The NMCL Committee has received a number of enquiries from clubs regarding the ability of players of various ages to take part in matches.
The full RFU Regulations relevant to this (Section 15) are now available to download from this site. look under "League Info", select "Downloads", and then click on the "+Downloads" to show the documents that can be obtained. The click on the blue "Download" link against the Age Grade Rugby tag.
For U16 to U19 (i.e. Colts), pay careful attention to section 15.3.6, which says:
U16s and U17s can train and play up one age grade (including in the front row of the scrum) or two age grades (but not including in the front row of contested scrums if an U16 player is playing 15 a-side rugby), if recommended by the player’s Club or School provided that:
- in respect of club rugby, consent is obtained from the parents, guardians or carers of the player;
- in respect of Schools’ rugby, consent is obtained from the School’s Head Teacher;
- the parent, guardian, carer or the School’s Head Teacher (as applicable) is informed that it is possible that this dispensation may result in the player playing with and/or against one or more U19 players who are playing down in accordance with Regulation 15.4.3; and
- an appropriate assessment is carried out. Best practice on carrying out an appropriate assessment is set out in the Guidance www.rfu.com/Regulation15Guidance
Please review these regulations to ensure that your team is complying with them, especially when playing U16s. Under the regulations, U16s can only play within a Colts match if there are no U19s playing.