Fri 23 Feb 2018 09:30

Introducing young people to the values of rugby union will provide a mindset that will stretch beyond participation in the sport. Much of the behaviour and attitudes that have de ned rugby union are highly regarded both within and outside the sport. Regardless of any adverse changes in society, the RFU work hard to protect and promote the game’s fundamental elements for the next generation. Qualities we believe Rugby Union provides: 



Teamwork is essential to our sport: 

We welcome all new team members and include all because working as a team enriches our lives.

We play selfessly: working for the team, not for ourselves alone, both on and off the field.

We take pride in our team, rely on one another and understand that each player has a part to play.

We speak out if our team or sport is threatened by inappropriate words or actions.


Mutual respect forms the basis of our sport.

We hold in high esteem our sport, its values and traditions and earn the respect of others by the way we behave.

We respect our match of cials and accept their decisions.

We respect opposition players and supporters.

We value our coaches and those who run our clubs and treat clubhouses with consideration


Enjoyment is the reason we play and support rugby union.

We encourage players to enjoy training and playing.

We use our sport to adopt a healthy lifestyle and build life skills.

We safeguard our young players and help them have fun.

We enjoy being part of a team and part of the rugby family because it enhances confidence and self esteem.


Strong discipline underpins our sport.

We ensure that our sport is one of controlled physical endeavour and that we are honest and fair.

We obey the ‘Laws of the Game’ which ensure an inclusive and exciting global game.

We support our disciplinary system, which protects our sport and upholds its values.

We observe the sport’s Laws and regulations and report serious breaches.


Sportsmanship is the foundation rugby union is built upon

We uphold the rugby tradition of camaraderie with team mates and opposition.

We observe fair play both on and off the pitch and are generous in victory and dignified in defeat.

We play to win but not at all costs and recognise both endeavour and achievement.

We ensure that the wellbeing and development of individual players is central to all rugby activity.


In rugby union, coaches of young players should:

- Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when coaching young players. Most
learning is achieved through doing.
- Appreciate the needs of the players before the needs of the sport.
- Be a positive role model – think what this implies.
- Keep winning and losing in perspective – encourage young players to behave with dignity in all circumstances.
- Respect all referees and the decisions they make (remember it could be you refereeing next week) and ensure that the players recognise that they must do the same.
- Provide positive verbal feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner to all young players, both during coaching sessions and games.

In rugby union, coaches of young players must:

- Provide experiences, which are matched to the young players’ ages and abilities, as well as their physical and mental development.
- Ensure all youngsters are coached in a safe environment, with adequate rst aid readily to hand.
- Avoid the overplaying of the best players, by using a squad system, which gives everybody a satisfactory amount of playing time.
- Never allow a player to train or play when injured.
- Ensure good supervision of young players, both on and off the eld.
- Recognise that young players should never be exposed to extremes of heat, cold, or unacceptable risk of injury.
- Develop an awareness of nutrition as part of an overall education in lifestyle management.
- Recognise that it is illegal for young players under 18 to drink alcohol.
- Ensure that your knowledge and coaching strategies are up to date and in line with RFU philosophy.
- Be aware of, and abide by, the policies and procedures outlined in the RFU Child Protection Guidance Booklet.

Important note:

Coaches working with young players up to the age of 12 must follow the guidelines laid down by the RFU Rugby Continuum. Coaches working with young players aged 13+ must be aware of the Under 15 and Under 19 law variations, including those that apply to cross border matches.


Players are encouraged to:

- Recognise and appreciate the efforts made by teachers, coaches, parents, match offcials and administrators in providing the opportunity for you to play the game and enjoy the rugby environment.
- Understand the values of loyalty and commitment to adults and team mates.
- Recognise that every young player has a right to expect their involvement in rugby to be safe and free from all types of abuse.
- Understand that if an individual or group of young players feel they are not being treated in a manner that is acceptable, then you have a right to tell an adult either at the rugby club or outside of the game.

Players should:

- Play because you want to do so, not to please coaches or parents.
- Remember that skill development, fun and enjoyment are the most important parts of the game.
- Be attentive at all training and coaching sessions.
- Work equally hard for yourself and your team - both will then benefit.
- Recognise good play by all players on your team and by your opponents.
- Be a sportsman - win or lose.
- Play to the Laws of the Game and accept, without question, all referees’ decisions.
- Control your emotions. Verbal or physical abuse of team mates, opponents, or match officials is not acceptable.
- Treat all players, as you would like to be treated. Do not interfere with, bully or take advantage of any player.


Match officials should:

- Recognise the importance of fun and enjoyment when of ciating young players.
- Provide positive verbal feedback, in a constructive and encouraging manner during games.
- Emphasise the spirit of the game.
- Appreciate the needs of the young players before the needs of the sport.
- Understand the physical, social and psychological development of young players. • Be a positive role model. You set an example, and as such, comments you receive should be positive and supportive. Look to self-improvement e.g. participation in the Entry Level Referee Award or Referee Education Evenings. 

Match officials must:

- Recognise that the safety of young players is paramount.
- Explain decisions - all young players are still learning.
- Always penalise foul play.
- Play advantage whenever possible in order to let the game flow.
- Show empathy for the age and ability of young players.
- Be consistent and objective.
- Ensure that verbal abuse from players, coaches or spectators is not tolerated and is dealt with by club of cials immediately.
- Be aware of, and abide by, the RFU Child Protection Guidance policies and procedures.