RugbyWA COVID-19 | On-going updates

by Rugby WA Media

See below RugbyWA & RugbyAU's ongoing updates on COVID-19 and the wider effects on the Rugby Community:

Health Advice Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For guidelines on what to do if there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 at your Rugby Club or if you have been in close contact with someone who has the virus see the link below.

More Information

Return To Play Coaching Resources

Return to Contact Guidelines

Return to Live Scrums Guidelines

Stimulus Packages and Grants

Lotterywest COVID19 Relief Funding

Directory of Local Governments

Job Keeper Payments

Latest Government Information


Useful links

Information about routine environmental cleaning and disinfection in the community:

Good Hygiene for Coronavirus

WA Government General Information – including on good hygiene

Mental Health and COVID-19

Environmental cleaning in non-healthcare settings

AIS Level A – General Hygiene measures

Statement from RugbyWA CEO Bob Hunter 

1 May  

Return to play date. 

Currently there is no specific proposed date for a return to play in WA, but next Friday 8th May, the National Cabinet has noted will be a significant decision point on a national basis with an indication that further easing of restrictions would be made at that time.

In addition many of you will have seen/heard that the Northern Territory yesterday released a clear plan for a return to all levels of sport including contact sport in the Territory. This had clear guidelines and time frames with dates that included contact activities with effect 15th May and Competition 5th June. This is certainly a good indication of what can happen. 

What this means for WA. 

How this transitions into specific dates and milestones here in WA is however yet to be finalised. Once these are confirmed by the WA Government then we will be able to form a more specific plan with expected dates that is relevant to WA.

In these positive developments we should all note the importance of the staging process of the transition and the supporting measures required to facilitate this. The Government are unequivocal on the importance that the COVIDSafe App plays in this transition.

COVIDSafe App. 

It is Rugby WA and Rugby AU’s position that this app is an important part of the strategy to assist in managing the ongoing fight against this virus and its impacts on us all. In terms of our society and then our sport it is fairly simple, the use of this app will assist in the Tracing component of the medical system’s capacity to protect people and assist in managing the virus.

We therefore strongly encourage you and your club members to support and promote the download and use of this app. In the words of the Federal Sports Minister, “If you want to get out to play, then download the App today”.

COVIDSafe App Information

For those with privacy or other concerns on the detail of the app, any and all details are as published on the Federal Government information site: If you or any member of your club/community have concerns then I encourage them to review this detail and in particular the FAQ. 

Return to play protocols

Over the last few weeks there has also been some detailed planning work undertaken with regard some return to play and general community operations. Once these are finalised they will be released shortly afterwards. The key principles in these guidelines include:

  • The safety and well-being of all participants.
  • Assisting and enabling measures that assist with the minimisation of the risks associated with COVID-19 virus.
  • Facilitating a transition back to physical activity levels including back into contact and the necessary techniques and conditioning to facilitate that safely at all age/grade levels.
  • Rugby WA and Clubs having a formal and specific COVID-19 management plan.

At this stage we simply ask clubs, players, coaches and parents to seek to understand that these measures, with support and advice for you at club level will all be evolved and finalised shortly. Once this done and communicated then we can all make more specific plans that can allow us all to comply and follow these guidelines to enable the best chance of the transition being sustained.


As part of the return to play planning we have obviously been looking at the playing of some form of structured competition and season variation at both Junior and Senior level. As part of this Rugby WA staff have been undertaking a range of engagements and dialogue with you to gather your input. This is still underway and will be continued for those who have not yet been fully involved. As soon as we have a specific date for return to play, then we can then finalise the plans and the options for how this will operate. I simply ask for your patience as this is then documented and put into a form that can and will be shared with you all.


So for today I encourage you to:

  • Promote the COVIDSafe app to your club members and the value of its use across our community.
  • Understand there will be protocols and plans required at club level for any return to play.
  • Communicate with your community.
  • Be prepared to undertake your own planning for how you, your club and teams will undertake the various steps that will be required in a return to playing process.


On behalf of the Rugby WA Board & Junior Executive

John Edwards                 Francis Williams                             Mike Gowdy                     

Chair Rugby WA               President Rugby WA                         President Rugby WA Juniors

Bob Hunter
M+61 413 045 355


Statement from RugbyWA CEO Bob Hunter 

30 March   

The Rugby WA position is that we will respond to and support all Government plans and guidelines plans.Introduction.   

This update is the next formal announcement to the WA Rugby Community in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact on the playing of Rugby and our Community in WA.


Since our last update on 23rd March, with the National announcement that the commencement of any Rugby activities would be postponed until the start of May there have been the following developments both nationally and here in WA:

  • Health and safety focus remains the priority for Rugby WA and all of the Rugby AU community.
  • Rugby WA takes very seriously our wider community obligation to support the challenge and be part of the solution for COVID-19, with regard the key plan of promoting and practising social distancing.
  • Key aspects that now impact our community and our sport in particular are the following:
    • The WA Government has declared a state of emergency.
    • The closure of State and Regional boundaries within the state.
    • A significant number of restrictions on business operations and community engagement.
    • Not least of which the number of people who may gather together is now no more than two.
    • Directly enforceable constraints on conduct of any form of sporting activity, with emphasis on no sports related activities over 2 people.  
    • With anyone doing any activity required to practice the social distancing requirements with no contact between participants.
    • Increasing closures of sports related facilities and public spaces by local Governments and Councils.
  • The Rugby WA position is that we will respond to and support all Government plans and guidelines plans.

National Decision.    

The following national decision has now been taken with a further postponement of Rugby activities across the entire Rugby Community as per the notification below:

Today, a collective decision between Rugby Australia and the State and Territory Member Unions, was made to further postpone Community Rugby to a date not before 1 June 2020.

This includes all Rugby activity including matches, training and face-to-face education courses. Given the uncertainty surrounding the length of time Government restrictions will be in place to combat the spread of COVID-19, we are not in a position to provide a specific return date.  We will continue to review this position as further updates from Government and Health Authorities are received.

During this postponement we will be working with stakeholders across Community Rugby to plan for a range of recommencement dates to ensure that as soon as Government restrictions are lifted, the Community is ready to mobilise and deliver great rugby experiences in 2020. In the interest of the safety and welfare of all participants, preparation and training time will be factored in ahead of rugby competitions recommencing.

Community Rugby and its people are the lifeblood of our great game and our decisions will always be made with the interests of participants, families and the broader community as the priority.
Once again, we want to thank you for your understanding and patience through this time and encourage you to continue to follow Government and health advice to keep you and your family safe.

Impact for Rugby in WA – Rugby WA Operations.  

As a result of this Rugby WA and the staff have taken the following steps to sustain and maintain both Rugby WA as an organisation and so be able to continue to support the game in the state.

  • All Rugby WA staff are now following the Government social distancing guidelines and have been working from their respective home locations since Wednesday 25th March.
  • The Rugby WA Facility is now operating in a care and maintenance regime, subject to the needs of all tenants of the facility.
  • All Rugby WA staff have agreed to a change in their employment conditions and are now all on a reduced salary and are working the equivalent of three days per week.   This is to assist the organisation with it's financial business contingency plans and allow the overall business to survive. 
  • More importantly though has been to retain our staff in employment with the intent to support and sustain our game, for the return post pandemic.
  • The revised general working week for most staff is Mon & Thurs all day, Tue & Wed AM.   The CEO remains contactable at any time.
  • During this crisis period the focus of all staff is to work on a range of contingency options for the recommencement of the season and all of game and development activities.  
  • There are also a series of projects that are being worked on that are designed to ensure the sustainment of the game, support clubs and community as best that we can, while also delivering a range of varied rugby content to our community in this period of uncertainty.
  • Most importantly we continue to work on a range of contingency plans that aim to sustain the overall Rugby Community and the organisational capabilities for when we come out the other side of this pandemic crisis.


What Rugby WA will do in this period of social isolation measures:

  • Engage and communicate as best we can across all levels of the community.
  • Seek to support clubs and the community with rugby related information, content and activities where possible.
  • Keep the game profile alive through a range of social and digital media, including social media content for players and families, stories about the game and what is going on in WA, including “events” such as replays of past season matches.
  • Enable an opportunity for coaches, match officials and others to up-skill and gain additional knowledge on the game and where possible gain additional qualifications or knowledge, through courses, webinar/seminars and general forums.
  • For those aspiring into the playing pathway a range of fitness and skills tips for at home practice. 
  • Most importantly wherever and however we can, is to assist Clubs to plan for their survival and the future recovery and a return to our game in the immediate post pandemic phase. 


We appreciate that none of this is necessarily the information you wish to hear but it is important that we are all pragmatic on this devastating situation across our society.  More importantly that we also look forward as best we can with a positive intent for our community, our clubs and the game at all levels.

If you have any ideas, issues or suggestions then please do not hesitate to contact the relevant staff member.  

We also encourage all clubs to stay in contact and help us to help you if we can.   All staff contact details are as per this link or directly to Bob Hunter as per the details below.  

As an organisation and in partnership with all the Rugby affiliated bodies we will endeavour to communicate as effectively as we can across all our mediums including e-mail, website, and all the social media channels.   We will also be organising a club leaders conference in the near future. Separate details on this will be distributed to all club leaders shortly.

We encourage you all to use these communication mediums and support both your immediate club community but also the wider Rugby community in our state.     

The Rugby WA team is here to help as best we can in these days of social isolation.

All the best of health and well-being to you all.   Please look after yourself, family and of course the community.     

We are stronger as one.

On behalf of the Rugby WA Board & Junior Executive

John Edwards                 Francis Williams                             Mike Gowdy                     

Chair Rugby WA               President Rugby WA                         President Rugby WA Juniors

Bob Hunter
M +61 413 045 355


27 March

Safety and welfare

Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our Rugby Community which includes players, coaches, referees, volunteers and staff.

To support this, Rugby Australia has produced guidelines around what to do if there are suspected cases within your Rugby Community and how best to communicate this.

The document can be accessed here

Just a reminder that following the decision by Rugby Australia and the Member Unions to postpone all Rugby activities until May alongside the restrictions introduced by the Federal Government on March 23, all gym facilities within Rugby Clubs must remain closed indefinitely.

Further information on public gatherings can be found here.


RugbyWA wants to ensure Community Coaches feel prepared and confident once the Rugby season returns.

Over the coming weeks all accredited Coaches will be invited to join an online forum to keep up to date with all things coaching and access useful resources.

In addition to this, a quick reminder that Smart Rugby accreditation expires on April 1. We would also encourage anyone who’s interested in coaching to complete the free online course. Please click here for further details.


The Game Management Guidelines are now available in three mediums (video, PDFs and PowerPoints) via the Rugby Australia website here.

Rugby Australia will regularly share educational videos on ‘Refereeing Best Practice’. The first video around ‘Half Time Game Plan’ can be viewed here.

Furthermore, we are now using the application Zoom to run online referee conferences. The course schedule will be finalised within the next week. In the meantime, the Zoom app can be downloaded for free here.

Club Admins

A reminder to make sure you have completed the latest Rugby Xplorer administration courses. You will receive your accreditation via the Learning Centre once completed.

Furthermore, Rugby Xplorer version 3.2 is now available for download and the latest updates can be read here.


Statement from RugbyWA CEO Bob Hunter 

20 March

To all our Rugby WA community members we acknowledge the very challenging situation we are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The impacts are being felt across the world, Australia and of course in our WA rugby community. In this time we are committed to continuing to support you all with clear processes of information sharing.

Many of you will receive directly the Rugby AU Community Statement which provides a range of information. Please be assured that myself and the Rugby WA team are all part of the national planning in this challenging situation. Therefore rather than create separate Rugby WA communications we will try to ensure everyone receives the same information so that it is clear that we are all following a nationally aligned strategy to best traverse this uncertain environment.

Also be assured that through dialogue with club leaders, that I will be commencing shortly through a survey system, we will endeavour to keep the “pulse” of what is happening at the community club level. This will assist us in maintaining clarity of the community and what we are all experiencing. At the Rugby WA level we are also working on a range of contingency options for how we sustain our organisational operations to support you in the community. Whatever we do as this unfolds we will work hard to sustain our efforts to keep you informed in the best and most factual way that we can.

Best Regards, 

Bob Hunter CEO


Community Rugby COVID-19 Update

20 March


RugbyWA are committed to providing a regular Community Rugby update each Friday morning via our website to ensure everyone involved in the game is up to date with the latest rugby-related information.

As the situation is evolving, please know these updates might change however we will do our best to keep you informed and ensure our Rugby Community remains connected throughout these tough times.

The Rugby season remains postponed until the first week of May. This continues to include all Rugby games and training sessions across all age groups and formats as well as face-to-face coaching and match official courses.


This week Rugby Australia had planned to launch National Coaching Week which involved hosting dozens of workshops across the country.

This campaign has been postponed until May and we will endeavour to keep you updated on the new dates, times and locations.

The good news is that we’ve still been able to launch around 350 educational videos for coaches across all age groups and formats which can be viewed here.The videos are free and a fantastic tool to help plan for the season ahead.

A reminder that Smart Rugby accreditation expires on April 1, 2020 so please ensure you’re up to date. The course takes just a short time to complete and the steps are outlined here.


An educational video on ‘Refereeing Best Practise’ will be shared each week on the Rugby Australia’s Referees page here. The first video will go live early next week.

Rugby Australia’s Referees webpage has been updated to provide a more user-friendly experience with all the relevant and up-to-date information.

A new platform called GoTo Training is being trialled to help connect referees and run meetings.

Further updates on this will be provided in the next week. Furthermore planned face-to-face courses will now be made available online over the coming weeks. More information around confirmed dates and times will be provided within the next week.


Safety and welfare

We have been receiving questions around what people should do if there are suspected cases of rugby participants, coaches, match officials, club administrators or volunteers. Our advice is to follow the directions of our Government and Health officials.

Rugby Australia and the Member Unions are also working on a ‘Return to Play’ checklist for clubs, associations, coaches and players. This means when the season recommences our participants are ready and conditioned to play, our coaches are well-equipped for training and clubs are providing a safe environment for their Rugby community to enjoy.

This document will be made available in the coming weeks.

Club Admins

All the latest information and updates on Rugby Xplorer can be found here.

Final Note

While these are challenging times, we know the spirit of the RugbyWA community is incredibly strong and we encourage you all to check in with each other and keep connected online. We will soon be sharing new content including ‘online challenges’ through the Rugby Australia Facebook page so make sure to keep an eye out!


Community Rugby Statement

16 March

Today, following a meeting of the National Development Panel, Rugby Australia along with the State and Territory Member Unions have unanimously agreed to postpone all Community Rugby until the first week of May, effective immediately.

This recommendation covers Rugby matches, Rugby training and face-to-face Rugby education courses. Although this decision has not been made lightly, it has been made with the interests of the participants, families and the broader community as the priority.

In arriving at this decision, Rugby Australia and the Member Unions have considered public health information and the advice of the Rugby Australia Chief Medical Officer, Dr Warren McDonald. The group acknowledges that this decision is a more conservative approach then has currently been recommended by the Australian, State and Territory Governments. However, it has been made to provide clarity to the Rugby community in a challenging and disruptive time.

Rugby Australia and the Member Unions are fully committed to supporting the game through this difficult time and the decision will allow for six weeks of planning to deliver a modified season which will commence, at this stage, at the beginning of May. The modified season will vary at a local level to best support the needs of our local Rugby communities.

It is acknowledged that there are a variety of Rugby competitions underway and Rugby Australia will work closely with Member Unions to minimize this disruption.

It is not the intention for this decision to interfere with the non-rugby related activities of our Rugby clubs, such as operation of licensed facilities. Government advice should continue to be followed in this regard.

Rugby Australia and Member Unions will also work to increase the opportunity for people to engage in online education to ensure our critical workforces are ready for the recommencement of community Rugby.

The National Development Panel will meet weekly for the foreseeable future and will review this position and communicate any updates regularly.