Following the Government’s approval for adapted contact rugby to resume in the Community Game from Friday 18 December, the RFU has compiled Return to Play guidance for the new game and law variations which will come into effect for match play.  Clubs can resume adapted contact training from Wednesday 2 December to give players time to prepare ahead of the permitted return to local friendly fixtures.

In brief, local friendly fixtures recommencing from Friday 18 December will have the following law variations :

  • There will be no scrums or mauls in the game
  • Instead of a scrum, the game will begin with a free kick. This free kick cannot be taken quickly
  • A minimum of five and a maximum of seven players from each team are required to form a lineout
  • A team awarded a penalty or free kick will no longer be able to choose a scrum option
  • A team awarded a penalty or free kick at a lineout can instead choose another lineout at the same mark.

There is no obligation for players and clubs to play 15-a-side adaptations – clubs can still play Ready4Rugby matches up until and beyond 18 December. This simply provides clubs with an opportunity to play adapted contact rugby should they wish.

Adapted Stage E rules/laws for Age Grade Rugby have also been approved for U7-13 and U14-18. The move to Stage E will allow the restart of Tag Rugby for U7s and U8s. The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed schools/colleges can return to playing sport in line with approved NGB action plans.

These law variations will be reviewed as the season progresses and as restrictions are changed.

Now we need to be as safe as we can be, so that we can continue the phased return to rugby for our local community without further interruptions.

You can see key updates for adult Community Rugby at

And a training opportunity for both coaches and referees in ensuring safety at the