RULES of PLAY 2016/2017


Welcome to the new Age Grade Rugby season!

Age Grade Rugby puts the wants and needs of all young people at its heart,

with player enjoyment at the core in order to keep young people enjoying

the game and continuing to play into their adult years.

These changes follow a four year review of rugby for under 18’s

and are based on England Rugby's principles of being

Player Centred, Development Driven and

Competition Supported.

From September, there will be some key nationwide changes in clubs,

schools, and colleges, including:

- Competition Calendar
- Competitive Menu
- Rules of the game
- Regulations
Competition Calendar & Competitive Menu
Driven by the motivations of all players, these will:

- Create more consistency and support inclusivity
- Guard against overplaying and underplaying
- Limit conflict between clubs, schools & representative rugby
- Increase intensity of competition through age groups.
  Rules of Play  
  The new progressive approach for the 15-a-side game ensures young people play the right level of rugby at the right time.  
  Put Kids First  
  Old Mutual Wealth Kids First is the approach to rugby for ages 6 to 13 – focusing on having fun, learning and building confidence.  
  New regulations support the new competition menu and rules of play. Click here for these regulations and guidance.  


Following the recent Age Grade Rugby Update sent earlier in the month, I am pleased to outline progress as we reach the “5 weeks to go” point before the start of the 2016-17 season.  Please continue to pass on the information to colleagues and parents in your clubs, schools and colleges to help everyone prepare for kick off in September.

Regulation 15, including Rules of Play

The confirmed Rules of Play for each age group have been completed and are attached. These rules, along with the Age Grade regulations for 2016-17, will go live on on 1st August along with other documents to support the delivery of Age Grade Rugby. Please share these rules, along with the previously circulated Regulation 15 and guidance information, with people across your club, school and/or college.

These Rules of Play, in which the XV-a-side game starts at U14, are the stated maximums that players can progress in that year, and it’s important that coaches and teachers ensure that players have the ability, competence and confidence before progressing.

Age Grade Rugby Brochure

An updated version, following a minor edit, of the brochure is attached and should replace any previous versions. A printed batch of these have been sent to Honorary Secretaries in clubs along with Teachers in Charge of rugby in schools and colleges across the country for them to share with coaches, staff and parents ahead of the new season. The document includes confirmation of all the Rules of Play and competitive menu and helpful information to keep our player’s safety at the front of everyone’s minds.

Line out at U14-U16

The line out changes at U14-U16 are confirmed and can be observed in the Age Grade Brochure and Regulation 15. Further information about these changes will follow in the coming weeks and these changes will be supplemented by a specific line out CPD and supporting video resources.

In the lead up to the start of the season we will be ensuring, via direct mail and social media, that these changes are communicated to all involved in the delivery of Age Grade Rugby. These changes, based on the principals of ”Player Centred, Development Driven and Competition Supported” should be considered by coaches and teachers within all their training sessions and games. These changes follow robust research and consultation within the game starting in 2011 and their impact will be reviewed annually.

As ever, further information can be found at and if you have any specific questions on Age Grade Rugby please do contact us on Please remember to pass on this information so that everyone is informed and ready to enjoy another great season in 2016-17.