How to join a rugby club

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!


  1. 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.

  2. 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,

  3. Hi,

    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,


    1. 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.


  4. 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 🙂

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

  6. 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.

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    1. I am a Nigerian, a 20yr old guy, am interested in rugby as a sport, I will be glad if this opportunity is giving to me
      am of a normal height, Strong, and muscular guy will all my physical asset I think I can bring out something cool in rugby game, j love rugby sport a lot ….

  8. 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. . .

  9. 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 *******

  10. Bula,
    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

    1. am allan from Kenya I play several positions that is scramhalf,flyhalf and sweeper. I’ve played for at least three years. I would like to join the team and work harder

  11. 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

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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.

  20. hi am moses goba i like rugby and i want to joing rugby to became a super star. am 24 years old am staying in kampton park pleace halp me i want to play rugby

    I want to join rugby

  21. my name is kalu shedrack agwu from Africa Nigeria I play right wing in a rugby club here but I need a transformation in my life, playing rugby in a big & outstanding way hit me on +2348125030012 thanks.

  22. i would like to joint one rugby union,and league club in overseas any one can help me please,utilty backline .bill

  23. Hi

    Iam joab ombwayo and am much more interested in rugby. in high school i used to play center becouse i was strong and i played with all my determination of winning i never let my team down..and now i am looking for a club to join.becouse i no i have that capability and potential of playing and making difference

  24. I would like to join a rugby club am coming from eastern cape now I moved to cape town and I want join a rugby club here in cape town I was playing it in eastern cape

  25. My name is Anele i want to play rugby because its my dream ever seens i was born but in my community its mostly soccer.Its very diffcult to find a rugby club in my area

  26. hello my name is Muhammed Jamiu Jeje, i am a talented Rugby player with some litle skills, but it’s so hard for me to train becurs i dont have standerd team,Rugby grows in my heart i always ask how will i get a good standerd team to become what i whant, i need help.

    1. Hey there I’m 14 years old and I want to join a rugby club I live in Zimbabwe and at my school i play for scrum half what do i do if i want to do the real thing?

    2. Hey guyz my name is Dumisani Gumede I am 14 years of age. I have a burning passion for Rugby. I didn’t know what I wanted to be in life until the 1st time I saw Rugby at my School. I live in Zimbabwe:Gweru. I would really like it if you find me a rugby club that pays great amount of money so that at least I can take care of my mother

  27. Hey my name is Akhona Munez Mango am frm Eastern Cape in Butterworth i would to join a Rugby club its been 5years playing rugby at my location en School i’m having an imagination of playing Rugby

  28. Guyz I’m From Cape Town In Costancia I’m Looking For Rugby Team I Want To Join The Team

  29. Im kasa and im 22 years old i really love rugby nd soccer any COACH who needs players im available with my friend.

  30. I have always wanted to join a rugby team ever since I have been in my high school life now since I’m 19 and matriculating my fitness is getting on point yearly.I would like it if u can find me a rugby team befor the end of this year

  31. Hey guys,

    I am ganpath. I have this question that is been bugging me for a while. How do you know that rugby is the sport for you before you join a club? In other words, I don’t want to spend money to join a club and then quit because I am not interested or because it doesn’t suit my capabilities. I have a rugby team in my country, but should I join just to see if it is good for me or are there other ways you can test yourself? Thanks

  32. i like to join a rugby but i dnt knw hw can i call my name is thabo 4rm limpopo my no 0606592440 so call me

  33. Hello. Nice article, I came across it and thought you could help. I’m looking for a team to train with in Cape Town or Johannesburg. I’m a beginner but I catch on quickly. Will appreciate any recommendation. Thanks.

  34. I am a girl aged 17years old,very strong and very energetic, I have just moved to Capetown from Zimbabwe and hoping to stay here for the long term. I love rugby and I am looking for a club to join. I am perfect at the sport and my position is right wing or second centre. Please advise.

  35. I would like to play rugby lam very big in terms of body strnght and can also run fast and l would like to play at the back and as a flank and if l can find a team next year l will be going to varsity in durbun

  36. i m Thabang i m 18 years old and want play rugby i have played for my school and after i joined a club at polokwane i played for the club for 1 year and this year i visited SA IRB AT POLOKWANE I love rugby i always watch it on tv

  37. My son (13) plays for our local rugby club
    He can only join if a parent also joins at a cost of £160, I paid it last year, begrudgingly !!
    This year I’m faced with it again
    I have no interest in the club facilities as a member, and resent the cost, as well as the kit which i’m happy to pay for , it s costly business !!
    is this usual ? Or just money grabbing

  38. I want to join any rugby club. I won the most valuable player of the sesson in 2015 in morroco. Contact me leonardmunzi at

  39. I am a 15 year old boy,and i what to be a professional rugby player one day.As a sport person i would like to have an academy that will help me overcome my dreams.

  40. my name is katlego letlotse am 17 years old and i live in botswana but waiting to transfer to zimbabwe .i am a very experienced rugby player who played for the vultures (botswana national team ) on the past cossasa games and we won silver .

    i play as a wing,forward,and center but the most spot that suits me is the wing and forward due to my fast feet and fit body to run opponents over .

    i will be waiting for your reply on signing in a new club at zimbabwe .i hope my request was a success and made smile on your faces

  41. my name is Lama i am nineteen years old and i really want you to join me in any Rugby team where i can prove myself because where i am we don’t have standerd training neither proper equipment, so i would glad if you accept my request thank.

  42. Rugby is the most game i like in my life I really wish to be a part of it with all my heart I would be so happy if I you could find me a team to join.

  43. Hi am 22 years old I played rugby at secondury school so I’ll like to join one of any rugby club because am aware according to my phisique there’s nothing more important in my life than rugby.. 3 years ago I was one of top 10 in power lifting development south africa at itsoseng but now I live in lichtenburg north west..

  44. Good day
    I would like to know if you can assist in finding a club for my son who is 13 years going on 14 in December,we currently residing in khayelitsha Cape Town.

    kind regards

  45. l am moses rono,17year and lam lnteresting with rugby in kenya.Furthermore lwish join it.My number is0714199139.sow help me

  46. Am kelvin from Kenya a great rugby player…I have been able to take my school team to the national level as the captain and also awarded as the best player…..I would really appreciate if any team would help me achieve my rugby career and I promise to never let you down

  47. my name is felix efula 26 years old, plays forward in the local amateur team for four years now but seeking to play in a better and competitive arena, i am a Nigerian, west African, hoping to play professional, i am 5f.7,


  48. Hey my name is arthur maluwa l live in Zimbabwe l just see your club in the net seems like a good club …so l want to join

  49. My name is Ibrahim Osman Kanu from Sierra Leone Freetown West Africa I have started playing Rugby since 2012-2017 .I’m a prop

  50. Hey my name is Arthur s maluwa
    Live in Harare …zimbabwe and am 19 year old since l was at primary school l was want to play rugby but the problem here in zimbabwe we don’t have much support .in class am not really good l found out that my talent is on rugby can you please help me l need to find a rugby club that can change my life . please help me

  51. Hi, I’m mid 30s, male and very interested in learning the game, I recently moved to Leeds and am in search of a club that accommodates beginners.

    Can anyone help out with suggestions on where I should look?

  52. Hi im junior from fiji asking for sporncer ship in a club to come and play , i had been playing rugby since my school days and im a utility player from 11,12,13,14.15 and i played big (seven) tournament in fiji , i hope that u will fulfill my level of rugby

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