Rugby football
What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • This is a team game played with an oval shaped ball which can be handled and thrown as well as kicked.  Points are scored by touching the ball down over the opposition's goal line and by kicking the ball over a high level goal bar.  

  • There are two main versions, rugby union and rugby league, which have some differences in rules as well as different team numbers, 15 and 13 respectively.  There is also a seven-a-side game. 

  • Competitions are an important part of the local sport.  

  • There are related games of American football, Australian-rules football and Gaelic football (see specialist organisations below for more details).

Find out more


British Amateur Rugby League Association
Rugby Football League
Rugby Football Union 
British American Football Association  01661 843179
British Australian Rules Football League 


Rugby News 
Rugby World 
Running Rugby 
Rugby League World 
Rugby Leaguer 
First Down 
Gaelic World

Getting started

  • Find a local rugby group or club (see organisations above).

  • See if there are introductory sessions at your local club or sports centre.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of rugby.

  • Check in your local library/paper or sports centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Most rugby players are men, though there has been growth in interest in the sport among women;  teams are single sex. 

  •  The sport is very active and physical and is most commonly played by people under 40 years old. 

  • Most rugby practice and all games involve a group of other people.  Most players belong to a local group or club which organises fixtures.  The social aspect of club life is important.  

  • The people you play with need to be of roughly the same standard and physical ability as yourself.

Equipment or clothing
  • For anything other than the very informal games, sports shorts and top and special boots are usually required.  

  • Teams usually wear special strip of some kind.  These shirts are generally provided by the group or club.

A place or facilities
  • There are facilities in many schools and some community halls, as well as many sports centres.  

  • The bigger clubs may have their own grounds.

Have a go - get started now 


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