How to get involved in rugby union

Getting started playing rugby union

Rugby union is played by people of both sexes and all shapes, sizes, and ages. Whether it’s a schoolchild starting out, an older player who turns out regularly at the weekend, or a committed rugby club player, rugby is one of the most popular participation sports in the world. Here′s the guide on getting started in playing the game of rugby.

There are a number of ways to get started in the game of rugby, and for many people their first introduction to rugby is through ‘touch rugby’, which is a simplified version of the game that essentially requires just a ball, a few people, and an open space. There’s no tackling involved in touch rugby, so it’s very much just like playing the game ‘tick’, ‘tag’ or ‘it’ – which means players get the chance to work on their running and handling rugby skills without heavy physical contact.

Another variation of the game is ‘tag rugby’, which is a non-contact version of the game in the same way as touch rugby, but sees possession pass over when an opposing player removes a tag attached to the ball carrier. Tag rugby is slightly more physical than touch rugby, but if you wish to get a full taste of the physical side of the sport, then try out the seven-a-side and 15-a-side versions of the game.

There are plenty of local rugby clubs out there who are always willing to take in new members. Check out these rugby organisations for more information:

The Rugby Football Union, which looks after the sport in England, has a good search facility on their website which you can use to find a club in your area:

In Scotland there are over 200 rugby clubs, and many of these run mini or junior sections as well as adult teams. All the clubs have registered their details on the Scottish Rugby Union website:

The Welsh Rugby Union has links to many of the rugby clubs across Wales: Alternatively, if you’re a younger player, go to the Dragons Rugby Trust website at, as this provides information on development officers all over Wales who can put you in touch with your nearest rugby club.

The Irish Rugby Football Union website lists all the available clubs in Ireland – so if you live in Ireland, search for your nearest rugby team here:

And don’t forget that rugby’s not just for the men! Women’s rugby is one of the fastest growing sports around, and each of the sport’s governing bodies has their own women’s sections – which will be able to provide you with information about the nearest rugby clubs to where you live.

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