 9 players who took the field of play for D&W were invited to attend the
South West U18 Divisional trials. The trials were held at Bristol Grammar School
Sports Complex on Sunday 18 November and, as always seems to be the case over
recent seasons, it was an extremely wet and windy day that often prevented fluent
running rugby. Initial selection of the South West Divisional squad was made at the end
of the day and, to be completely honest, it was a rather disappointing result for D&W.
Only two of the nine players were selected into the initial South West Divisional squad
to take part in the Divisional Championship being held over the Christmas holidays.
The players in question being Rhys Jones (Corsham RFC / Corsham School) and
Jonathon May (Wootton Bassett RFC / Hartpury College). However, a Christmas
present was waiting for some players as a further five were called up to take part in the
final Divisional match against London & South East and all managed to get some time
on the field of play (albeit rather briefly for a couple of players). These five players
Rupert Freestone (Bryanston School), Jack Green (Wimborne RFC / Corfe Hills
School), Max Clilverd (Clifton RFC / Hardenhuish School Chippenham), Ben
Loosemore (Swindon RFC / St. Johns School Marlborough) and Will Beach (Salisbury
RFC / Bishop Wordsworth School Salisbury)
So, it really is congratulations to all involved this season !Congratulations to all players
for playing so well with such great attitudes!.....Congratulations for a 100% record !
I don't really like to pick out individual names to highlight them as all involved this
season played their own individual part in the squads success however, I hope you will
all join me in wishing Rhys Jones from Corsham RFC the best of luck. Rhys impressed
in the first two Divisional matches and was asked to go that extra step when he was
selected to joint the initial England RFU U18 AER (Association of European Rugby)
squad in preparation for this seasons tournament being held in Treviso Italy during
All in all, an extremely successful season and I would like to pass on my thanks to all
Glyn Parker, Manager, D&W U18 Squad
Under 17s Report
New criteria have been adopted, regarding the Under 17s as a development side and
concentrating on individual improvement in preparation for that September‟s Under
18s. 35 players were picked, the majority from that September‟s 16 and 18 group.
5 training sessions were conducted based on improving the players as individuals
through game-sense practice. All players got an equal amount of game time and have
been pre-nominated for the under 18 trials on September 21 st.The record was:
2 county games played: 1 win , 1 loss.
1 development game played vs BWS (lost)
We are viewing the county 17 side as the start of the under 18 process; therefore, the
season starts in February with 17s trials and proceeds through to October with the 18s
Simon Culley, RDO
Club Education Links
Report by Hamish Morton, RDO
Highlights of the Club Education Links Programme were as follows:
Outreach programmes in conjunction with local Police and Community Support
Officers completed in Poole, Bournemouth and Weymouth,
with interest from 2 other regions shown for 08-09.
7 local Tag festivals plus finals held in both Wilts and Dorset for all school sports
Bournemouth College linked with Oakmeadians RFC; links negotiations at
Swindon and Weymouth nearing completion.
All Dorset college and university Freshers‟ Weeks supported with RFU resources;
2 Freshers Fayres attended in Swindon.
5 Swindon college Students played For U17 or U18 group.
2 players from Bournemouth University represented Dorset&Wilts U20s
Hamish Morton, RDO
U13-18 Playing Development Group
The President and Council appreciate the dedicated efforts of all the coaches and
managers who have produced an outstanding School of Rugby and U13-U18 Playing
Development Programme .
I guaranteed the President that I would seek a more than adequate replacement-- I am
sure you will agree that Pete Mannifield, has already proved this to be true !
My thanks to the many Valued Volunteers that supported our efforts in giving D&W
youngsters the opportunity to progress to County, Divisional, and National Honours!
Wally Wright , Retiring Chairman, U13-U18 Player Development,
& Past President DWRFU
Progress Against Strategic Action Plan 2007-8
All age groups have completed their programmes with varying degrees of on and off
the field success.
U14s District competition and County side involved approx 90 players.
U15s District competition and County side involved approx 120 players.
U17s Development squad successfully integrated the cream of the U16s with existing
ahead of next season‟s U18s campaign, involving approx 45 players.
Encouragingly, most volunteer Managers are willing to carry on next year.
Roll of Honour:
U18s : 1 England player ( Rhys Jones ), 9 in SW Trials
U16s : 1 England player ( Tom Heathcote), 1 England A player (James Stephenson). 9
in SW trials
U15s Girls : 15 in SW squad
U18s Girls : 9 IN SW squad
County Development Squads:
U14s Development Squad : P3 W2 D1
U15s Development Squads : P6 L6 (2 squads)
U15s "10s" Squad : 3rd (of 6) in Inaugural SW Regional 10s Tournament.
U16s Group 6 Squad : P3 W1 D1 L1
U17s Development Squad : P3 W1 L2
U18s Group 6 Squad : P4 W4
U15s Girls Development Squad : P3 W3
U18s Girls Development Squad : P3 W2 D1
U14s District competition won by Saxons.
U15s District competition won by Spitfires.
School of Rugby:
The School of Rugby completed its first year curriculum with a double session at
Bryanston on May 11th, coupled with trials for the new U13 intake (13 accepted).
All U15s have all been invited to Bath Academy in August to trial for Elite Player
Development Group [EPDG].
Selection policy for next season in place. Nominations timetable agreed
Peter Mannifield incoming Chairman, U13-U18 Playing Development,
Please note information re Nominations on Dorset & Wilts Web Pages at
Dorset & Wilts School Of Rugby 2007/08
Despite a series of reservations about the frantic introduction of SoR‟s, Dorset & Wilts
RFU have met the challenge and provided elite playing opportunities for the 13 to 16
age groups. Many CB‟s were not up to that challenge.
A total of 60 players have been involved in the programme supported by a team of
dedicated coaches and administrators, led by Rich Miller and Pete Mannifield
There were 9 sessions over the season based at a number of venues in an attempt to
share the chore of long distance travel among all the players and parents, and DW RFU
wishes to thank the clubs and schools that have provided venues and support facilities
to the SoR programme.
The SoR links with Bath Academy developed over the year. The coming season will
see more structured support from the Academy particularly in terms of coach
The feedback received from players, coaches and parents has been very positive and
included in improvement programmes for next season.
Particular thanks must go to Pete Mannifield who has driven the organisation of the
SoR and has also secured significant sponsorship for the programme from private
investors to purchase track suits, training tops and kit bags for the players and coaches.
The RFU will continue to develop SoR‟s as an integral part of the programme of
identifying players to enter the elite programmes directed by the regional rugby
academies in 2008/9. The role of the CB‟s has also been reviewed and
recommendations will be brought before the RDP to support those aspirations.
Andy Smith, Coordinator, School of Rugby
Joint Youth Forum Report
This should be a short report as the junior competitions are reported via the
Competition‟s report and the county programme is reported via 13-18 group.
It does remain to say that the new format of a single conference type meeting seems to
be working as no real issues have come up during the season. Clubs seem to be well
informed via the various pathways of information dissemination. This year‟s conference
was perhaps not as well attended as previously, with a number of the larger clubs
absent. However, the initial feedback from those that did attend was positive and there
was a feeling of being well informed. I would like to thank all those who helped
organise the event and those who made the various presentations.
After a number of years of chairing the forum I decided it was time to move on to new
challenges. Joe Walsh from Swindon has kindly offered to take over the helm and I
wish him luck, I know he will get all the support he requires from the various other
committees‟ within Dorset and Wilts.
I would also like to thank the numerous people who supported me during my time as
Dave Harris, Retiring Chairman
D&W RFUW : Ladies and Girls Rugby
This past season has seen the formation of the D&W Women‟s Forum to allow the
clubs to have an input into how the female game would be managed. The early
meeting s were very well attended, although numbers did drop as things developed
(hopefully, a sign that clubs were happy with what was going on).
The county trials were well attended and both U15 and U18 picked a strong squad.
The U15‟s won all 3 of their fixtures and retained the SWN trophy; the U18‟s won 2
and drew 1, also retaining the SWN trophy,.Both teams have been unbeaten for at least
the last 2 seasons. Both teams were also well represented at the SWN regional trials and
players from both age groups provide the majority of the players in the regional teams.
Although D&W do not run a county team for the ladies, a number of D&W ladies
trialled for the SW regional squad: 2 were successful and were starting choice in the
back row, often relegating England U20 players to the bench.Both have been put
forward to the RFUW High Performance Academy.
Dave Harris, Head Coach Dorset&Wilts U15 Girls
Once again we have seen a variety of competitions run for all age groups across both
Dorset and Wilts at both local and county Level. Mark Burley has run the inaugural
U16 County Cup, which this year saw a large number of Dorset schools participating,.
It is hoped that in next year‟s competition more Wilts schools will be able to take part
in a Wilts based location, with a play off between the winners of the Dorset and Wilts
A new competition was also launched this season for Dorset and Wilts U14 Non-
Selective Schools, which was won by the Gryphon School. Gryphon went on to
represent D&W in the area competition, where they were narrowly beaten in the final.
Our targets for the following season are to increase the number of pupils in schools
playing rugby, both boys and girls.
Once again, a thankyou to all Teachers, the RDOs, Community Rugby Coaches and
Sports Co-ordinators for their sterling efforts in running and helping to run these events.
Janet Edwards, Hon. Sec., Dorset&Wilts Rugby Football Schools’ Union
Competitions Report 2007-08
All the major competitions concluded during the season. Most of the senior
finals took place over the same weekend 5/6th April, the last non league date in
the season, due to slippage. The 1st XV Vase suffered many walkovers,
Oakmeadians reaching the Final without playing a match.
The roll of honour for competitions is:
Competition Winners Runners Up Venue & Date
1st XV Cup (8 Swanage & Dorchester - 6
teams) Bournemouth Wareham Apr
1st XV Vase (16 Salisbury - 5
teams) Trowbridge Oakmeadians Apr
1st XV Plate (12 Swindon College Swindon - 5
teams) Marlborough Old Boys Apr
2nd XV Cup (16 North Dorset -
teams) Bournemouth Chippenham 5 Apr
2nd XV Shield (7 Bradford on Sherborne - 23
teams) Bridport Avon Mar
3rd XV Cup (9 Bradford on
teams) Salisbury Chippenham Avon - 19 Apr
2.Leagues. Bournemouth did a terrific job in SW1 finishing in the top half
after acclimatising in the first few months of their first season at Level 5.
Chippenham were Champions of SW2(East) and will join them in SW1 next
season. Salisbury and Swanage & Wareham filled 2nd and 3rd places in
SW2(E) and will be joined next season by Trowbridge who were Champions of
Southern Counties (South). Close behind them came Wootton Bassett, who
like Salisbury, lost their play off for promotion. Dorchester and Devizes are
relegated into the D&W leagues.
The roll of honour for D&W leagues is:
League Winners Runners Up Comment
Dorset & Wilts 1 Minety beat
(North) Bridport (Play
Bradford on Avon Minety Off)
Dorset & Wilts 1 Swanage & Neither can be
(South) Wareham II Salisbury II promoted
Dorset & Wilts 2
(North) Sutton Benger Corsham II Both promoted
Dorset & Wilts 2 Sherborne
Sherborne II Wimborne III promotion
Dorset & Wilts 3 Wootton Bassett Both promoted
(North) Calne II III
Dorset & Wilts 3 Lytchett Minster Both promoted
(South) Bridport II II + Oaks II
Dorset & Wilts 3 Both promoted
(West) Avonvale Combe Down II
3 U17/U18 Competitions. The Under 17 Knock Out is used to nominate
teams for the National U17 competitions. Dorset & Wilts were asked to put 5
teams forward this season. Congratulations to Bournemouth U17 who won the
South West Final but lost in the National Cup semi final. Additional entries for
the Under 18 Merit Tables this season enabled geographic groupings in the
North and South. There was a “super league” phase where the top 3 teams in
each Division 1 Table having played 10 matches then played another 6 games
home & away against the other Division 1 teams. The bottom 3 teams did the
same. These results then qualified teams for the Under 18 Championship and
Under 18 Bowl respectively.
The Winners of the two Division 2 Tables also played off. Scheduling problems
meant some play off semi finals did not take place.
Honours went to:
Winners Runners Up Venue or comment
Under 18 Oakmeadians – 27
Championship Salisbury Wimborne Apr
Under 18 North Dorset – 27
Bowl Play Off North Dorset Sherborne Apr
(12 teams) Bournemouth Salisbury Bournemouth – 5 Feb
Division 1 (N)
(6 teams) Swindon Corsham
Division 1 (S)
(6 teams) Wimborne Bournemouth
Division 2 (N) Ivel Bradford on
(7 teams) Barbarians Avon
Division 2 (S) Bournemouth
(7 teams) B Dorchester 2 of 7 teams withdrew
Play Off Bournemouth Ivel
B Barbarians Bournemouth – 27 Apr
4. Junior Competitions. Once again the Forums administered these very well
with U11 and U12 festivals in each county, knock outs for U13-U16 in Dorset
and leagues qualifying for semi finals in Wiltshire. The Dorset & Wilts U11 &
U12 Festival was hosted by Bournemouth on 20 April who took it on at short
notice as it was due to have been hosted by the Wiltshire Forum at Bradford on
Avon who were unable to do it. The Youth Finals Day was held at North Dorset
on 27 April.
Under 11 - Under 16 Dorset & Wilts Champions and County winners were:
Age Dorset & Wilts Dorset Wiltshire
Grade Champions Winners Winners
Chippenham Wimborne Chippenham
Salisbury Bournemouth Salisbury
Chippenham Bournemouth Chippenham
North Dorset North Dorset Chippenham
Chippenham Bournemouth Chippenham
Bournemouth Bournemouth Wootton Bassett
Competitions 2008- 09
5. Cups. We now have 6 senior knock out competitions: Cup, Vase and Plate
for 1st XVs; Cup and Shield for 2nd XVs; and the 3rd XV Cup. Clubs have
continued to respond positively to the different levels of competition now
offered and entries are again more than 10% up on last season. In the 2000/01
season we ran 3 competitions which 40 teams entered - 21 1st XVs and 19 2nd
XVs. For 2008/09 we have 76 teams entered – 38 1st XVs, 27 2nd XVs and 11
3rd XVs. This is almost 100% of the teams that are fielded on a regular basis –
excepting Vets and 4th XVs and other social sides. Everyone involved should
pat themselves on the back but there is still room for improvement, too many
teams fail to turn out having entered. All Cup competitions will have to take
place on the dates set aside by the RFU as “Cup dates”, ie all non league dates.
These are 18 Oct, 22 Nov, 13 Dec, 17 Jan, 7 Feb, 28 Feb, 21 Mar. The
Committee asks that clubs accept that if a game has been delayed and is holding
up the rest of the competition they should expect to have to play on Saturday 3rd
January, and to nominate 17 Jan as “not available” for delayed league games.
This is so that the Finals can take place before the end of March because no
weekend in April is available for Cup games other than Easter!
6.Leagues. We have a net gain of 8 more teams joining our leagues this season
taking the number of teams in our 7 leagues to 79. All D&W leagues will have
11 or 12 teams except D&W3(N) which will have 10. Congratulations to the 4
Dorset & Wilts clubs committing an additional XV (Warminster 2nds, Pewsey
Vale 2nds, Corsham 3rds and Oakmeadians 3rds – the latter returning to the
league) . Two nearby clubs from Hampshire are entering their 2 nd XVs
(Ellingham & Ringwood and Fordingbridge), and Castle Cary 2nds and
Midsomer Norton 4ths are coming from Somerset with Chard 2nds returning
there following their relegation. There will be consultation over the coming
season as to how D&W leagues could be expanded if we were to continue to
grow as we have over the last few seasons. There are only 5 places remaining in
the present structure. It is 5 years since Dorset & Wilts piloted mixed leagues
with 30 teams in 3 leagues (21 1stXVs & 9 others) and 15 2 nd XVs in 2 Merit
Tables. Collectively this gave competition to 39 D&W teams, 5 Somerset and
1 from Berkshire. In 2008/09 there will be 64 D&W teams, 9 Somerset, 2
Hants, and 1 Glos. There are of course 14 D&W 1st XVs in higher level
leagues. Best of luck to Bournemouth and Chippenham who will be the CB
representatives in SW1 next season, one step from the National Leagues.
7. U17/U18 Competitions. The National U17 Cup and associated
competitions require Dorset & Wilts to nominate 4 teams in ranking order by
Feb 09, thus the CB U17 Final is scheduled for 26 Jan 09. In 2001/02 we had 9
clubs with 9 teams taking part in U18 competition. Next season 22 clubs (18
from D&W, 3 Somerset and 1 Hants) have entered the U18 Merit Tables with a
total of 26 teams. This is decrease of 2 as Swanage & Wareham and Weymouth
dropped out during last season and are not expected to return for 2008/09. This
could be a temporary set back as we have 30 clubs with Youth sections and it is
hoped more will aspire to taking part in U17/U18 competition in the future.
The same format as last season will be followed with the top 12 teams divided
into Division 1 (N) and (S), qualifying to take part in second stage tables - U18
Championship and U18 Bowl with Premiership style play offs at the end of the
8. Junior Competitions. The Twin Counties will continue to administer their
own Youth Forum competitions with their U13-U16 champions playing off on
Youth Finals Day on 29th March 2009 in Wiltshire. The Under 11 and U12
Festival for the top 2 teams in each age grade from each county is scheduled for
26th April 2009.
Clive Drake, Chairman, Competitions Sub-Committee
Disciplinary Sub-Committee 2007 to 2008
This season we have dealt with 22 defendants in 8 meetings. This is a decrease on last
Many thanks to those who served on the disciplinary committee throughout the season,
namely David Beck, Noel Stafford, John Wilding, and, for the last couple of meetings,
Stuart Murrow. Also, thanks to Stephen Dowse, who attends all meetings as the D&W
Referees‟ Society representative.
Noel Stafford is resigning from the panel after 10 or more years‟ service. I would like to
thank him for his help and assistance throughout and wish him well in the future.
Persons dealt with in the season
Hearing Club Forename Surname Action
03/10/2007 Pewsey Vale Lee Baker 6 weeks
Wimborne Adam Lennon 4 weeks
Swindon College OB James Hackett 3 weeks
15/11/2007 Bournemouth Jon Tomanga 4 weeks
Bournemouth Joe Frost SOSP
Salisbury Dave Thorpe SOSP
Chippenham Tim Gibb 2 weeks
11/12/2007 Swindon Neil Maylock SOSP
Bouremouth Ricky Woodard
East Dorset Andrew Parker 3 weeks
Trowbridge Nick Lawes 2 weeks
29/01/2008 Verwood Darren Clarbull 3 weeks
Cooper Avon Tyres 1 week
27/02/2008 Wootton Bassett Craig Iles 3 weeks
Swindon Wayne Kemble 5 weeks
17/03/2008 Bournemouth Chris Ulu SOSP
Minety David Church 4 weeks
14/04/2008 Devizes Slav Padovski 9 weeks
Calne Tom Morten 6 weeks
Calne Michael Robinson 4 weeks
Calne Alex Marshall 57 weeks
20/05/2008 Swindon College OB Julian Gidzinski 10 weeks
David Dove, Chairman, Disciplinary Sub-Committee
Dorset & Wilts Referees Society Chairman’s Report to the AGM
1. This season has seen an encouraging net increase in the strength of the Society, more
efficient use of advisors to support referee development, improvements in our billing,
debt recovery and payment system, a successful exchange programme with other
societies and a full programme of monthly training evenings in each of the counties.
Recruiting and Retention
2. Close liaison with the ELRA course deliverers has ensured a steady stream of newly
qualified referees joining. We have also had a net inflow of Services referees, giving us
an overall net increase of 27 over the season. The major challenge is to engage with the
new members to ensure that they complete the 5 games needed for completion of
ELRA 3 and to bring them into full involvement on a regular basis. Measures are in
place to address this.
3. We are also keen to involve non-Society referees in training, to ensure safety and
currency and to encourage them to join the Society. The RFU have implemented a
programme of training to address this problem.
4. A Toolkit recruitment report for the Wessex Federation was submitted to the RFU in
early May 2008, which recorded that:-
a. The Society made a net gain of 27 new referees this season – 40 incomers
and 13 departures (of which 5 never started refereeing).
b. With 53 referees recruited within the Federation (of which 72% were
ELRA-trained), 44% of the Wessex Federation target of 121 new referees has
been reached, and it will take another two seasons of hard work to meet or
exceed the target.
c. There is a sum of £1,250 of residual Toolkit Scheme funding to assist us
(held by the Federation).
5. A disappointment is that we have not recruited any female society referees this
season, although 6 young referees (16-24) have been recruited this season – 60% of the
target. Our aim is to keep these officiating. Two young women have declared an
interest in qualifying before next season.
6. Recruiting remains a main effort.
7. To the 1, 647 games notified over the season, we have appointed 1,443 officials.
157 games were cancelled and 163 were not appointed, but it is presumed they were
covered by club referees (mainly at junior level). We are refining our appointments
system to improve notice to clubs. With 7 new teams joining the leagues we can expect
up to 10% more appointments being needed on league Saturdays.
8. Exchanges are an essential part of referee development and offer variety for other
experienced referees. We have carried out 47 exchanges over the season. All referees
are reported on by assessors from the host society, adding useful objectivity to referees
Training & Development
9. Regular monthly training meetings, delivering Continuous Referee Development
Award (CRDA) modules , have been held at the Langton Arms for Dorset and Devizes
RFC for Wiltshire.
10. The Society's 19 referee advisors have been active weekly, generating 214 reports
for use by individuals in their own development and for the Society to monitor progress
and and upgrade where merited. This is the most productive effort ever. The end of
season grading review was completed on 14 May.
Administration & Finance
11. The Society continues to refine its administration and strives to ensure planned
succession into key committee posts. We continue to depend on a core of long-serving
and dedicated volunteers. The challenge is identify and involve younger members.
12. Our new Hon Treasurer has been very successful in introducing electronic systems,
establishing effective links with clubs and recovering a number of long term debts in
respect of match fees.
13. The Society's funds are very sound and it is our intention to use surpluses for the
benefit of the membership. There will be a free kit issue to all qualifying members and
a new range of subsidised items will also be made available - track suits, shower-proof
jackets, polo shirts, semi-formal shirts and kit bags.
14. Our challenges and priorities will be:
Recruiting, Retention and Development
Successful introduction of the ELVs
Meeting more fully the demand for referees
Improved liaison with clubs
Manning the Committee
15. We are well placed to support Rugby in the Two Counties, but there is no room for
Stephen Dowse, Chairman, D&W SRFUR
29 June 2008
This is one area where people are happy to hear that this was a fairly quiet season,
which it was, for reported welfare incidents, although there were 1 or 2 that came across
my desk some time after the incident happened. Perhaps, a reminder that if there is an
incident at a club, PLEASE REPORT it to your club welfare officer, who should then
report it to either Dave Wookey (Wilts), Arthur Bowden (Chairman of Governance
D&W) or preferably to me.Also, a reminder that clubs should ensure that Dave Wookey
for Wiltshire clubs and I for Dorset clubs are kept informed as to who your welfare
We have seen some change in personnel, with David Kemp retiring from the post after
a number of years with ill health. Many thanks for all your work over the past few years
when we have worked together. David was replaced by David Wookey (a pre-requisite
for the post seems to be in the name!) who, along with his already busy job dealing with
registrations, has agreed to deal with CRB forms for Wiltshire.
We tried to hold a meeting of welfare officers earlier in the year; unfortunately, very
clubs were represented. Some did send their apologies ; others, we heard nothing from,
or they said they knew nothing about it, which, in turn, highlights the need to keep
Dave Wookey and me informed as to whom to contact.
There are changes afoot as far as CRB clearances go, with the introduction of the new
ISA-although changes are unlikely to happen before season 09/10. There will be a
meeting some time next season to give out relevant information and explain the
procedures, as well as dealing with any other issues, and generally getting to know
Feel free to contact me if there are any welfare issues you wish to discuss.
My contact details are in the rear of the handbook.
Dave Harris, Welfare Manager
Press Officer’s Report
Dorset and Wilts. Club‟s have featured in the RFU publication Touchline on a regular
basis and also in Rugby World magazine.
I have tried to publicise clubs from both counties, but residing in south Dorset,
I apologise to Wilts clubs if the coverage seems a little biased in favour of Dorset.
Over the season I liaised with the county under 20‟s management during their
championship campaign and will try to assist any other senior or youth level county
squads. All they have to do is contact me.
I had a few awkward questions to answer when the seniors cancelled their two away
county championship games, but I managed to side-step most of the inquisition and
blame fixture congestion for the cancellations.
There is a recent web site that is well worth a look. Go to http://yourrugbynews.com
and then make your minds up if you want to contribute to it.
Idris Martin, Press Officer
Honorary General Secretary 2
RFU Representative 3
Club Development 8
Rugby Development Partnerships 9
Coaching Development 11
Under 20s 14
Under 18s 15
Under 17s 16
Club Education Links 17
U13-U18 Playing Development 18
School of Rugby 19
Joint Youth Forum 19
D&WRFU : Ladies‟ and Girls‟ Rugby 20
Dorset & Wilts Schools‟ Union 20
Disciplinary Sub-Committee 26
Dorset & Wilts Referees‟ Society 27
Press Officer 30
Dorset & Wilts. RFU Ltd - an Industrial & Provident Society, No: 30484R
Registered Office: Ashleigh, Salisbury Street, Devizes, Wilts. SN10 1QA