County Volunteer Support
Rugby union has a huge army of volunteers who work alongside the professional teams providing a vast infrastructure of support on a national and local level.
Photo: RFU Archive
There are 38 constitution bodies (CBs) of which 28 are county based where they fulfil a vital role in developing rugby within their local communities.
Their volunteer members work in partnership with RFU Rugby Development Officers (RDOs) and local and regional organisations to help promote and develop the game of rugby union within their member clubs, schools, colleges and universities.
CBs provide the RFU with local knowledge and act as a communication link between Twickenham and the grassroots game.
The CB takes responsibility for the local clubs to ensure that they remain of a high standard in all activities.
CBs provide opportunities to play representative rugby giving opportunities for players to enter the age grade talent pathways. They also organise county club competitions for young players at U18 and below.
The role of the CB in the growth and development of rugby union is vital and under a new RFU Planning Funding and Reporting process they are working hard to achieve this more joined-up and coordinated way than ever before.
County Schools Unions
Specifically to look after the local schools game are the County Schools Unions (CSU) who form part of the CB structure. They are tasked with ensuring that there is provision for schools rugby, representing the interest of all schools and colleges within their CB.
The role of the CSU falls into a 12 point plan and their work sits within the CB plan for rugby to ensure that it is of benefit across the board. Click here to download the list of CSU responsibilities (PDF 16kB).
The CSU is a key element of the CB Rugby Development Partnership providing the schools voice in the planning of annual development programmes. It is also the first point of contact for membership to the England Rugby Football Schools Union and creates local benefits for member schools.
The CSU works with the RFU Rugby Development Team and CB to ensure that there are local provisions for schools such as teacher training events and competitions. It also aims to encourage club links to be created ensuring that local game will continually grow and all involved are receiving a quality experience beyond the school gates.