Rugby Is Good For You

4th March 2016

Rugby Is Good For You
On the 2nd March 2016, more than 70 doctors and academics called for a ban on tackling in rugby matches played in UK and Irish Schools (see BBC article).

At Grasshoppers we take player safety and welfare very seriously and ensure that our young players are being coached in a safe environment and in the correct techniques. If you are concerned in any way then please speak with your Coach or Team Manager.

The RFU and World Rugby have responded to this article and information can be found below.

Steve Grainger, RFU Development Director, said on safety of junior rugby:
"In response to recent media coverage you may have seen around tackling in junior rugby, you may receive questions regarding the safety of rugby for young players.

The coverage originated from an open letter circulated by a group of academics and doctors, including Professor Allyson Pollock from Queen Mary University of London. who has previously ben vocal about issues of concussion and injury surveillance in schools.

Below is some useful information which may help you respond to any concerns raised from club members, parents or teachers. We will continue to use England Rugby channels to reinforce key messages around the safety and enjoyment of our sport and you will find supporting materials referenced in this article."

Useful Information:

The RFU takes player safety extremely seriously and this is at the core of all the training of coaches, referees, medics and the players themselves, at all levels of the game.

Rugby is a fantastic sport for children, bringing many physical and social benefits, including increased confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline, and enjoyable physical exercise as part of a team. Teachers constantly comment on off-pitch behaviour improvements when rugby is introduced in school.

Rugby for young people in England takes different forms, both contact and non-contact. Significant long-term work has developed a gradual progression to the game to ensure maximum possible safety, with a structured approach covering introduction, playing, teaching and refereeing from Under 7 to Under 18.

See the player progression chart in full.

This structured approach provides building blocks to the 15-a-side game, allowing players time to learn the basics before contact and specialism is gradually introduced. these will be implemented across the country in both schools and clubs from September 2016. Full 15-a-side rugby will begin a year later at Under 14. A gradual and managed introduction of the contact game around the tackle will take place from Under 9 to Under 12, instead of over two years at U9 and U10 as previously, giving players, teachers and coaches more time to master the techniques.

Rugby Union is a game played by many schools. Alongside well established rugby playing schools over 400 new secondary schools have taken up our sport since 2012 through the CBRE All Schools programme. We are committed to expanding this number to 750 by 2019 and it is already making its mark, increasing the amount of rugby in schools and encouraging new players to join local clubs. It aims to make school life happier and healthier, reducing anti-social behaviour, enhancing learning and increasing self-esteem for students,w tin research supporting this.

RugbySafe's overarching programme encapsulates all the RFU's player safety and wellbeing projects to support clubs, colleges, schools, universities and participants at all levels of the game.

High quality coaching, officiating, medical support and player behaviour, in line with rugby's core values, all contribute to reducing the risk of injury occurring. The RFU also runs one of the work's largest and longest running community level injury surveillance studies and has a clear process for translating injury research in coach, match official and player education. It is currently running a large scale injury surveillance and prevention project in schools.

RFU Accredited Club