Schools encourage their pupils to play a sport due to the numerous developmental benefits that they can gain from the experience; however, when the child opts to play the more physical sports like rugby, parents naturally have safety concerns.

The World Rugby Association therefore has developed age related guidelines to protect the safety and welfare of players at all levels. Understanding these guidelines will help you protect your child from unacceptable rugby practices that lead to severe injury.

Here are a few of the acceptable practice guidelines pertaining to young players:

  • All players should be well versed and tested on how to play safely during the game.


  • A player should not participate in competition meant for players more than three years above his or her age.


  • Front row players (prop and hooker) should never be allowed to play in a competition meant for players two or more years above his or her age.


  • In a situation where a player (under the age of 18) is allowed to play for a team where his teammates are two years older, the parents must sign a consent form.


  • Players under the age of 18 should not be allowed to play Elite (adult) rugby unless consent is given by their parents.