Schools, Colleges and Universities.

England Rugby has a range of initiatives and support services for those who want to develop rugby at a school, a college or university. Rugby can be played at school in lots of different formats by students of all ages and helps to develop confident and capable young people. Creating a love for the game at school, means that many go on to play at College or University.

Others discover rugby for the first time – the opportunities it provides and the chance to develop skills, friendships and a sense of achievement.

England Rugby provides a range of partnerships and services for teachers, coaches, referees and players. On this site, discover tips and advice for coaches and referees as well as courses to go on.



Age Grade Rugby is based on the principles of player centred, development driven and competition supported.

It was introduced in September 2016, following a four-year review by the RFU including consultation with club, schools and colleges as well as recommendations backed by academic research.

The wants and needs of young people are at the heart of Age Grade Rugby.  It puts player enjoyment above all else to keep more young people enjoying the game for longer and into adulthood.

Age Grade rugby ensures:

  • Consistent age bandings and incremental player progressions
  • A nationally consistent playing menu and calendar that increases inclusivity, clarifies player priorities and dovetails club, school and college competitions
  • An integrated England Rugby Player Development pathway and representative framework
  • Training and Continuous Professional Development for coaches, referees, parents, teachers and others.

Visit Age Grade Rugby to learn more.



The Age Grade Rugby Codes of Practice explains how a rugby coach or teacher should approach the development of boys and girls (‘children’) between the ages of U7 to U18.

The Codes of Practice aim to help coaches at clubs, schools and colleges to recognise their responsibilities so that they can put into place a clear, progressive and monitored coaching policy. Through their understanding of what Age Grade Rugby is and their ability to follow the guidelines, coaches are more likely to meet the needs and wants of the children they coach.

The Codes of Practice cover seven separate codes:

Code of Practice 1: Developing the Whole Player
Focuses on the benefits of developing a positive attitude towards physical activity.

Code ofPractice 2: Adopt a Player-Centred Approach to Playing and Training
Encourages a focus on enjoyment and improvement regarding training, competition and frequency of play.

Code of Practice 3: Grouping of Players
Focuses on the need to give players an equal opportunity to play, train and develop with their peers.

Code of Practice 4: An Individual Playing Up and Down
Advises on how to approach the rare occasions when children are unable to play with their peer group.

Code of Practice 5: Combining Age Groups
Considers how best to combine age groups if this is the only solution.

Code of Practice 6: Out of Season Activities, Rugby Camps and Tours
Advocates the benefits of children having a break from rugby and experiencing a balanced programme that encourages them to take part in other sports.

Code of Practice 7: Minimum Standards for Coaches and Referees
Recommends standards of practice so that coaches are player-centred and appropriately skilled.

England Rugby has full details about the Codes of Practice and a downloadable .pdf