England RFU Age Grade Rugby

Following a four year review of rugby for under 18’s, led by the RFU, in consultation with a wide cross section of the game, the “new” Age Grade Rugby will roll out from September 2016.

The Age Grade Competition Review found there to be a lack of clarity of the competition pathway for young players, conflict between club, school, college and the representative competition structure calendar, a tendency to overplay the talented players and underplay the less able to achieve results.

The new Age Grade Rugby programme will be based on the principles of player centred, development driven and competition supported.  The wants and needs of young people will be at its heart.  It will put player enjoyment above all else to keep more young people enjoying the game for longer and into their adult years.

There will be consistent age bandings and incremental player progressions for all age grade rugby; a nationally consistent playing menu and calendar that increases inclusivity, clarifies player priorities and dovetails club, school, college competitions; an integrated England Rugby Player Development pathway and representative framework and training and Continuous Professional Development for coaches, referees, parents, teachers and others.

September 2016 will also see the full roll out of the New Rules of Play under Regulation 15.

The principle behind the New Rules of Play is to provide a playing format with building blocks to the 15-a-side game that allow players time to get to grips with the basics of running and catching the ball before contact and specialism is gradually introduced.

The schools and clubs who have trialled the New Rules of Play have been extremely positive about the results and believe they give each player more chance to play in an environment based on activity, safety and fun.

Further information is available on the attached PDF but also on the England RFU website at


Age Grade Rugby Implementation - Staff.pdf 15/07/2016 723.2 KB


Sin Richardson

Sin Richardson
Partnership Administrator

Telephone: 01752 515385
Email: [email protected]

Anna Clooke

Anna Clooke
Partnership Leader

Telephone: 07731471023
Mobile: 07731 471023
Email: [email protected]

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