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RFU Introduce new rule for 6-18-Year-Olds

All Age Grade players will be guaranteed at least half a game from next season as the Half Game rule becomes regulation.

Following a trial in 2017/18 and an implementation year in 2018/19, from next season Half Game will be regulation in all Age Grade Rugby across clubs, schools, colleges, representative pathways and academy activities.

The rule, applicable to players aged six to 18, will ensure that all players in a match day squad will get to play at least half a game.


The introduction of the rule follows consultation with players with research conducted by the University of Essex showing that players who regularly play half a game or more report higher enjoyment, self-esteem and rugby playing competence. Those who play half a game are six times more likely to enjoy the sport than those who don’t. 

7 Responses

  1. Jason Thorpe

    They should also look at the rule that bans girls from playing with the boys from Under 11’s on wards if they are to take the ladies game seriously .. My daughter is devastated that she can no longer play with the boys she has grown up playing with once they become under 12’s.. Australia allows them to play mixed until under 15’s but English rugby is clearly stuck in the dark ages ..

    1. Sammie Macdonald

      I completely agree with you, we have our daughter in exactly the same position. Also teams we have played this season are in the same boat, they could manage one more season in the least.

    2. Luke Stix

      Totally agree with Jason Thorpe comment above – we have 4 girls at under-11 moving to split sex regulations next season, equally devastated. If the coaches are sensible and the girls can compete, let them play!!

    3. Steve Edwards

      I agree with this. Just at a time that girls are moving to secondary school and likely to lose contact with school friends, taking away their network of rugby playing friends seems particularly cruel. Girls teams are still few and far between and, until my own club started its own 3 years ago, we would have faced almost an hour’s journey to our nearest. Personally, wherever the “cut off” is put, I believe there should be a year’s overlap where they can play both mixed and girls only.

  2. John Hurds

    Great idea in theory however if you have a big squad of say 25 under 10’s you will have some unhappy children and parent’s. One Team in the Midlands akready hold selection meetings from under 7’s up. So may have the opposite effect.

  3. Kerry

    My daughter is the same and now can’t find a club that will do contact rugby within an hours drive of home she’s gutted

  4. Jennifer

    Definitely agree, girls should be allowed to play with boys until they feel ready, not every girl should be treated the same.

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