Today, BUCS, the Rugby Football Union, Scottish Rugby, the Welsh Rugby Union and the Students’ Rugby Football Union launch The Higher Education Behaviours Charter - Protect our Game.

Joint press release between (BUCS, RFU, SRU, WRU AND SRFU)

The charter is geared towards improving our game day environments and the behaviours of those in attendance, both on and off the field.

With the season underway for 400 BUCS teams, 125 university clubs and 12,500 players playing in over 2000 fixtures, the time is now to set out our expectations for our institution and club environments. We wrote to all clubs on 11 September expressing our shared expectations, but also detailing that the charter will aim to highlight the unacceptable nature of the likes of bullying and coercion in the name of initiations, anti-social activity by higher education rugby union clubs and abuse of match officials, spectators and opponents. It will also give those affected means in which to confidently report such incidents resulting in swift and resolute action. 

On the 14 and 21 September, we hosted a webinar on the actions we have taken since the close of the 2022-23 season, which guided our members through exactly what the expectations should be when hosting and visiting opposition in relation to behaviours. We also discussed the charter, its significance in creating change and ultimately the sanctions applied if breaches occur. 

Commenting on the developments made as we move into the 2023-24 season, BUCS Director of Delivery Sam-Bell Minogue noted, ‘It has been excellent working collaboratively with all partners to be able to implement the behaviour charter. Our collective aim to improve the experience of rugby union for all, both on and off the pitch is one of passion and importance and we hope this will absolutely have impact both in the short and long term. Thank you to all involved and best of luck to all this season.’ 

‘Universities play a huge part in rugby in England. Together we are all striving to build a game that has a culture aligned to our values of Teamwork; Respect; Enjoyment; Discipline and Sportsmanship. Together with the Students’ RFU, we fully support the creation of the Higher Education Behaviours Charter. Working together to protect our game will help us achieve a flourishing game, delivering positive experiences on and off the pitch for all.’ - Katy Young, University Partnership Manager, Rugby Football Union and Marc Hyndman, Chair, Students’ Rugby Football Union 

‘Rugby union is a game to be enjoyed by all and Scottish Rugby is pleased to be supporting BUCS alongside the RFU and WRU in the delivery of protect our game campaign. The values and behaviours shown by those involved in our game reflect on our sport as a whole. It is important that we work together to uphold these values to positively influence the culture in student sport to stamp out negative behaviours.’ - Vicky Cox, Head of Competitions and Compliance, Scottish Rugby 

‘‘The Welsh Rugby Union are committed to working collaboratively with BUCS to ensure that we develop safe and inclusive environments in our game. We want players to make good decisions both on and off the field, and we fully support the BUCS Rugby Union Behaviour Charter. We will provide leadership in Wales by supporting BUCS and setting high standards to build a positive culture across the game’ - Jeremy Rogers, Head of Policy and Integrity, Welsh Rugby Union 

As all BUCS teams set to take to the field tomorrow, we collectively wish our entire rugby union community the very best of luck in what should be a safe, inclusive and enjoyable season. 

For further information and all resources, please visit our dedicated behaviours charter webpage.

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