Introduction to Rugby Ready

Everybody involved in organising and playing Rugby has a duty of care in relation to the players. The Rugby Ready programme is intended to raise awareness of good practice and help stakeholders manage the inherent risks of a contact sport by putting appropriate safeguards in place.

The Game of Rugby Union

Research shows that 180 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week linked with a healthy diet can reduce the prevalence of life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and some forms of cancer. Rugby, in its various formats, provides players of different physiques, skills, genders and ages with the opportunity to undertake vigorous exercise in a controlled and enjoyable environment.

The Rugby community provides a long-term development (LTPD) programme for players of all ages with an infrastructure that supports individual players’ expectations and sporting ambitions. Players are therefore able to play the game purely for fun or, if they choose, to develop their individual skills and understanding of the technical aspects of the game from the grass roots level up to the elite level.

Rugby, however, provides more than just the opportunity to undertake vigorous exercise; it is a sport with values that develop players within a social and moral context. The Game’s core values are:

  • INTEGRITY - Integrity is central to the fabric of the Game and is generated through honesty and fair play
  • PASSION - Rugby people have a passionate enthusiasm for the Game. Rugby generates excitement, emotional attachment and a sense of belonging to the global Rugby family
  • SOLIDARITY - Rugby provides a unifying spirit that leads to lifelong friendships, camaraderie, teamwork and loyalty which transcends cultural, geographic, political and religious differences
  • DISCIPLINE - Discipline is an integral part of the Game, both on and off the field, and is reflected through adherence to the Laws, the Regulations and Rugby’s core values
  • RESPECT - Respect for team mates, opponents, match officials and those involved in the Game is paramount


The purpose of Rugby Ready

WHY is Rugby Ready necessary?

Rugby Union is a game played by two teams of 7, 10 or 15 players that physically contest for the ball and, as such, the game carries a risk of injury.

Research has identified the magnitude, nature and sources of these risks.

It is the responsibility of all people involved in the game of Rugby to understand and manage these risks within acceptable levels.

WHAT is its purpose?

Rugby Ready aims to assist in the communication and understanding of the risks associated with Rugby and to raise awareness of good practice.

WHO is it aimed at?

Rugby Ready is designed as a resource for all potential participants in the Game of Rugby, including players, coaches, match officials, parents, teachers, first-aiders and volunteers supporting players and coaches on match day and during training.

How to use Rugby Ready

Rugby Ready is available via three platforms:

1. Handbook
2. Online learning programme
3. Face-to-face course.

While any one of the handbook, face-to-face course or website are effective in isolation it is more effective to use a combination of the three platforms.

It is recommended that ALL participants involved in the Game of Rugby undertake the online learning programme.

The website allows you to read material, watch video content and complete an on-line self check test which, when completed successfully, generates an awareness certificate.

Attendance at a face-to-face course is strongly advised for those people involved in an on-field capacity in the Game – players, coaches, match officials, first-aiders, etc. The face-to-face programme will often build on the understanding you have previously gained from the online course by giving you practical, hands-on experience of the elements of the Game covered in Rugby Ready. The face-to-face course can be delivered in many formats and contexts.

Your national Union will have its own policies and procedures in place. If you want to contact your own Union, you can find their details at:

World Rugby and national Unions encourage participants to regularly update their knowledge.

Rugby Ready is applicable for all forms of Rugby, including the 15-a-side, 10s and 7s formats.


World Rugby Beginner’s Guide to Rugby

If you are completely new to Rugby, we recommend that you read the World Rugby Beginner’s Guide to Rugby Union.



This Rugby Ready product has been developed in the context of the laws applying to accident and injury prevention and medical practice in Ireland and the information and guidelines incorporated on these matters are made available strictly on the basis that World Rugby (including its operating entity World Rugby Limited and other associated entities) does not accept any liability to any person or entity for loss, cost or damage howsoever arising out of any reliance on and/or use of the information and/or guidelines contained in this Rugby Ready product.