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Half game rule rolled out across age grade game

This season England Rugby is encouraging all age grade clubs, schools and colleges to ensure that all of their match day squad play in at least half a game, in all games.

For the 2018/19 season the half game rule is voluntary across the age grade game, covering players aged six to 18, with a view to it being regulatory from September 2019.

“We think this is a really positive step and something which sets us apart from other sports," said Mark Saltmarsh, head of education and age grade rugby.

"Most importantly it’s what the players tell us they want – to play rugby, with their friends, not being sat on the bench.

“This is being introduced based on our findings from the National Rugby Survey and also based on findings of a pilot study which was conducted by Essex University, who will also be reviewing the implementation across the game this season.”

The highlights from the Essex University report showed that:

  • Players who played half a game reported higher enjoyment, higher self-esteem and higher rugby playing competence
  • Playing half a game ‘often’ means players are six times more likely to enjoy playing rugby than players who aren’t playing half a game either rarely or sometimes
  • Half game did not impact the result of the match though games were 5 points closer across the season
  • 92% of adults reported positive effects

To support coaches and teachers and to promote half game have released a series of videos, guides and poster ,all hosted on www.englandrugby.come/halfgame.