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Canterbury of New Zealand


“I decided to play rugby because I saw other girls enjoying it and I wanted to give it a try” – Aine, aged 10, Fethard Girls’ Mini Rugby Team

“Mini rugby builds confidence and self-esteem in girls. It’s a game for everyone.” – Polly Murphy, girls’ coach Fethard RFC

Find my Nearest Club

If your daughter would like to try girls only mini rugby then click here to find your nearest club

Note to Parents

The objective of Stage 1 is to introduce girls to rugby in a fun, safe and enjoyable environment. Players are children, age 6-10 years of age approx. and are introduced to the values and skills of rugby through fun activities, modified games and drills. They learn how to share and play with their team-mates, follow basic rules and improve their fundamental physical literacy skills. (For FAQ’s please see below).

Girls aged 11 and 12 also play Mini Rugby but are in Stage 2 of the Women’s Long Term Player Development.

Mini Age Bands

Boys and girls can play mixed mini rugby up until the age of U12. From U13, they are separated out in to boys and girls teams. All clubs will welcome both boys and girls, however, due to the number of new girls looking to join mini rugby across the country, clubs have been setting up separate Girls’ Mini Rugby sections.

Girls’ Mini Rugby

If your club does not have a separate girls’ mini rugby section then download our guide to find out how you can go about setting one up.

Girls’ Mini Rugby blitz’s take place throughout the country over the duration of the season (Sept – April approx.). When there are not enough girls at one club to make up a team, many areas now have club clusters, where clubs join up for matches. This ensures girls have the opportunity to play regular matches.

Girls Mini Rugby – Guidelines to Playing the Game 2020 – 2021

Parents Questions or Frequently Asked Questions

What should my daughter wear to training?

The only compulsory item is a gum shield. After that children can wear anything that they are comfortable playing in, however, we recommend a tracksuit/shorts and runners. Football boots are preferably especially when the ground is wet.

Do they play contact rugby?

All players introduced to rugby for the first time start with non-contact games. When the coach sees fit, he/she may start to introduce the contact element of the game. For those girls who start mini rugby from the age of 6, tackling is developed from U8 in a safe and enjoyable manner.

Why should I let my daughter play rugby?

The objective of mini rugby is to introduce the girls to the sport in a fun, safe and enjoyable environment. There are now over 71 clubs across Ireland who offer girls only mini rugby. This number increases each year highlighting the number of young girls who are now eager to take up the sport. Due to the nature of the game, all players share responsibility in both attack and defence therefore it is less likely that one player will dominate. As Polly mentioned above said, “mini rugby builds confidence and self-esteem in girls and it is a game for everyone”.

What if she gets injured?

The rules and guidelines to playing mini rugby have been modified to assist the growth and development of the player and serious injuries in this age group are rare. However, like all sports, injury can sometimes occur. In the first instance the coach should be made aware of any injury so that the child can be removed from play and is not putting themselves at risk of worsening the injury. All injuries should be monitored and recorded by the club. Each club should have a person trained in first aid who may be able to help in the initial stages. If you are concerned with an injury you should consult your GP or physiotherapist.

What if my child gets concussed?

The IRFU take concussion very seriously and all clubs are advised of the IRFU concussion protocol if they suspect a player of having a concussion. This includes removing the player immediately and following the return to play process (Recognise and Remove). Further information can be found at on our concussion advice page including videos for parents and for junior players.

Download Documents

Girls Mini Rugby – Guidelines to Playing the Game 2020 – 2021

Women’s Long Term Player Development

Stage 1 – FUNdamentals

Stage 2 – Train to Play