Welcome to Activate the RFU’s Injury Prevention Exercise Programme

Activate is an injury prevention exercise programme that can be integrated into training and pre-match sessions. The exercises included in the programme are designed to improve functional and core strength, balance and agility, all of which assist a player in dealing with the physical demands of the game.

The Activate FAQ provides an overview of the programme and answers some initial questions you may have.

The contact nature of rugby union means that injuries do occur, through research conducted by the University of Bath on behalf of the RFU, the understanding of what type of injuries and why injuries occur continues to advance.  There are a number of factors that can affect the risk of injury including player technique, coaching behaviours and how the game is officiated.  Through the RugbySafe initiative the RFU are working across all of these areas to improve the safety of players, furthermore the research into the Activate Injury Prevention Exercise Programme provides evidence that the conditioning of players significantly contributes to reducing the risk of injury.  

Overview of the Activate research findings

More detail on the studies and research that lead to the development of Activate is available in the articles published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine:

Age Grade/Schoolboy Study

Adult Male Study

Activate Resources

The online resources are free to access, however it is highly recommended that coaches and teachers attend the face to face session - courses can be requested through your club coach coordinator or relevant rugby lead (for school teachers/coaches), who should contact your local Rugby Development Officer or Community Rugby Coach.

To access the online programme resources please click on the relevant programme:

U15 U16 U17/18 Adult

Activate Practical Induction

A two-hour practical session is available, the session aims to equip coaches and teachers with the key components of the exercise programme so that they can deliver it as part of their existing rugby and PE sessions. Our research suggests that coaches and teachers who attended these practical sessions are more competent and confident in delivering the programme effectively. Therefore, it is highly recommended that coaches and teachers attend this session prior to accessing the online resources.

To organise a free face to face session at your club or school please contact your local Rugby Development Officer/Community Rugby Coach – contact details are available at:

The Activate Training Course Resource is for use by coaches/teachers on the face-to-face practical induction session.