Age Grade Competition Review

The Age Grade Competition Review (AGCR) began in late 2011, with the period up until early 2014 focusing on research, consultation and reviewing; and the last 12 months up to April 2015 on developing an implementation plan with an Implementation Development Group (IDG) of practitioners from across the game.

Key AGCR Principles (PDF 328kB) were agreed in spring 2014. These provide the foundations on which to base and implement age grade rugby and are all primarily based on the motivations of the players.

The game will be:

  • Player-centred
  • Development driven
  • Competition supported


The AGCR Implementation Action Plan was worked up and reviewed until the RFU Community Game Board recommended its adoption by RFU Council in early 2015. In April 2015, the rollout was agreed by RFU Council. Download the RFU Touchline report (PDF 468kB) for more information.

Stakeholder consultation sessions have taken place throughout the process including:

  • Representations from all areas of age grade rugby to the original AGCR Group
  • The Mini & Youth Blueprint Roadshows in autumn 2013
  • Through the Shaping the Game and New Rules of Play research programmes
  • Resulting from the Talent Symposium in 2014
  • Ongoing contributions and check/challenge by the IDG practitioners
  • Feedback sessions with schools (including prep and developing/established secondary)
  • Club evenings
  • Constituent Body (CB) input (including geographical CBs, ERFSU, ECRFU)
  • Agenda item discussions at a number of RFU sub-committees
  • Council Member formal and informal feedback

Some of the information from these and other sources is available in the AGCR Insights section.

Work began immediately following RFU Council approval to deliver the Implementation Action Plan and to reformulate age grade rugby regulations.

Find out more about the AGCR Implementation Action Plan  here, including the changes to age grade rugby.


There is a wealth of work across the world into the development and welfare of children and young people in sporting activity. The Age Grade Competition Review considered a wide range of views, information, research, feedback and representation from inside and outside rugby and the wider sporting landscape. This all helped to shape the principles and final plans for implementation.

We will continue to research the motivations of young players and the impact of Age Grade Rugby through an annual player survey conducted in June each year.  A sample of some of the kind of insights that were used and learned between 2011 and 2015 by the review groups are included here for information: