Alert Level 1, Community Rugby’s Return and Change to Affiliation Fees

The Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union has welcomed the Government’s decision to move to Alert Level 1 which now allows community rugby to return without restrictions.

Clubs, schools and community rugby providers are still being encouraged to continue to implement contact tracing measures and hygiene protocols throughout Alert Level 1. Anyone feeling sick should stay away from all rugby activity.

This weekend will see the commencement of pre-season club rugby matches, with the first senior competition games set to kick off on Saturday, June 20.

 Earlier this week, the Union’s Council of Delegates signed off on a proposal which will see the Premier 1 and Premier 2 Counties Manukau competitions run for 11 regular rounds followed by semis and finals.

 Having got through the opening round of fixtures back in March before New Zealand went into lockdown, the competitions will resume with all teams playing their originally scheduled round two matches.

 “We felt the above proposal was the best way to have a meaningful competition in what has been an unprecedented year,” CMRFU’s Rugby & Operations Manager Dale Tucker said.

 “A ton of work has gone on to get us to this place and we couldn’t be more excited about the return of club rugby.

 “We’d just ask that our rugby community continues to maintain the requisite health and safety protocols in order to look after their people.”

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 Meanwhile, the CMRFU has confirmed a position on affiliation fees for clubs and schools as the return of rugby looms large on the horizon.

 In light of the tough economic climate and the fact our senior club rugby competition’s will be shortened compared to previous years, fees have been reduced by a minimum of 25% on what was charged in 2019.

 This equates to $187.50 (plus GST) per club team and $75.00 (plus GST) per secondary school team for the 2020 season.

 But in light of the challenging economic climate, CMRFU CEO Aaron Lawton said clubs would also be given the ability to pay only what they can afford if they are suffering from financial hardship.

 “We are going to operate with a somewhat unique pay-what-you-can-afford model for fees this year,” Lawton said.

 “While we have set the fees at 75% of last year’s figure, if our clubs aren’t in a position to pay these fees, we would ask that they contact the Union directly to discuss what, if anything, they can pay this year.

 “Like everyone, the Union has certainly felt the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and we have had to make significant financial cuts, including to staff wages and positions. Anything our clubs can contribute towards their affiliation fees this year – even if it’s a fraction of the reduced figure – will assist us to keep working on their behalf.

 “But we are realistic too and that’s why we have adopted a model that ensures no clubs will be hit in the pocket this year more than they can afford.”

 Meanwhile, the Junior Rugby Clubs have agreed that no affiliation fees will be charged for junior teams this.

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