Minutes for Apr 8th 2010


Members attending:     Fred Swarbrick, Reg Robinson, John Powell, Ian Cossens,

 Greg King, John Adams, Andy Thompson, Jon Daldry.


  Apologies from:  Craig Hine,  Howard Hughes.


No matters arising from previous meeting.


Finance.   John Powell reported a healthy current bank balance. In addition some monies were due from Twickenham which were expected shortly. John estimated that after “end of season” expenses had been paid out the balance would still be healthy enough. John also asked that all committee members should let him have their expense claims ASAP to allow him to close the season off at around the time of the AGM.


Sponsorship.  John Adams confirmed that the Sponsorship from Miller Homes will cease at the end of the season. The committee expressed their regret at this as the name “Miller Homes” had become synonymous with a well run and highly successful league structure. However John was able to confirm that a new sponsorship agreement had been signed with The University of Salford Faculty of Health and Social Care. This will come into force on 10th May 2010 and will be for an initial period of 2 years with the option to extend for a further 3 years.  The leagues will now be known as The University of Salford North West Leagues. It was felt that something a little more concise should be employed to enable the league structure to be easily recognised by internet search engines and some thought needs to go into this. All clubs will be informed of the change of sponsor and how it may affect them. The new logo will shortly appear on the web site and Reg Robinson will arrange a press release to all the newspapers he normally deals with. Senior members from the University of Salford are to be invited to the Raging Bull finals day at Wigan as our guests to introduce them to the rest of the committee and for them to get a feel for how our organisation works.


NOWIRUL(E) Times.  It was noted that the number of hits on the newsletter has steadily declined through the season. It was suggested that this may be due, in part, that the format made it difficult to read. Fred agreed to have the format changed to a more ‘reader friendly’ appearance and to continue for the time being to see how readership responds.


FINALS DAY.   It was reported that all arrangements seem to be well in hand for finals day. The Wigan club are very enthusiastic in making sure everything is perfect and have a good organisation in place to run the day. There will be no raffle this time but instead a bucket collection in aid of the benevolent fund. Referees are appointed and all possible finalists have already been asked for a short history of their club and a team sheet. All trophies have now been re-branded to reflect sponsorship from Raging Bull. The Wigan club is to be approached to see if they would be prepared to provide an additional trophy to be awarded to the “Player of the Cup”. This will be known as the Brian Leigh Trophy and will in the first instance be presented by the Wigan President. In subsequent seasons the Brian Leigh Trophy will be presented to the “Player of the Cup” by the host club President.


DINNER  Preparations for the Presentation Dinner are well in hand. This year the raffle will be replaced by a game of “stand up bingo” in aid of the benevolent fund. Peter Lovett-Horn has agreed to MC the evening. John Adams and others are still finalizing the guest list. All league secs. To contact teams likely to pick up trophies to make sure that they attend. Cost remains at £10 per head with remainder of costs subsidised by NOWIRUL funds. A reminder that runners up in Div. 3 will still receive a trophy even though no promotion is offered to them. It is acknowledged that some clubs will have their own dinner on the same evening but every effort should be made to get at least 1 member of the team to receive their trophy.


Team of the Week.  After some discussion it was agreed the ‘Team of the Week’ on the web site will be discontinued. It was felt that it served no useful purpose and that many spurious results were thrown up by the formula; particularly on weeks when higher teams in certain clubs had no game. “Team of the Year” award will still be made but this will be decided by the committee after asking for votes from all participating teams.


New Applications.  So far only 5 new applications for membership have been received. Namely from;  Tyldesley 4,  Manchester 2,  Carlisle 2,  Buxton 2,  and  Broughton Park 5. Several more application forms have been sent out and many of these are expected to be returned to Reg Robinson in the next 2/3 weeks. Among those expected are Wharfedale 2, Millom 2, and Longton 2. After some discussion it was thought that the league was probably best kept to the North West and the introduction of Yorkshire sides could seriously disrupt the balance. This will be discussed further when all applications are in. The final date for applications is May 12th 2010 and the committee will meet on May 13th 2010 to decide the structure for next season. This meeting will be at PGH at 7.30.

 AGM.  The AGM of NOWIRUL will be on May 20th 2010 at Tyldesley RUFC at 8pm. Please get as many of your clubs as possible to attend. Committee will meet at 7pm to prepare. Final date for proposals and rule changes is 29th April 2010 to be received by Reg Robinson. 

Cup Rules.  It was brought to the attention of the committee that there is a discrepancy in the rules of our cup competitions regarding front row subs. It is clear that rule 10 of our cup rules needs to be changed and Fred and Reg. will look into this and make recommendations to the committee.


Reserve team competition.  A flyer was produced showing that the RFU are asking clubs nationwide if they are interested in participating in a reserve team competition. The format of the competition is not clear but it was felt that, in the North West at least, there is little appetite for a competition of this nature. Referring back to the meeting of Premiership clubs held at LSH on Nov.17th 2009 it was felt that all our clubs would prefer to stay with us and there is no room in the season for this extra competition to take place.


Rugby First.  Reg. Robinson reported that this season he had been doing all the updating, cup competitions and fixture changes on the rugby first site in addition to the NOWIRUL site. This was too much work for him as he finds the Rugby First site very difficult and time consuming to use. It was considered to drop the use of the Rugby First site all together as the drop in funding would have little influence on our finances. However John Adams pointed out that one of the attractions from the point of view of the University of Salford is that they would have their name on the front page of Rugby First. It was agreed to approach Jim Gooch so that each of our leagues has a direct link from our web site to the appropriate league in Rugby First and therefore the leagues and results do not need to be entered in the NOWIRUL site.


AOB.  It was noted that a complaint had been received from LSH 2 that in a game versus PGH 2 a rolling sub was used contrary to league rules and RFU Law. When the referees report is received and any other evidence the matter will be considered by the rules committee. John Powell has asked to be excused on this occasion as he is a PGH member and as such could not be seen to be impartial. His place on the rules committee on this occasion will be taken by Greg King.


Date of next meeting will be May 13th 2010 at Preston GH 7.30pm