Rugby Football League

Rugby Football League

The Rugby Football League has used Mimecast email security and archiving for many years, and has a long-term relationship with Total as its IT partner. Mimecast keeps the RFL’s staff secure, and makes management quick and efficient for the two-person IT team.


The Rugby Football League (RFL) is the national governing body for Rugby League in England, administering competitions such as the Challenge Cup and Women’s Super League, national Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair national teams through the England Performance Unit, and the wider community game. Its IT team also provides help and support to Rugby League’s charity RL Cares, European and international federations, and the Rugby League World Cup 2021.

Business driver

The RFL needs effective email archiving, that enables it to comply with relevant personal data legislation. To ensure business continuity, it also needs robust, secure and easy to manage email security.


The RFL has been using Mimecast for email archiving for over a decade, and now uses Mimecast M2A, which provides integrated security, email continuity and archiving. This extends conventional security to provide comprehensive protection against email threats, including rogue attachments and phishing. The RFL also uses Mimecast DMARC Analyzer, which detects and blocks email attacks using spoofed domains.

Matthew Dews, Head of Technology at the Rugby Football League, says: “The initial driver for email archiving was compliance, but we found ourselves getting increasingly targeted by phishing attacks and viruses. While office and email software has some in-built security features, we realised a dedicated solution would be more effective – so we chose Mimecast for our email security.”

The RFL uses Mimecast’s email security to protect its own staff, numbering around 120, and around 20 people working for the Rugby League World Cup 2021. Matthew says, “As well as these users, we also provide IT support for four other connected organisations, with just an IT team of two people including myself.”

User education is important for the RFL, and it keeps its users on their toes with videos, templates for test phishing emails and other materials provided by Mimecast as part of its AT1 Security Awareness Training service. Matthew explains: “I’ve set it up so that once a month it emails the users with a link to a short, humorous video with a question at the end.


As well as keeping the RFL’s users secure, one of the main benefits of Mimecast is the time it saves for Matthew and his IT colleague. He appreciates how efficient it is to use Mimecast’s reporting features, which show which of his users have clicked on a bad URL in an email, and therefore need help.

“For URL filtering to block dodgy links in emails, Mimecast provides a quick and efficient solution,” says Matthew. “We find it really easy in Mimecast that you can get the message ID or the address a compromised email has come from, and within 10 seconds you’ve stopped it getting throughout your organisation.”

The RFL has been working with Total for around six years. As well as managing the Mimecast relationship, Total assists the RFL with other IT infrastructure requirements.

“The relationship with Total is really good overall, and they’re always willing to help us. We also find they’re competitive on price, every time,” says Matthew. “We may have last-minute requests sometimes, but Total always gets the quote to us and delivers what we need.”

“To give one example, we turned up at the Olympic Stadium in London to set up a week before one event, and found all the cables had been cut. Total delivered all the Ethernet cables we needed the next day, so we could re-cable the entire stadium.”

“They are transparent and open, and will hold their hands up if something’s gone wrong, which I like in a relationship,” says Matthew. “Total work well with Mimecast, and help us to get information and advice from them.”

The RFL had already rolled out Microsoft Teams to its staff in 2019, and this meant it was well-organised to support remote working when the COVID pandemic arrived. Matthew says: “Everyone is working mostly from home, and we’re still able to keep the sport functioning for people to watch.”

For the future, the RFL is looking to add Mimecast’s internet filtering capabilities, giving it the advantage of using well integrated security solutions from one supplier.

Matthew says: “We take cybersecurity really seriously, and do our best to strike a balance between being very secure, while not locking things down too much for our staff.”

“Going forward, I think this is the new normal, and our organisation will continue to have more emphasis on home-working long-term,” says Matthew. “As people are using their own internet, it’s harder for us to keep them secure, and we will put more emphasis on endpoint security – with Mimecast a key part of that.”

“Together, Total and Mimecast make it really easy for us to secure and manage all our email communications,” concludes Matthew.