Summary

  • In Australia, both codes of rugby league and rugby union are popular.
  • Rugby codes are very much contact sports and involve two teams whose players push, tackle, throw, kick and run to get the ball behind the goal posts.
  • There are many health benefits you can gain from playing rugby codes.
  • You can play at a local club or find a clinic for beginners
Rugby codes are popular sports that require strength, endurance and fitness. In Australia, both rugby league and rugby union codes are played. Rugby codes are very much contact sports and involve two teams whose players push, tackle, throw, kick and run to get the ball behind the opposition’s try line. Points can also be scored by kicking the ball through the goal posts for a conversion, penalty kick or drop goal.

Rugby codes for all ages and abilities

Rugby codes can be played both socially and competitively. People of all ages and abilities can get involved in rugby codes through clinics and modified rules games.

Although rugby codes are contact sports, the practice of tackling is usually only introduced to appropriate age groups. Children and younger players are introduced to rugby codes gradually, through more modified and non-contact versions of the sport.

While playing rugby generally requires strength and agility, particular positions require specific additional skills such as jumping and precision kicking.

Health benefits of rugby

Rugby codes involve sprinting, tackling, pushing and kicking. Health benefits include:
  • cardiovascular fitness and endurance
  • strength in upper and lower body
  • agility
  • speed
  • ball-handling and kicking skills.

Other benefits of rugby

Rugby codes also bring other benefits, such as:
  • team skills
  • social interaction
  • communication skills
  • self-discipline.

Getting started with rugby

You can play at a local club or find a clinic for beginners. No matter what shape, size or age you are, you’ll find a level that’s right for you.

Rugby codes are quite complex and require participants to learn many individual and team skills. The Australian Rugby Union believes that younger rugby union players should be introduced to the game through its Junior Player Pathway Program, which is designed to introduce kids to the skills and tactical concepts of rugby in a safe and fun manner.

The National Rugby League recommends mini league and mod league as appropriate modified versions of the game for children.

Avoiding rugby injuries

As tackling is the main defensive tactic, players can be prone to injuries, including:
  • shoulder joint sprains
  • hamstring strains
  • knee ligament injuries
  • ankle sprains.
You can reduce your risk of injury when playing rugby by:
  • warming up and cooling down
  • using protective equipment
  • developing your skills
  • using correct technique, particularly during contact with other players
  • enforcing and abiding by game rules.

Fair play in rugby

Playing fairly is not only important to help prevent injuries, but also to make sure you and your team mates enjoy the game. You can help increase fair play in rugby by:
  • not engaging in foul play, such as dangerous tackles
  • being respectful to your team mates, the opposition and the referees.

Where to get help

  • Local rugby (union or league) club
  • Australian Rugby Union Tel. (02) 8005 5555
  • Smartplay Tel. (03) 9674 8777

Things to remember

  • In Australia, both codes of rugby league and rugby union are popular.
  • Rugby codes are very much contact sports and involve two teams whose players push, tackle, throw, kick and run to get the ball behind the goal posts.
  • There are many health benefits you can gain from playing rugby codes.
  • You can play at a local club or find a clinic for beginners
References

More information

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Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Smartplay

Last updated: July 2013

Page content currently being reviewed.

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.