Club Statement MRUFC v RFU Disciplinary Hearing

During the month of August Macclesfield Rugby Club was invited to attend a disciplinary hearing at the request of the RFU, Head of Discipline, David Barnes. The charge was “Conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and/or game.”

The reason for this was because our club has accumulated at least 5 red cards in each of the last three consecutive seasons and despite having a 20-point deduction against the 1stXV (suspended) hanging over us after the 2017/18 season the club returned at least 5 cards again last season (2018/19). Just to be clear yellow and red cards across all age groups from U13 to 1stXV are included although the sanction is placed against the 1st XV. This is therefore a club problem and not just the 1stXV. The consequences for the 1stXV and the club should the 20-point deduction be invoked would be serious.

The recommendation from the RFU Head of Discipline to Cheshire RFU and the final judgement has been:

  • The 20-point deduction will be suspended for a further two seasons with opportunities to reduce the points deduction as follows:
  1. Appointment of a deputy club disciplinary officer Tom Davenport, to work alongside Jim Curtis (club disciplinary officer)
  2. Creation of an internal disciplinary panel for senior and junior sides with the ability to apply sanctions to players and non-players.
  3. Adoption of an MRUFC disciplinary procedure document in line with RFU regulation 19
  4. Update and publication of player, parents, spectators and coaches’ codes of conduct
  5. Implementation and adherence to an action plan agreed with the RFU and Cheshire RFU

Much of this work has been completed and if so, the points deduction could be reduced by 10 points on the 31st December leaving 10 points suspended.

  • Should the club (U13’s to 1stXV) complete the season without being asked to appear in front of a panel for a poor disciplinary record the RFU Disciplinary Committee could be minded to recommend to Cheshire RFU that the remaining 10 points be removed following a meeting with the club before 31st May 2020.

How you can help

  • As a player, uphold and live the core values and play to the laws of the game. These are readily available from your coaches and on the club website.
  • As a coach, demonstrate and live the core values and coach the laws of the game. Understand the disciplinary policy and apply it firmly and fairly. Lead by example.
  • As a parent, support the club coaches and players in the spirit of the game, discourage poor discipline and support the coaching staff in managing and dealing with discipline.
  • As a spectator, understand our core values and behaviours and challenge that which brings the club and/or the game in to disrepute (see spectator code of conduct).


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