Sun 01 Mar 2020 18:19

Age grade Rugby Banner

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 was rolled in September 2016.

The regulation 15 of the RFU regulations covers age grade ruby and can be found on the RFU website

Regulation 15

Age Grade Code of Practice

The 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.

Mixed rugby will continue to be played up to and including U11 (school year 6) from U12 (start of secondary school Y7) girls will not play mixed rugby and will follow a their own developmental path.

From September 2016 15-a-side rugby will start at U14.

More information can be found on the RFU Website .

Playing out of age group

The RFU defines a child's age group by that child’s age at midnight on 31st August. In England player grouping is defined by age, not size or gender:

As a club we do not encourage playing out of age group and its is not as simple as “moving the child”. However in exceptional circumstances it may be allowed. The Player must be assessed by a qualified Coach and a report signed by the Coach and Parent and sent to the County Safeguarding Team for approval. A player playing out of Age must be reassessed every season, or sooner if felt appropriate.

Not sure what age group your child should be playing in?

Just add 5 to your child’s School Year group. So Year 2 is Under 7’s and Year 9 is Under 14’s.

Mini Rugby (U6-U12)

Mini rugby is designed to introduce children to the basics of the game in a safe environment, and in line with their physical abilities and at their own pace — letting them run, chase, throw, catch and learn teamwork. Boys and girls play together on an equal footing. The club runs teams based on school years - this relates to a child’s age on the 1st September and the child remains in that age group for their youth rugby career.

U6, U7 &U8

These groups play non-contact “tag” rugby. The main aim is to develop the basic skills such as passing the ball backwards, catching a pass, running into space and of course, scoring tries. The players wear a belt with 2 velcro tags. A tackle is made when the opposition pull one of the tags off the ball carriers belt and calls “tag”. Once the ball carrier has been tagged they must attempt to stop immediately and pass the ball to another team member before reclaiming their tag, re-attaching it then continue with the game. There is no contact, tackling, scrums, line outs or kicking.

U9 - U12

U9 rugby introduces full tackles for the first time. The team sizes and the length of the game increases. More of the complexities of rucking, mauling, scrums and line outs are added each year, teams get bigger and so do the size of the pitches.

Junior rugby (U13 - U18)

Structured for the U13’s to U18’s, the players evolve into a 15 a-side full contact games, putting into practice all the skills and techniques they have learned through the mini development programme. There are some key skills relating to scrummaging and line outs that are not permitted at the younger age groups but are reserved for adult rugby only.

The playing season

The season runs from the sunday of the first full week in September through to the end of April.  See the relevant age group profile page for details of training and match days.

Changes at short notice will be advised by your team coach or team manager. Information may also be put out on to the website/Twitter and Facebook if there is sufficient time to do so.

Parents are encouraged to stay on the site during training and matches. Refreshments are available in the clubhouse.

Sunday Fixtures

All age groups play fixtures and Rugby festivals against other local clubs.


Fixtures are arranged in advance of the season both at home and away. There are also festivals and tournaments as well as tours that are arranged where possible.

If your child has been chosen to play in a game and then becomes unavailable, you should let the team coach or team manager know as soon as possible so that a team selection can be made.

As a club we support the RFU's Half a Game initiative. This initiative is to ensure all children selected for a match day fixture play at least half a game. Click here if you want to learn more about  Half a Game initiative.

Age Group Specific Information

Click on the age group you are interested in to see a summary of th age group specific regulations.

This is the starting point of your child's rugby career and the goal is to make their introduction to the game and the club as enjoyable and energetic as possible.

Tag Rugby is a non-contact rugby game with the emphasis on FUN whilst playing sport. Over the season the aim is to develop basic skills of ball handling, running and evasion.

The game is suitable for both girls and boys.

Format Tag
School Year 1
Max Players 4 a side
Max Pitch Size 20m x 12m
Ball size 3
Max minutes each half 10
Maximum minutes of match play per day 50 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 60 minutes
Match stopped if: Try difference is 6 or more
Start / Restart Free Pass
Tackle No Tag only
Scrum No
Lineout No, restart with a free pass
Ruck No
Maul No
Offside Distance Offside only occurs at the time of the tag where the offside line is through the centre of the ball except for the tagger for whom it is 1 metre further back.
Fend Off No
Kicking from Hand No
Kicking at Goal No
Mark Permitted No
Knock on Play on
Yellow Card / Sin Bin No
Knock on Play on

Age Specific Notes:

  • Players not allowed to go to ground to score.
  • Ball cannot be ripped from ball carrier.

Under 7 Mixed Tag Rugby

Format Tag
School Year 2
Max Players 4 a side
Max Pitch Size 20m x 12m
Ball size 3
Max minutes each half 10
Maximum minutes of match play per day 50 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 60 minutes
Match stopped if: Try difference is 6 or more
Start / Restart Free Pass
Tackle No Tag only
Scrum No
Lineout No, restart with a free pass
Ruck No
Maul No
Offside Distance Offside only occurs at the time of the tag where the offside line is through the centre of the ball except for the tagger for whom it is 1 metre further back.
Fend Off No
Kicking from Hand No
Kicking at Goal No
Mark Permitted No
Knock on Play on
Yellow Card / Sin Bin No
Knock on Play on
Rules of Play Regulation 15 Appendix 1

Age Specific Notes:

  • Players not allowed to go to ground to score.
  • Ball cannot be ripped from ball carrier.

Competition formats allowed:

  1. Friendly Fixture - Competitive style playing opportunity for two teams, often as part of a club or school/college block fixture, where focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment.
  2. Triangular - Competitive style playing opportunity for three teams where equal player participation is the emphasis. Focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment rather than the score.
  3. Festival - Competitive round-robin playing opportunity where equal team and player participation is the emphasis. Scores may be recorded but winning doesn’t affect your ongoing participation as every team plays the same appropriate number of matches.

Under 8 Mixed Tag Rugby

Format Tag
School Year 3
Max Players 6 a side
Max Pitch Size 45m x 22m
Ball size 3
Max minutes each half 10
Maximum minutes of match play per day 50 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 60 minutes
Match stopped if: Try difference is 6 or more
Start / Restart Free Pass
Tackle No Tag only
Scrum No
Lineout No, restart with a free pass
Ruck No
Maul No
Offside Distance Offside only occurs at the time of the tag where the offside line is through the centre of the ball except for the tagger for whom it is 1 metre further back.
Fend Off No
Kicking from Hand No
Kicking at Goal No
Mark Permitted No
Knock on Play on
Yellow Card / Sin Bin No
Knock on Free Pass
Rules of Play Regulation 15 Appendix 2

Age Specific Notes:

  • Players are permitted to go to ground to score.
  • Ball cannot be ripped from ball carrier.

Competition formats allowed:

  1. Friendly Fixture - Competitive style playing opportunity for two teams, often as part of a club or school/college block fixture, where focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment.
  2. Triangular - Competitive style playing opportunity for three teams where equal player participation is the emphasis. Focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment rather than the score.
  3. Festival - Competitive round-robin playing opportunity where equal team and player participation is the emphasis. Scores may be recorded but winning doesn’t affect your ongoing participation as every team plays the same appropriate number of matches.

Under 9 Mixed Rugby

Introduced at this age:

  • Tackle. But no rucks, mauls lineouts or scrums.
Format Transitional Contact
School Year 4
Max Players 7 a side
Max Pitch Size 60m x 30m
Ball size 3
Max minutes each half 15
Maximum minutes of match play per day 60 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 90 minutes
Match stopped if: Try difference is 6 or more
Start / Restart Free Pass
Tackle Yes – including 3 second hold
Scrum No
Lineout No, restart with a free pass
Ruck No
Maul No
Offside Distance Offside only at time of tackle. 1m from hindmost foot.
Fend Off No
Kicking from Hand No
Kicking at Goal No
Mark Permitted No
Yellow Card / Sin Bin No
Knock on Free Pass
Rules of Play Regulation 15 Appendix 3

Age Specific Notes:

  • Players are permitted to go to ground to score.
  • Ball cannot be ripped from ball carrier.

Competition formats allowed:

  1. Friendly Fixture - Competitive style playing opportunity for two teams, often as part of a club or school/college block fixture, where focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment.
  2. Triangular - Competitive style playing opportunity for three teams where equal player participation is the emphasis. Focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment rather than the score.
  3. Festival - Competitive round-robin playing opportunity where equal team and player participation is the emphasis. Scores may be recorded but winning doesn’t affect your ongoing participation as every team plays the same appropriate number of matches.

Under 10 Mixed Rugby

  • Uncontested scrum (nearest 3).
  • Maul and Ruck and contest for the ball.
Format Transitional Contact
School Year 5
Max Players 8 a side
Max Pitch Size 60m x 35m
Ball size 4
Max minutes each half 15
Maximum minutes of match play per day 60 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 90 minutes
Match stopped if: Try difference is 6 or more
Start / Restart Free Pass
Tackle Yes including 3 second hold
Scrum Nearest 3 uncontested
Lineout No, restart with a free pass
Ruck Yes, Limit of 1 supporting player
Maul Yes, Limit of 1 supporting player
Offside Distance Hindmost foot at tackle, ruck and Maul. 5m from scrum.
Fend Off No
Kicking from Hand No
Kicking at Goal No
Mark Permitted No
Yellow Card / Sin Bin No
Knock on Scrum
Rules of Play Regulation 15 Appendix 4 >/span >

Age Specific Notes:

  • Scrum half not permitted to run from base of scrum.

Competition formats allowed:

  1. Friendly Fixture - Competitive style playing opportunity for two teams, often as part of a club or school/college block fixture, where focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment.
  2. Triangular - Competitive style playing opportunity for three teams where equal player participation is the emphasis. Focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment rather than the score.
  3. Festival - Competitive round-robin playing opportunity where equal team and player participation is the emphasis. Scores may be recorded but winning doesn’t affect your ongoing participation as every team plays the same appropriate number of matches.

Under 11 Mixed Rugby

Introduced at this age:

  • Defender can rip the ball from the carrier
  • Contest for the ball 2v2
  • Contested strike in the scrum
  • Tactical kicking from hand and Kicking at restarts
  • Free Kick
Format Transitional Contact
School Year 6
Max Players 9 a side
Max Pitch Size 60m x 43m
Ball size 4
Max minutes each half 20
Maximum minutes of match play per day 70 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 120 minutes
Match stopped if: Try difference is 6 or more
Start / Restart Drop Kick (must travel at least 7 metres)
Tackle Yes
Scrum Nearest 3 Contest Strike only, no push Only hookers may strike for the ball
Lineout No, restart with a free pass
Ruck Yes, limit of 2 supporting players
Maul Yes, Limit of 2 supporting players
Offside Distance Hindmost foot at tackle, ruck and Maul. 5m from scrum. 7m from free kick. 7m from free pass.
Fend Off No
Kicking from Hand Yes. 'Fly hack' not permitted
Kicking at Goal No
Mark Permitted Yes - Anywhere on pitch.
Yellow Card / Sin Bin No
Knock on Scrum
Rules of Play Regulation 15 Appendix 5

Age Specific Notes:

  • Defending scrum half must remain behind the scrum in the pocket made by the 2 props
  • Scrum half must pass from the base of the scrum – May not run with the ball

Competition formats allowed:

  1. Friendly Fixture - Competitive style playing opportunity for two teams, often as part of a club or school/college block fixture, where focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment.
  2. Triangular - Competitive style playing opportunity for three teams where equal player participation is the emphasis. Focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment rather than the score.
  3. Festival - Competitive round-robin playing opportunity where equal team and player participation is the emphasis. Scores may be recorded but winning doesn’t affect your ongoing participation as every team plays the same appropriate number of matches.

Under 12 Boys Rugby

Introduced at this age:

  • 5 man scrum (nearest 5)
  • No limit to numbers in ruck and maul
  • Introduction of fend/hand off – (below armpit)
  • 22m drop out
Format Transitional Contact
School Year 7
Max Players 12 a side
Max Pitch Size 60m x 43m
Ball size 4
Max minutes each half 20
Maximum minutes of match play per day 70 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 120 minutes
Match stopped if: Try difference is 6 or more
Start / Restart Drop kick must travel at least 7m
Tackle Yes
Scrum Nearest 5, Contest strike only, no push. Only Hookers my strike for the ball.
Lineout No, restart with a free pass
Ruck Yes
Maul Yes
Offside Distance Hindmost foot at tackle, ruck and Maul. 5m from scrum. 7m from free kick. 7m from free pass.
Fend Off Yes – below armpit
Kicking from Hand Yes. 'Fly hack' not permitted
Kicking at Goal No
Mark Permitted Yes
Yellow Card / Sin Bin No
Knock on Scrum
Rules of Play Regulation 15 Appendix 6

Age Specific Notes:

  • Continuation of the contested strike at the scrum
  • Defending scrum half must not move beyond the tunnel
  • Scrum half must pass from the base of the scrum – May not run with the ball

Competition formats allowed:

  1. Friendly Fixture - Competitive style playing opportunity for two teams, often as part of a club or school/college block fixture, where focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment.
  2. Triangular - Competitive style playing opportunity for three teams where equal player participation is the emphasis. Focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment rather than the score.
  3. Festival - Competitive round-robin playing opportunity where equal team and player participation is the emphasis. Scores may be recorded but winning doesn’t affect your ongoing participation as every team plays the same appropriate number of matches.
  4. Waterfall Tournament - Competitive playing programme where equal participation/progression is the emphasis. The outcome of your pool games are recorded to enable every team to advance to later rounds for an equal number of matches against similar level teams.

Under 13 Boys Rugby

Introduced at this age:

  • 6 man fully contested scrum.
  • Sin Bin 5 minutes.
  • Scrum half may pass or run with the ball.
Format Transitional Contact
School Year 8
Max Players 13 a side
Max Pitch Size 90m x 60m
Ball size 4
Max minutes each half 25
Maximum minutes of match play per day 80 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 120 minutes
Match stopped if: points difference >50
Start / Restart Drop kick must travel at least 10m
Tackle Yes
Scrum 6 trained and willing. Contest strike and push. No number 8 pickup
Lineout No, restart with a free pass
Ruck Yes
Maul Yes
Offside Distance Hindmost foot at tackle, ruck and Maul. 5m from scrum. 10m from free kick. 10m from free pass.
Fend Off Yes – below armpit
Kicking from Hand Yes. incl. 'Fly hack'
Kicking at Goal No
Mark Permitted Yes
Drop Goal Not Permitted
Yellow Card / Sin Bin 5 minutes
Knock on Scrum
Rules of Play Regulation 15 Appendix 7

Age Specific Notes:

  • No.8 cannot pick up from scrum

Competition formats allowed:

  1. Friendly Fixture - Competitive style playing opportunity for two teams, often as part of a club or school/college block fixture, where focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment.
  2. Triangular - Competitive style playing opportunity for three teams where equal player participation is the emphasis. Focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment rather than the score.
  3. Festival - Competitive round-robin playing opportunity where equal team and player participation is the emphasis. Scores may be recorded but winning doesn’t affect your ongoing participation as every team plays the same appropriate number of matches.
  4. Waterfall Tournament - Competitive playing programme where equal participation/progression is the emphasis. The outcome of your pool games are recorded to enable every team to advance to later rounds for an equal number of matches against similar level teams.

Under 14 Boys Rugby

Introduced at this age:

Format Transitional Contact
School Year 9
Max Players 15 a side
Max Pitch Size 100m x 70m
Ball size 4
Max minutes each half 25
Maximum minutes of match play per day 80 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 120 minutes
Match stopped if: points difference >50
Start / Restart Drop kick must travel at least 10m
Tackle Yes
Scrum 8 trained and willing. Contest strike and push. Number 8 can pick up
Lineout Yes, Uncontested *
Ruck Yes
Maul Yes
Offside Distance Hindmost foot at tackle, Ruck and Maul. 5m from scrum. 10m from free kick. 10m from Lineout.
Fend Off Yes
Kicking from Hand Yes
Kicking at Goal Yes
Mark Permitted Yes
Drop Goal Permitted
Yellow Card / Sin Bin 5 minutes
Knock on Scrum
Rules of Play Regulation 15 Appendix 8

Competition formats allowed:

  1. Friendly Fixture - Competitive style playing opportunity for two teams, often as part of a club or school/college block fixture, where focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment.
  2. Triangular - Competitive style playing opportunity for three teams where equal player participation is the emphasis. Focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment rather than the score.
  3. Festival - Competitive round-robin playing opportunity where equal team and player participation is the emphasis. Scores may be recorded but winning doesn’t affect your ongoing participation as every team plays the same appropriate number of matches.
  4. Waterfall Tournament - Competitive playing programme where equal participation/progression is the emphasis. The outcome of your pool games are recorded to enable every team to advance to later rounds for an equal number of matches against similar level teams.
  5. Knockout Tournament - Competitive playing programme where the outcome of the game is recorded and dictates your progression to later knock-out rounds or decides your final standing. Usually includes a winners trophy.

Under 15 Boys Rugby

Introduced at this age:

  • Lineout lifting.
Format Contact
School Year 10
Max Players 15 a side
Max Pitch Size 100m x 70m
Ball size 5
Max minutes each half 30
Maximum minutes of match play per day 90 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 120 minutes
Match stopped if: points difference >50
Start / Restart Drop kick must travel at least 10m
Tackle Yes
Scrum 8 trained and willing. Contest strike and push
Lineout Yes, Uncontested, lift permitted *
Ruck Yes
Maul Yes
Offside Distance Hindmost foot at tackle, Ruck and Maul. 5m from scrum. 10m from free kick. 10m from Lineout.
Fend Off Yes
Kicking from Hand Yes
Kicking at Goal Yes
Mark Permitted Yes
Yellow Card / Sin Bin 6 minutes
Knock on Scrum
Rules of Play Regulation 15 Appendix 9


Age Specific Notes:

Competition formats allowed:

  1. Friendly Fixture - Competitive style playing opportunity for two teams, often as part of a club or school/college block fixture, where focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment.
  2. Triangular - Competitive style playing opportunity for three teams where equal player participation is the emphasis. Focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment rather than the score.
  3. Festival - Competitive round-robin playing opportunity where equal team and player participation is the emphasis. Scores may be recorded but winning doesn’t affect your ongoing participation as every team plays the same appropriate number of matches.
  4. Waterfall Tournament - Competitive playing programme where equal participation/progression is the emphasis. The outcome of your pool games are recorded to enable every team to advance to later rounds for an equal number of matches against similar level teams.
  5. Knockout Tournament - Competitive playing programme where the outcome of the game is recorded and dictates your progression to later knock-out rounds or decides your final standing. Usually includes a winners trophy.
  6. League - Competitive playing programme where the outcome of the game is recorded and points are applied to dictate your position and final standing in the league table. Usually includes a winners trophy. May lead to a play off system to establish final champions.

Under 16,17 &18 Boys Rugby

Introduced at this age:

  • Fully contested Lineout with lifting.

Format Contact
School Year 11,12,13
Max Players 15 a side
Max Pitch Size 100m x 70m
Ball size 5
Max minutes each half 35
Maximum minutes of match play per day 90 minutes
Extra Time Permitted No
Recommended training time duration 120 minutes
Match stopped if: points difference >50
Start / Restart Drop kick must travel at least 10m
Tackle Yes
Scrum 8 trained and willing, contest strike and push
Lineout Yes, lift permitted
Ruck Yes
Maul Yes
Offside Distance Hindmost foot at tackle, Ruck and Maul. 5m from scrum. 10m from free kick. 10m from Lineout.
Fend Off Yes
Kicking from Hand Yes
Kicking at Goal Yes
Mark Permitted Yes
Yellow Card / Sin Bin 7 minutes
Knock on Scrum
Rules of Play Regulation 15 Appendix 9

Competition formats allowed:

  1. Friendly Fixture - Competitive style playing opportunity for two teams, often as part of a club or school/college block fixture, where focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment.
  2. Triangular - Competitive style playing opportunity for three teams where equal player participation is the emphasis. Focus is on maximising all your player’s involvement, development and enjoyment rather than the score.
  3. Festival - Competitive round-robin playing opportunity where equal team and player participation is the emphasis. Scores may be recorded but winning doesn’t affect your ongoing participation as every team plays the same appropriate number of matches.
  4. Waterfall Tournament - Competitive playing programme where equal participatio
  5. n/progression is the emphasis. The outcome of your pool games are recorded to enable every team to advance to later rounds for an equal number of matches against similar level teams.
  6. Knockout Tournament - Competitive playing programme where the outcome of the game is recorded and dictates your progression to later knock-out rounds or decides your final standing. Usually includes a winners trophy.
  7. League - Competitive playing programme where the outcome of the game is recorded and points are applied to dictate your position and final standing in the league table. Usually includes a winners trophy. May lead to a play off system to establish final champions.

Find Out More

To find out more please contact

For U6 - U12 - Ed Mensah

For U12 - U18 - Chris Fong Wah

See the About page for contact details

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