Young people tell us that, above all else, they want to have fun playing rugby with their friends. Both expert opinion and the RFU’s own research have shown that emphasis has historically been placed on winning, with evidence of over playing the able players and under playing those less able players to achieve results.
Age Grade Rugby puts inclusivity and each player’s skill development first, with the increasing intensity of competition introduced later. Young players will start with festivals and triangulars and progress to knockouts, tournaments and leagues as they get older and develop their game.
The competition menu highlights the formats which may be played at each age group - if it’s developmentally appropriate for the players.
The competitive menu can be found here
To help the organisation of each of the competition formats a number of helpful, intuitive templates have been produced:
- Five teams on one pitch
- Ten teams on three pitches
- Triangular tables
- Waterfall tournament
- Waterfall tournament (four pools, six teams)
Rugby is a late specialism sport and experts recommend that the representative rugby programme should wait until U15 when players have matured.
The RFU’s player development programme is shaped to ensure that it complements the rest of the age grade game as well as identifying and developing the more able players and providing them with higher intensity competitive opportunities.
It will also ensure a focus on their core playing programme in clubs, schools and colleges so that selection and representative rugby balances with the rest of a player’s season and motivations for taking part in rugby union.
The representative menu can be found here.