There are many ways to get involved in rugby. Whether you are a young person, an older person or a wheelchair user, there are clubs and sports organisations offering opportunities up and down the country and looking to entice new players.
Schools throughout the UK offer rugby as one of the many sports played by pupils in physical education lessons, with many secondary schools running teams and taking part in inter-school leagues and tournaments. It is thought that the World Cup inspired many youngsters to want to play the game and despite the disappointing final, those involved in the sport want to capitalise on the enthusiasm and excitement the tournament created.
Union or league
Unless you are a rugby fan, you might not even know there are two different versions of the sport. Rugby league is traditionally played in the north and rugby union is traditionally played in the south, although both are offered in many locations. The reason for the two is because the northern clubs decided to pay their players in 1895; however, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) did not allow this at the time, so there was a split. They are now officially recognised as two different sports, with many fans supporting one or the other.
England’s World Cup team is keen to see more international matches played in stadiums other than the renowned Twickenham. Despite the RFU gaining financially from matches held at the stadium, it is understood that the players enjoy travelling to opponents’ grounds and believe that they benefit from the experience.
Another version of the sport is tag rugby, which involves players carrying and passing the ball without having their tag pulled. The tag is worn on the outside of their kit and is easily visible. This is often played in primary schools and is a gentle introduction to the game.
Coaches looking to inspire players can access rugby drills for both experienced players and new players through resources such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/.
Wheelchair rugby is one of only a few contact disability sports and involves chair-on-chair tackles. This sport has seen a huge rise in popularity following the London Olympics in 2012. Teams can be mixed, but there is a classification system to ensure a match in muscle function and strength to guarantee fairness and equal opposition.