What is Rugby

Rugby is a game for all ages, genders, sizes and backgrounds and has many varying formats

Rugby XV's (15s)

The traditional format of the game is played by two teams of fifteen players with eight forwards and seven backs taking the field at any one time. The game is suited to players of varying shapes and sizes with specialist positions suiting players of a specific athletic profile Depending on factors such as age and experience, a player may play in several positions before they settle in one that suits best, and coaches should be prepared to allow this.

Every four years, the XVs game is celebrated at what is regarded as the world’s third largest sporting event, the Rugby World Cup – the peak international Rugby tournament governed by World Rugby.

Click here to download the World Rugby Laws of the Game 2018 in PDF format (20.7mb)

Click here to visit World Rugby's 'Laws of Rugby Union' website.

Click here for Play Rugby XV.

Rugby Sevens (7s)

Rugby ‘7s’ is played increasingly at the grass roots level, but there are professional opportunities for both men and women to represent Australia on the global stage. The Australian men’s and women’s teams compete annually in the HSBC Sevens World Series Which consists of tournaments staged across the globe, similar to a Grand Prix circuit.

Such has been the surge in popularity globally of the abbreviated format, in 2014 Rugby 7s debuted as an Olympic Games sport.

Because Sevens is played on a full-sized rugby pitch but with only seven players on each side, there is extra space to run in which suits a different type of athlete that is typical for some specialist positions in the XVs format. It is a fast and exciting variation of the game demanding huge levels of fitness.

Click here to download the World Rugby Laws of the Game 2018 (inc. Sevens variations from page 113) in PDF format.

Click here to visit World Rugby's 'Laws of Rugby Union' website.

Click here for Play Rugby XV.

Touch Rugby (Touch 7s or T7s)

Touch 7s is non-contact version of Rugby 7s that can be played by men and women and boys and girls of all ages, no matter their skill level, ability, or previous experience in Rugby. It is the ideal format for those who want to learn the basics of the game and is taught in public schools Australia-wide.

Touch 7s gives participants a safe and fun environment to have a high intensity workout. It’s the best way to get fit and have fun with your family and friends.

Touch 7s has been introduced to bring new participants to rugby as well as give current players a social format to get involved in. Touch7s allows juniors to learn the nuances of the sport, while practicing the basics, in a fun and safe environment. It allows for people of all abilities to explore their creative side.

Laws TBC

Click here to Play Touch 7s.

Rugby Tens

Ten-a-side Rugby is also played and is usually called ‘Tens’. Like in Sevens, there is more space available than in XVs rugby, but there are two extra forwards and one added back. The game uses the same Laws as the fifteen-a-side game but with some slight variations:

Click here to download the World Rugby Laws of the Game 2018 (inc. Rugby Tens variations from page 121) in PDF format.

Click here to visit World Rugby's 'Laws of Rugby Union' website.

Beach Rugby

Beach Rugby is a fun game that can be played with minimal resources and equipment.

The game is fast-moving and suitable for boys and girls of all ages to play together while lapping up the sun and sand.

Wheelchair Rugby

Wheelchair Rugby is a mixed team sport for male and female quadriplegic athletes invented in Winnipeg, Canada in 1977. It combines elements of rugby, basketball and handball. Players compete in teams of four to carry the ball across the opposing team's goal line. Contact between wheelchairs is permitted and is in fact an integral part of the sport as players use their chairs to block and hold opponents.

Wheelchair Rugby players compete in manual wheelchairs that are specifically designed for the sport to ensure safety and fairness. To begin playing, any manual wheelchair may be used, although the game is easier when played in a lightweight sports wheelchair mandatory for international competition.

The game is played with a white ball, similar to a volleyball and is played indoors on a regulation sized basketball court. Four cones, pylons, or markers are used to mark the goal lines. A game clock is also required; any clock used for basketball, handball, or other similar sports will be sufficient.

To be eligible to play Wheelchair Rugby, individuals must have a disability which affects the arms and legs. Most players have spinal cord injuries with full or partial paralysis of the legs and partial paralysis of the arms. Other disability groups who play include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, amputations, polio, and other neurological conditions. Men and women compete on the same teams and in the same competitions. Players are assigned a sport classification based on their level of disability; teams must field players with a mix of classification values, allowing players with different functional abilities to compete together.

Wheelchair Rugby is a Paralympic Sport currently played in more than 40 countries and presided over by the IWRF, which includes three zones: the Americas, with six active countries; Europe, with 14 active countries; and Asia-Oceania, with six active countries.

Click here to visit our section on Disability Sports Australia.