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Go on Rugby Tour

Rugby team on tour overseas

Photo: RFU Archive

Whether you are an England international or a part time player for your local side, going on tour is a fantastic way to build team spirit, morale and identity. It provides a rare and exciting opportunity for players and coaches to get to know each other that little bit better and helps to establish a common style and purpose.

Tours often provide memories and friendships that will last a lifetime; the camaraderie and banter can be second to none. But you must consider the aim of your tour carefully.

Will the tour be seen as a development exercise for players and coaches to experiment with new training techniques in a different environment, or will the tour be solely for fun and relaxation purposes?

You must also consider when you want to go on tour. It could be pre-season, mid-season or post-season. Destination is also a key factor and must be well thought-out.

Alternatively, hosting a touring team provides an opportunity to play against new opposition and make new friends from around the world.

When planning a tour, whether overseas or hosting a team from another country, clubs, teams, and schools (of any level or any age, male or female) need to obtain RFU approval, as per RFU Regulation 10 (PDF 36KB). If you’re planning on touring with children and/or vulnerable adults it is essential that you read our Touring with Children and Vulnerable Adults Guide. If you are a school then please refer to the schools page.

If the incoming or outgoing tour is within the Home Nations (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales), RFU approval is not required (for any age or level of the tour) as this is covered by a mutual agreement between the Unions, however we do highly recommend that travel insurance is purchased if travelling to Ireland.

Applying for permission to tour overseas (clubs)

  1. Download the Overseas Tour Application form (PDF 164kB).
  2. Fully complete this form. You will need to obtain approval from the Host Union of the country you are visiting. We will need the name and position of the official from the Host Union. For this you should get assistance from your host club, or contact the host union directly. Details of worldwide Unions can be found on the IRB website www.irb.com.
  3. Clubs that are affiliated to the RFU will be insured by the RFU’s Death & Catastrophic injury insurance for playing rugby whilst on tour providing RFU approval has been granted and your policy is up to date. Please note that this insurance does not cover temporary injury, loss of earnings, medical and legal expenses or any other type of injury not mentioned in the policy. However you will need to obtain travel insurance (which will cover you for any repatriation costs should a player become injured during the match and need specialist travel home) and we recommend this is obtained through Marsh Insurance – 08442 090413. They can also be reached via email at rugby.football.union@marsh.com. Details of Marsh insurances policies can be found here.
  4. Send your fully completed application to your Constituent Body (CB) (PDF 262KB) for their endorsement e.g. Eastern Counties RFU. Please note it is important to keep a hard copy.
  5. The CB will check that your form is fully and correctly completed and once endorsed by them will forward on to the RFU (Rugby Events & Competitions Department) for processing. An official letter will then be sent to the Tour Manager, as specified on your form.
  6. Please be aware that during peak times (January-May) RFU approval may take up to four weeks to process due to the high volume of tour applications and will be processed in order of date of travel. To ensure that you obtain your RFU approval on time, you must send in your tour application at least one month in advance.
  7. Lastly, have a great tour.

Applying for permission to host an incoming tour (clubs)

  1. Download the following Incoming Tour Application form (PDF 244kB).
  2. Fully complete this form. You will need to obtain approval from the Union of your visiting team. The visiting team should assist you with providing this information. We need the name and position of the official from the visiting team’s Union. Details of worldwide Unions can be obtained from the IRB on their website www.irb.com.
  3. The Appendix Schedule 1 must be signed by all players and officials from the touring party who are 18 and over. This does not include parents or players who are under 18 – in this instance the coach and officials from the visiting team must sign on behalf of the players.
  4. Send your fully completed application to your Constituent Body (CB) for their endorsement e.g. Eastern Counties RFU. Please note it is important to keep a hard copy.
  5. The CB will check that your form is fully and correctly completed and once endorsed by them will forward on to the RFU (Rugby Events & Competitions Department) for processing. An official letter will then be sent to the Tour Manager, as specified on your form.
  6. Please be aware that during peak times (January-May) RFU approval may take up to four weeks to process due to the high volume of tour applications and will be processed in order of date of match. To ensure that you obtain your RFU approval on time, please send in your tour application at least one month in advance.

If you would like more information regarding touring please contact the Rugby Events & Competitions Department at Twickenham via email at tourenquiries@therfu.com or take a look at the Tour Resources & Forms page.

Note: For season 2013 – 2014, Age Grade Rugby (U7s to U18s) runs from Saturday, August 31, 2013 until Monday, May 5, 2014. To comply with the regulations, all incoming age-grade tours must be played within these dates.