England Deaf Rugby Union (EDRU) has been in existence for 11 years. It was set up by a group of deaf sports enthusiasts.  At its commencement EDRU was an unincorporated association. Its purpose was to promote the playing of rugby union by Deaf and hard of hearing players, to provide support to those wishing to participate in rugby and also to offer deaf awareness knowledge to those clubs working with Deaf or hard of hearing players.
Since 1 May 2009 EDRU has been incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and in Feb 2010 was given charitable status (Reg Charity No. 1134194). It has also been accepted as a member of the RFU family of elite teams. 

EDRU has two main functions. First it seeks to ensure that the game of rugby union is available to all men and women with hearing impairment. It does this by providing individual support at its open training sessions and guidance to parents of deaf and hard of hearing children. EDRU also provides deaf awareness to clubs with deaf and hard of hearing players. In addition EDRU have visited a number of schools for the deaf to introduce the game of rugby union. 

Secondly, EDRU is responsible for the administration and organisation of the England Deaf rugby team. In order to qualify to play for England Deaf a player must have an average of 25db hearing loss bilaterally. It means that deaf, deafened and many hard of hearing players will qualify. This includes those who have had hearing impairment from birth through to those who have incurred hearing impairment as a result of illness or injury.

There has never been the intention of creating a separate game of deaf rugby. The purpose of EDRU is to ensure inclusion. The only games that are exclusively for deaf and hard of hearing players are the deaf Internationals. They are played to almost identical rules as the hearing game. The only potential changes relate to making sure the signals for setting the scrum can be communicated and the use of the signal by a referee to indicate a halt in play if necessary.

EDRU are currently committed to taking a men's and women's squad South Africa. We hope this will be a great follow on from both teams participation in the World Deaf Rugby sevens competition hosted in Australia in April 2018. 

This will be the first time these two Nations will play against each other and is a huge step forward in the development and progress of Deaf Rugby. This competition will have to be individually funded by all players, coaches and staff. Each person travelling has been asked to raise £1500 to cover the total cost of the 10 day trip to South Africa.

This is an amazing opportunity for those involved and we would be grateful for any help you could offer.