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Rugby Union
What's the score?

Contrary to its image, rugby union isn't just played in public schools and the south of England.

Since turning professional in 1995 - and with the national team doing so well - it has gained a much wider appeal.

To keep the game safe for kids, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) runs tag rugby for under-8s and mini contact rugby for 8-12 year-olds.

They aim to make kids ready for a full 15-a-side game by the age of 13.

Top tip
Rugby is not just for the boys.

Women's rugby is growing fast and the number of schoolgirls playing has doubled in the past few years.

What's in the kit bag?
Studded boots (for playing on grass) and gum shields are recommended.

Basic gum shields start at around 6. Put them in warm water before the first use so they fit the teeth properly.

Fitted gum shields start at around 40.

Want more details on the sport?
Our Sport Academy site has a rugby union section packed with training tips and masterclasses from stars such as Jonny Wilkinson. There's also some wicked training challenges to test their skills.

Where else can I get more information on the sport?
The RFU website is full of information for parents, coaches and kids. And has a large section on women's rugby.



Northern Ireland


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I got into coaching after a ref kept penalising my kid's rugby team and not explaining what he meant. So I went home, read the rules and realised that rather than complain about other people, I should do it myself.
- A Barrie, rugby coach


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