What is Ready4Rugby?

Touch Rugby players in action

A new and exciting non-contact game enabling two teams of up to 10 players to engage in training and match activity in their own club environment.

In England, grassroots rugby clubs can now play Ready4Rugby; which is essentially a form of touch rugby where there are a number of phases in mini-games of up to 15 minutes each. The purpose of Ready4Rugby is quite simple:
  • a game that rewards go forward and support in both attack and defence
  • develop players’ core skills of catch, pass and support opportunities for players to make decisions related to the game of rugby union
  • adaptable dependent on age and stage of players.

General gameplay

Minimum 6 players vs 6 players – Maximum 10 v 10 – Rolling substitutions – Ball size 3/4/5 – Maximum 15 mins continuous game time.

With the RFU approving the next stage on the roadmap for amateur rugby teams, English teams have more options to work with. So here’s the details of a new game, as there are no scrums, mauls, rucks and tackling, contact is minimised but lots of other skill-sets like: passing, kicking (below head height), evasion and support and defence enable a competitive game to be played.

  • The objective is to score a try by grounding the ball in the opponents’ in goal.
  • 1 Point is awarded for a try.
  • Defending team aim to stop the attacking team from scoring by making a touch on the ball carrier on the waist or below by two different defenders.
  • Each team has an attacking zone in front of the goal line they are attacking. Once the ball crosses the attack zone line the attacking team have 4 phases to score.
  • Teams can be mixed (male and female).

So, the time has come to put your boots back on and get back on the pitch and support your club – but what does that mean for attack and defence?


Person passes rugby ball to their right
  • After first touch tackle, the ball carrier can run, pass or kick (kick = attacking zone only).
  • Ball carrier touch tackled once cannot score and must pass to a support player to score.
  • After a second touch tackle from two different opponents, ball carrier must stop running, throw the ball above their head, and catch it before passing to a support player.
  • Pass after second touch tackle must be no more than 2 metres.
  • Dropped ball during throw above head and catch = turnover.
  •  Attacking team have 4 phases to reach their attacking zone. Otherwise = turnover.
  • Once the ball enters the attacking zone, attacking team have a further 4 phases to score. No score = turnover.
  • Ball carrier may kick the ball in the attacking zone and below head height. Ball goes dead through in goal from attacker kicking = restart to defending team on attack zone line.


  • The team not in possession of the ball must retire 2 metres to the offside line after each phase (two touch tackles).
  • Possession is turned over if the attack does not reach the attacking zone or if a try is not scored within the allocated number of phases.
  • After a try, the non-scoring team restart play with a free pass at the centre of the half-way line.
  • If a defending player throws or takes the ball into the in-goal, and a defending player grounds it and there has been no infringement, play is restarted by the attacking team on the attack zone line with 4 phases.
  • If the attacking team loses possession of the ball and it goes to ground in the field of play and subsequently moves into the opposition team’s in-goal and is made dead by the defending team, play is restarted by the non-offending team 5 metres from the goal line.

We expect the other UK countries to have similar arrangements in place very soon.

You can keep up with the return to rugby roadmap for the remainder of 2020 here.



Writer and expert