How to join a rugby club

By Alastair McDermott | October 30th, 2013

Rugby Union is organised and controlled by the IRBPeople are always asking “how do I join a rugby club?”

Finding and joining a rugby club is fairly a simple task. You need to be ready, and you need to find a club. I’m going to spell out some of the things that seem really obvious just so there’s nothing missed.

Being ready for rugby – your general strength and fitness

  • You don’t need to be “marathon fit” to play rugby
  • You do need to be able to run a lap or two. This will improve drastically after a couple of training sessions
  • You don’t need to be able to bench press 300lbs
  • You do need to be able to bench press 30lbs. If you’re concerned about strength, join a gym and do a general fitness programme that includes some resistance (weights) exercises.

Example: after taking a break from rugby for 3 years I spent almost 2 years getting back in shape before rejoining a club. This was a little over the top, but it’s not a bad idea to spend a couple of months in the gym working on core body strength and aerobic fitness.

Being ready for rugby – gear

At a minimum, and in order of importance, you will need a gumshield (teeth guard), boots (studs are better than blades, rugby boots better than soccer boots), rugby shorts (they’re much stronger than soccer shorts), a rugby jersey (an old one is fine), and socks (any football socks will do). You might also need a tracksuit, particularly if it’s cold.

Once you start playing with a club you might need to buy some club socks and maybe shorts if yours are the wrong colour. You don’t need to have a club jersey as you’ll be given one on match day, but it’s good to have a cheap old jersey to wear in training.

Being ready for rugby – skills and rules1

If you’re brand new to rugby you’ll need to learn the rules. You should pick these up in training and even during matches (you’re bound to give away a couple of penalties). You can improve your knowledge by reading up on the rules on the IRB website and simply watching a match on tv, especially with a vocal rugby fan beside you.

A lot of people talk about taking up tag rugby during the summer can help, but I’m not a fan of it. I’ve seen more people with broken hands in 3 months of tag rugby than I’ve seen in 16 years of the real thing.

Don’t worry too much about your skill level. You’ll be joining a club at the most junior of levels and if you’re good you will quickly be promoted up through the teams. Managers of the higher level teams in a club are always looking for replacements and new squad members. I’m looking at this from the perspective of a senior club fielding 5 mens teams, a girls team, U21s and U18s. Some smaller clubs will only have 1-3 teams so you won’t get much choice where you end up. Which brings us on to…

Finding a rugby club

Find the phone number of a club in your local area. Pick somewhere close by because you’ll be travelling there a lot. It’s also nice to be able to walk home after having a few pints! Don’t know how to find one? If you’re looking for a rugby club here in Ireland, try the IRFU branch websites via these links or on the site. Otherwise google a few placenames near you, or ask someone you think might know if there’s one around. You should be able to get the phone number off directory enquiries, and most clubs have a website these days.

Ring the club during office hours. You’ll probably be talking to either a full-time club secretary, or in the case of a smaller club, an answer machine. Leave your details and ask for a call back about “joining one of the junior teams”. Ideally what you want to do is get the name of a team manager (coach) and, importantly, the time they train at.

Next, turn up at the club at the training time, with your rugby gear (minimum: boots, shorts, socks, jersey, gumshield, tracksuit if cold weather). Go into one of the changing rooms (the one nearest the door is usually best) and tog out. Don’t worry that you don’t know anybody else. Players expect to see new people they don’t know – it happens every year especially at the start of the season (September/October/November in the northern hemisphere).

When you’re togged out, go outside and ask where the manager (the name you got from the call earlier) is. He or she is probably out warming up with one of the teams. Go and introduce yourself – say you’re looking to join a team, you’re a beginner, etc. If it’s a smaller club there might only be one group on the pitches, if it’s a larger group there may be 3-5 groups in different areas of the grounds. Ask the manager which group you should train with – it will most likely be the group he or she is with.

(If you can’t find the manager, just ask someone which group beginners should go to, jog up and just start doing what they’re doing. Someone will talk to you after a bit).

Don’t forget, people want you there – new players are always needed at clubs.

If, for some reason, you couldn’t get in contact with anybody, what you can do is go down to the club at 7pm on Tuesday or Thursday. Every rugby club I’ve ever seen has had training at those times :)

I think I’ve covered most things here, if you can think of anything I’ve missed, or need something clarified then please leave a comment or suggestion. Cheers!

Topics: rugby | 24 Comments »


I would like to join with a rugby club. I have played rugby in my home country,[SRI LANKA]. I was a prop. I have played for school, district,and provincial teams.

By Veronica Heymann on November 18th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Hi my name is Veronica and I just recently came back from Bermuda my girlfriend introduced me to Rugby by taking me to the Bermuda World Cup Classics. She’s been playing on and off for 14yrs, I instantly was floored I couldn’t believe how much I loved it. Well my reason for this is I also have an 18yr son who has played football all thru high school he’s 6’3 300lbs… a great athlete as soon as I returned home I turned the laptop on and had him you tube videos I explained what I learned from the players that I met and how intense it was and commeratery between these men he as well became hooked and since then he has been on the lap top watching video after video. Well my question is: How do I go about finding a league for him to join in Bricktown, New Jersey (ocean county) or surrounding area please get back to me.
Thank You,


Great site. I’m a huge Rugby fan since my kids started playing a few years ago. It’s the kind of sport I would have loved when I was younger unfortunately growing up in Tallaght there wasn’t many opportunities.
I’m 40 now and I was wondering if clubs would have an over 40s teams. I live in Wexford now and the Wanderers are the nearest club to me.
Thanks in advance,


Hey Karl,

Most clubs have a “Golden Oldies” which isn’t actually all that old – it’s usually over-35s. It just gives folks a chance to continue playing at a less intense level. You can definitely join them as a beginner. You could also ask the club(s) if they have a J4/J5 side – that’s a very low division (that I play) which is really just about social rugby.

Hope that answers the question – let me know how you get on.


cheers guys im 28 thought i was too old to start your comments made my mind up im gonna try find one always wanted too but didnt :)

Anyway, joining a club is fairly a simple task. You need to be ready, and you need to find a club. I

By mubasher ullah khan on June 19th, 2011 at 12:25 am

I would like to join with a rugby club. I have played rugby in my home country,[pakistan]. I was a prop. I have played for school, district,and provincial teams.

By Old Tottonians RFC on January 23rd, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Old Tottonians RFC
A10 Great Cambridge Road,Edmonton,London,N9 9EQ.
E-mail : oldtottoniansrfcoldtottoniansrfc [.at.] , oldtottoniansrfc [.at.]
Phone : +447024036790
Fax : +448447742878
Yahoo Messenger ID ( oldtottoniansrfcoldtottoniansrfc )

Attention :

We are currently scouting for new rugby players ( Professional,Semi-Professional,Amateur ),to replace some injured players. Our aim and objective is to scout for young/talented players around the world to provide an opportunity for those who are simply good or keen players that doesn’t have the right opportunity to play in the top level.

If you think you are good/experienced enough to play in the top level or knows any talented players who is, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately.

Entry requirements for interested players :

1. Players must be male and aged 18
2. Players must hold a valid national passport,the passport must be valid for a minimum of three month
3. Scan copy of international passport or national I.D Card data page and passport photograph should be scanned and sent through email attachment for identification purposes.

We will offer employment, 4 months free accommodation, gym fees and a great team culture.

ALL REPLIES, QUESTIONS AND EMAILS SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO ME THROUGH ( oldtottoniansrfcoldtottoniansrfc [.at.] ) FOR IMMEDIATE RESPONSE. We expect to get your response if you are interested. Thanks.

Best Regards,

Paul Savage

Old Tottonians RFC
A10 Great Cambridge Road,Edmonton,London,N9 9EQ.
E-mail : email hidden; JavaScript is required , email hidden; JavaScript is required
Phone : +447024036790
Fax : +448447742878
Yahoo Messenegr ID ( oldtottoniansrfcoldtottoniansrfc )

how can i9 join this club

Rugby has always been my favourite sport to play. but since ive moved to the city of bloemfontein its very hard for me to get started again. can you please help me out, i cant wait to start playing again. . .

By timothy gyekye on December 3rd, 2012 at 5:41 pm

i am a player of central and western regional team in Ghana nd im a hooker nd sometimes plays half seriously lookin for a club team to play and im a very key player in my also a student in UNIVERSITY PRACTICE SENOIR HIGH 19 years of age and a GOD fearing boy.i will be very happy if u help me of it.i want to take rugby as my full time number is *******

By Eneriko Delai on December 7th, 2012 at 1:51 am

Im 23,and studing sports science at fiji national university im a fijian with a good 7s and 15s back ground on club level
My current club is Topine Rugby Club my province is Lautoka,Fiji islands and i play flanker and wing iam good at defence and i can change attack into defence im looking for attachment in a club in the US for three months im willing to pay my own air fare iam searching for a club that would offer me accomadation and work and also spornser me.
I would love to play for USA by 2013.I believe fiji is full of talents that even leave the talented players knocking on the door of national selection
Hope for a quick responce

Hi,am a Kenyan,a country which is known for producing best rugby players,i played as a left wing in school districts and provincials,i believe i’ve got the speed and skills to make a great player,am always mentally and physically prepared during a game.If their is any interested club please call me

Hi im Johannes im from South Africa.I play rugby for to years now .I play for Young Flowers Rugby club but rugby is my sport but the club don’t pay me if there are people who can let me play,for division rugby club ill be happy.I want to make something good whit my life if you can help me you can call me at (number removed for security)

By Emmanuel Athur on July 4th, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Hi, emmanuel here, who is look for a rugby youth team to play.
Am 20yrs and studing mechanical engineering in TTI.I play as left winger in school.I think i have got the speed,skills to make a good player in a team.I am physically and mentally prepared to play.If there is any team intrested in me, please you can call me on 0269901223 and am from GHANA.

By Brandon munyonga on September 15th, 2013 at 10:54 am

Iam brandon ,i live in zimbabwe am a very good rugby player i play as a hooker ,i would like to play in your club i started playing it since i was 9 years old now am 16 please can u help me

I want to join the club am 20 years old I real love rugby sport, am wiling to play it. I leave at Durban, busy with studies

I am 21 years old talented player who play utility backline in top rugby clubs in Fiji sevens rugby and 15s competition. Played for prominent Prison Wardens club that produced big names for Fiji Sevens Team like Joji Raqamate, Ilai Tinai, Lepani Botia, etc.

With my pace and footwork skills I can unleash high level rugby tactics.

Like to play in one of your clubs

i am shaka ncube,live in lusaka,zambia and i hve played rubgy school but hoping to join ur club my position re wing and centre.

By Valentin CHIRITOIU on December 22nd, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Hello,….i am looking for a rugby team , Dublin (i leave in raheny d5 now). I used to play rugby in my country, Romania, but i quit 6 years before.I want to start it again because this sport is in my heart. Somebody know any rugby club? i’m 26 years old.

i would like to join a rugby club,i have no experience in rugby what so ever how do i go about doing so?

Am a Kenyan and I would like to join USA7s rugby team.I play wing&center,am a committed and hardworking chap,am also willing to change my citizenship when i start playing there,am truly talented in rugby but facing fare problem,am 18 years old and ready to work once i get that call up summon,please help.

i would like to join a rugby club i started with soccer and boxing so im willing to join rugby and im 29 years old


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