What is Rugby

Have a question on Rugby? Here are some frequently asked questions about the sport from World Rugby and Rugby Australia.

What is Rugby Union?

Rugby Union is a popular global sport that’s values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect are up-held and entrenched with in the laws of the game. Played in contact and non-contact formats, Rugby is a team sport that delivers significant social and health benefits as well as elite and social competition.

Rugby can be a demanding sport and players should be physically and mentally prepared and understand how to play safely. It is the responsibility of all - players, coaches and parents - to ensure that a positive, safe, enjoyable environment is created for ALL players regardless of any perceived difference.

Want to learn more? Head to Play Rugby.

How do you play Rugby Union?

Put simply, rugby is a territorial invasion game where the team in possession of the ball seeks to advance the ball forward by running, kicking or passing (backwards) to teammates in the hope of scoring points. The main objective is to score a ‘try’, which is worth five points. Lesser scoring options include a ‘conversion’, which is attempted from a place kick after a try has been scored and is worth two points, or a ‘penalty goal’ which also occurs from a place kick at the spot the penalty was awarded and is worth three points, or a ‘drop goal’ which is when the ball is drop-kicked by a player through the uprights and over the cross-bar from general play and is also worth three points.

The role of the team without the ball is to prevent the advancement of the ball and to contest possession in contact areas such as the tackle, ruck, maul, re-starts and set-piece (scrum and line-out).

Click here for a beginner’s guide to Rugby through Rugby Australia’s Get into Rugby program.

Who is Rugby Australia?

Rugby Australia (Formerly known as the Australian Rugby Union or ARU) is the governing body for Rugby Union of Australia. Rugby Australia is made up of eight state and territory member Unions across the country, with a collective vision: ‘to inspire all Australians to enjoy our great global game’.

To realise this vision, Rugby Australia will deliver in four key areas:

  1. Make Rugby a game for all – Our Community
  2. Ignite Australia’s passion for the game – Our Fans
  3. Build sustainable success in the professional game – Our Elite Teams
  4. Create excellence in how the game is run – Our Administration

Click here for a view Rugby Australia’s Governance structure and state bodies.

Click here for Rugby Australia’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.

Is Rugby a safe sport?

Rugby is a physical sport, but a sport that delivers significant social and health benefits. Player welfare is the number one priority for World Rugby and its Member Unions and education of the best-possible techniques to train and play is important for being physically and mentally prepared. You also need to understand how to play safely.

The World Rugby ‘Rugby Ready’ program, and other national union programs, educate, aid and support players, coaches, match officials and Unions on the importance of sufficient preparation for training and playing in order for Rugby to be played and enjoyed while reducing the risk of serious injury. All coaches and referees in Australia are required to be ‘Smart Rugby’ accredited before coaching or officiating rugby union at any level.

Click here for more information or to complete your smart rugby accreditation.

My child is relatively small for his/her age, can they play rugby?

Rugby is a game for all shapes and sizes and that is one of the sport’s main strengths and attractions because the sum of a team’s parts is always greater than any one individual. In rugby there are forwards, whose role and job it is generally to win the ball from the opposition and compete at most of the more contact-driven areas such as the scrum, the line-out, the ruck and the maul. Forwards tend to be heavier, more powerful players and also taller for winning the ball at the line-out and the restart.

The backs are typically lighter and faster and their game is based more on taking advantage of the space created by the work up front by the forwards. Even among the backs there are players who need to be better at passing, kicking, strategizing and simply running, so whatever size or shape, age or gender you are, there should be a position for you.

There are also non-contact forms of Rugby such as Touch 7s and touch-tackle variations for those who do not wish to play any of the full-contact formats..

How do I get involved?

There are around 1000 clubs across Australia with varying teams and age groups offered. All clubs welcome and encourage new members; whether you are player, referee, coach or seeking to volunteer in some other capacity, Rugby caters for all.