• Play for enjoyment and become part of the rugby family.
  • Respect the Game of Rugby and play within the Laws of the Game.
  • Accept the referees decision and let your captain or coach ask any relevant questions.
  • Play with control. Do not lose your temper.
  • Always do your best and be committed to the game, your team and your club.
  • Be a good sport. Applaud all good play whether by your team or the opposition.
  • Respect your opponent. Treat all players as you would like to be treated. Do not bully or take advantage of any player.
  • Rugby is a team sport and make sure you co-operate with your coach; team-mates and members of your club.
  • Remember that the goals of the game are to have fun, improve your skills and feel good.
  • At the end of the match thank your opponents and the referee for the match.
  • Always remember that you owe a duty of care to your opponents. Tackle hard but fairly, do not intend to hurt your opponent.
  • Winning and losing is part of sport: Win with humility lose with dignity.
  • As part of the team it is important that you attend training regularly and listen to your coach and help your team.
  • As a team sport it is important to understand that all members are important to the team!
  • Remember you are representing your team, club, family and the Game of Rugby.


  • Remember, Age-Grade Players play rugby for their enjoyment, not only yours.
  • Encourage your child always to play by the Laws of the Game.
  • Teach Age-Grade Players that honest endeavour is as important as winning, so that the result of each game is accepted without disappointment.
  • Help Age-Grade Players to work towards skill improvement and good sportsmanship.
  • Set a good example by applauding good play on both sides.
  • Never ridicule, humiliate or shout at Age-Grade Players for making a mistake or losing a match.
  • Do not place emphasis on winning at all costs.
  • Do not force an unwilling child to participate in the playing of rugby. If the child is to play, he/she will do so in good time through your encouragement.
  • Support all efforts to remove verbal & physical abuse from rugby.
  • As a spectator do not use profane language or harass referees, coaches or Age-Grade Players.
  • Do not publicly question the referees judgement and never their honesty.
  • Recognise the value and importance of volunteer referees and coaches.
  • Identify and acknowledge the good qualities of the Game of Rugby and uphold these values.
  • Remember you and your child's contribution to the Game of Rugby is very important to the IRFU and be proud of your contribution.
  • Understand the value of team sport and its importance.


  • Remember that although Age-Grade Players play organised rugby they are not miniature internationals.
  • Be on your best behaviour and lead by example. Do not use profane language or harass referees, players or coaches.
  • Applaud good play by the visiting team as well as your own.
  • Show respect for your teams opponents. Without them there would not be a match.
  • Condemn the use of violence in all forms at every opportunity.
  • Verbal abuse of Age-Grade Players or Sports Leaders cannot be accepted in any shape of form.
  • Age-Grade Players or Sports Leaders are not fair targets for ignorant behaviour.
  • Encourage Age-Grade Player to play by the Laws of the Game.
  • Spectators can contribute to the enjoyment of the event and all involved.
  • Be proud of your club and the Game of Rugby.



  • Be positive during sessions and competitions, praise and encourage effort as well as results.
  • Put welfare of Age-Grade Player first, strike a balance between this and winning / results.
  • Encourage fair play and treat Age-Grade Players equally.
  • Recognise developmental needs, ensuring activities are appropriate for the individual.
  • Plan and prepare appropriately.
  • Have experience relevant to working with young people or hold up-to-date qualifications and be committed to the guidelines in the IRFU Safeguarding Policy.
  • Involve parents where possible and inform parents when problems arise
  • Keep a record of attendance at training and competitions.
  • Keep a brief record of injury(s) and action taken.
  • Keep a brief record of problem/action/outcomes, if behavioural problems arise.
  • Report any concerns in accordance with this Policy's reporting procedures.
  • Remember that as a Sports Leader of an Age- Grade team you are acting in loco parentis and that you have a duty of care to all your Age- Grade Players.
  • Always follow professional medical advice in determining when an injured Age-Grade Player is ready to play again.
  • Adhere to policies for your club / team to agree procedures regarding discipline, injury prevention & treatment, team selection etc.
  • Be reasonable in your demands on the Age- Grade Players time, energy and enthusiasm.

Where Possible I should avoid:

  • Spending excessive amounts of time with Age-Grade Players away from others.
  • Taking sessions alone.
  • Constant communication with individual Age- Grade Players by mobile phone or email or social media forums.
  • Taking Age-Grade Players to my home and or  Taking Age-Grade Players on journeys alone in my car.


  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every Age-Grade Player and treat everyone equally, regardless of gender, disability, ethnic origin, religion, etc.
  • Put welfare of Age-Grade Player first.
  • Encourage fair play and ensure safety is paramount in all games.
  • Facilitate the playing of the game through the correct application of the laws of the game.
  • Plan and prepare appropriately, be punctual.
  • Hold up-to-date referee qualifications and be committed to the guidelines in the IRFU’s Safeguarding Policy.
  • Act as a role model and promote the positive aspects of rugby and maintain highest standards of personal conduct.
  • Be responsible for monitoring boundaries between a working relationship and friendship with Age-Grade Players.
  • Remain positive when dealing with Age-Grade players and/or coaches, parents and spectators.
  • Manage disciplinary matters appropriately, report to the Branch when necessary.
  • Follow agreed protocols regarding changing rooms.

Report any concerns in accordance with this Policy's reporting procedures, Section 4 of  IRFU Safeguarding Policy AVAILABLE for download on the following LINK:




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