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Flexible Formats

Rugby union prides itself on being a game for all shapes and sizes – and to commit to this the RFU has redefined the game. The traditional 15-a-side game is still the core but now an even wider profile of young people and schools can get involved and supported. New, even more flexible formats of the game such as sevens, touch and tag are now on the menu.

Sevens in Schools

A player drops the ball during a game of touch rugby

Photo: RFU Archive

Confirmed as an Olympic sport from 2016, sevens is now a major part of the game with full-time professionals and specialists at the top level. Seven-a-side rugby is growing quickly for schools too with a great programme of festivals and tournaments around the country. Sevens is traditionally, but not exclusively, played in the spring term.

It has great benefit for schools starting out on their rugby journey and is the preferred format for the development of girls playing in schools. Many established schools have a full programme taking in the spring circuit of county and invitational tournaments. This culminates in the historic National Schools Sevens at the end of the spring term.

Rosslyn Park Sevens in partnership with the ERFSU

From its humble beginning in 1939, the National Schools Sevens, in association with Rosslyn Park FC, has evolved into the world's largest sevens rugby tournament. With the event growing year by year, some 7,000 boys and girls aged 13-19 compete in the tournament annually. In 2010, the event formed a partnership with ERFSU to further extend the scope and profile of the Sevens.

For more details, please visit the National Schools Sevens website.

Touch Rugby

Touch has been used for years as a tool for players to learn some of the fundamentals of the game and as a warm up or cool down activity. It is now a format in its own right with masses of flexibility for teachers and students themselves to pick up and run with!

In schools it provides a chance to play the game at any time of year – but especially in the sunshine – for young people turned off by the contact element of the traditional game. The new O2 Touch programme is available in schools and specifically aimed at Year 11 and above to encourage this group focused on their academic studies to continue to be physically active. By choosing this fun, flexible and informal activity, they are able to play at a time to suit them working around their studies with a minimum of training and organisation required.

For details, support and ready-made promotional resources, please visit the O2 Touch programme pages.


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