The RFU has a partnership with 15 universities across the country, pledging to invest £220,000 into further strengthening the governing body’s commitment to supporting and growing the game within the higher education sector.

The university partners concept was developed in partnership with the Schools Rugby Football Union (SRFU) and British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). It plans and delivers a rugby participation programme which incorporates the student rugby club to provide activity for players in all formats of men’s and women’s rugby.

The additional funding support has further developed player, coach and facility standards across the universities for the men’s 15-a-side teams, driven improvements in the women’s elite game through focused support for talented players and identifying, developing and supporting talented sevens players within the England Sevens pathway.

Through strengthening existing teams and growing new links with community clubs and other rugby-playing institutions, the RFU partnership provides additional playing opportunities and outlets for students to play the sport, creating over 30 new teams across the universities in the first year.

UNIVERSITY PARTNERS: Bishop Burton College, Durham University, Hartpury University Centre, Leeds Beckett University, Loughborough University, Middlesex University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Nottingham Trent University, University of Bath, University of Bristol, University of Essex, University of Exeter, University of Leeds, University of Nottingham

University Rugby Development Officers

Do you want to play rugby and need help finding a friendly club? Our University Rugby Development Officers can help you.

University Rugby Development Officers (URDO’s) are RFU professional staff, on hand to help you with any queries that you have, whether it is finding the appropriate playing level or a committee member needing advice.

The Student Rugby Football Union (SRFU) can also support any query you have with University Rugby. The SRFU are the body empowered by the Rugby Football Union to oversee all aspects of the game relating to Higher Education in England.

To get in contact with the SRFU please contact with

For general university rugby enquires contact 
Phone 02088316757



University rugby is a dynamic and varied experience for all involved, regardless of your ability or involvement in the game one thing is guaranteed getting involved will enhance your time at university and provide you with lifelong friends and memories. Ways to get involved include:

  • Playing
  • Coaching
  • Refereeing
  • Applied Volunteering
  • Leadership and Personal Development 


British Universities and Colleges Sport

British Universities & College Sport competitions provide a great platform for players to enjoy the game, demonstrate their skills, and perform at every level. BUCS provides regular competitive rugby and is one of the largest sporting programmes in university sport. Your university may enter a different number of teams and the university rugby club will coordinate how these teams are organised. 

The National Association of Medical Schools

The National Association of Medical Schools (NAMS) Rugby Union Cup is a nationwide competition for all rugby clubs of medical schools and their associated hospitals. It provides a way for medical students to compete against each other at a strong standard of rugby.

RFU Development Leagues

RFU Development Leagues offer regular flexible playing opportunities for both men & women, which are both social and competitive. Open to all players and providing regular rugby to non-BUCS players. There are also larger festivals throughout the year & more local regular fixtures against other teams.

Local Clubs

Local Rugby Clubs are always keen to welcome new adult players and offer a student discount and sometimes support for transport. Your local RFU Staff can recommend clubs and your University Club may have a Gamefinder role to help introduce you.   

Student Pass

Student Pass gives you flexibility. You can keep your home club registration while playing at University and even 1st team rugby at a local club near your University. 


This is an easy way to get to know people within your hall or society and a perfect fit for Campus Sport.  Your hall or society will have a rep or captain who organises the teams.  

O2 Touch

O2 Touch is a touch rugby programme providing regular relaxed fun games for male & female students of any ability. It is non-contact and a great way to play with friends or make new ones. 


Sevens competitions mainly take place between March and June. These are often at the university but there are often 7s events at local clubs and as well as larger social events across the country including 24/Sevens.