Girls’ Rugby

Girls’ Rugby

Girls’ Rugby has been one of the UKs fastest growing female sports over recent years.

The growth in girls’ rugby is partly inspired by the success of England’s Red Roses, partly due to support and investment by the RFU, but mostly due to the fact that rugby is an inclusive sport, played in a welcoming environment that can be enjoyed by players of all abilities, from any background.

Growing the Girls’ Game is the RFU’s guide to support clubs to support girls to live their best lives playing rugby. This resource offers advice on how to introduce girls’ rugby at your club, how to recruit  and retain players as well as coaching and general well being advice.

Additionally, the RFU has produced a comprehensive set of guidance and assets to promote Women and Girls’ Rugby for clubs, schools and colleges HERE.

NLD Girls' Rugby

General Enquiries

For any general enquires relating to non-representative Girls' Rugby in the NLD region, please feel free to contact Siobhan and Debbie

How to get into Girls' Rugby

Rugby is a game for everyone, and the Girls’ game is growing phenomenally!

If you (or your daughter) have never played, and want to give it a try, the best first step is to go down to your local club – the ‘Clubs’ link below will take you to contact information for all clubs in the NLD region

Related Information

Guide to support clubs to support girls to live their best lives playing rugby.
BBC Article and video from the “Get Inspired” series
NLD is one of the biggest Constituent Bodies in the country and member clubs are located…
Comprises Competitive Menu, Pathway/Rep Rugby Schedule and male & female playing calendars for U12s through to…

Siobhan Peeling

NLD Girls' Rugby Lead

My name is Siobhan Peeling: I am girls' coach at Belper RUFC, I play for Belper’s women’s team and I lead on the NLD Girls’ Forum meetings on coordinating the Girls England Rugby Developing Player Pathway and girls transition to adult rugby.
If you have any items you would like to discuss at one of our girls’ forums or questions about anything to do with girls rugby within NLD at non-representative level then please feel free to contact me by email or by WhatsApp/text.

Phone: 07879 615157

Girls' Rugby Age Bandings

Following a three year review, consultation and development process between 2018 and 2021, the RFU Council agreed to change the age bandings in the girls game from the 2022-23 season.

This signals an exciting next phase for girls rugby in England. Through the superb efforts of everyone involved in the last 10 years, the number of girls playing rugby is at a point where moving from three age bands to four is a realistic and sustainable proposition. This sets up further growth of the game over the next 5 to 10 years, as part of the Every Rose Strategy.

The new age bands are at U12, U14, U16 and U18. This means the wide three year age band at U16 to 18 is no longer required and there is a single age band at U12, better supporting the transition to girls-only rugby for current and new players.

The U11 regulations will also be more flexible, enabling girls to continue to play mixed rugby; to play girls only rugby; or in exceptional circumstances, if individually assessed/approved in line with playing-up regulations, to play with the U12s.

The England Rugby Age Grade page contains more information about Girls’ Age Grade Bandings, and there is a useful FAQ document to explain the purpose and implementation of the change.

Links to the Rules of Play for the new bandings are below

Related Information

Applies to U12 Boys (Year 7) and Girls U12 Single Age Band (Year 7)
Applies to U14 Boys (Year 9) and U14 Girls Dual Age Band (Years 8 & 9)
Applies to U15-U18 Boys and U16 & U18 Girls Dual Age Bands

NLD Girls' Conference Cup

The NLD Girls’ Conference Cup has been introduced for the 2023/24 season to provide girls in the u14s, u16s, and u18s age groups with competitive playing opportunities. The aim is to bridge the gap between our popular development Pitch Up & Play events (“PUaPs”) and National Cup or representative rugby and to improve the playing experience for girls across NLD.

Participation in the Cup was opened to girls in full teams and in clusters and we are pleased to have nine teams/clusters from across our counties entered at u14s and u16s and four at u18s.

The priority of the Cup is safe participation for as many girls as possible in some version of competitive rugby. All games will be played in line with England Rugby’s Core Values and the ‘Game On’ principle. The format is a waterfall format so all teams will participate in a finals day on 28th April to round off an exciting season in girls’ rugby across NLD.

Schedule and Guidance for this season’s competitions are below, and can also be found on the NLD Junior Competitions page.

Related Information

Guidance for the 2023-24 NLD Girls’ Conference Cup
Schedule for the 2023-24 NLD Girls’ Conference Cup

Pitch Up and Play

NLD Pitch Up & Play (PUaPs) events are to give girls in the U12 – U18 age grades an additional opportunity to play rugby.  PUaPs are particularly targeted at girls who, for whatever reason, do not get to play enough rugby with their clubs.

Click the links to get more information about NLD PUaP events and to see the Age Grade Playing Calendar for the 2023/24 season

Related Information

NLD Pitch Up & Play (PUPs) events are to give girls in the U12 – U18…
Guide to support clubs to support girls to live their best lives playing rugby.
Comprises Competitive Menu, Pathway/Rep Rugby Schedule and male & female playing calendars for U12s through to…

U16 Girls' Developing Player Programme

Player Pathway from the England Rugby Development Framework

For the 2022/23 season the NLD launched a Developing Player Programme (DPP) for U16 girls.

The DPP is being delivered in association with the RFU, and is a part of the England Rugby Development Framework.  The Programme is open to girls in the U16 dual age band and is committed to providing a high quality, player development experience, which encourages lifelong participation in the game and enables those with the greatest potential to be clearly identified.

What is the DPP?

The NLD Girls U16 Developing Player Programme is part of the England Rugby Girls U16 Developing Player Programme (ERDPP). The Player Programme has been put in place by England Rugby to provide a coherent, challenging and nurturing journey for individual players and will be delivered alongside, and in collaboration with, the club, school and college game and Centres of Excellence.

When does the programme run and what does it entail?

The programme consists of a player-centred, development-driven training programme, run by an experienced lead coach with a support team, including assistant coaches and a strength and conditioning coach, supported by a competitive playing offer later in the season. It takes place over up to 40 hours up until the end of March and will be delivered primarily on weekday evenings.

What is expected of players in the programme?

The programme focuses on understanding and recognising potential and is delivered through skill development and acquisition, game understanding and the physical components that help a player unlock their potential.  Every journey is unique as no two players are the same.  The experiences and input required for each person varies and they help to develop their own development plans through self-reflection as well as coaching input.

November 2022 Update

This update on the launch of the programme was provided in November 2022.

For more information about the Girls DPP, please contact Debbie Linn at [email protected]

DPP Playing Opportunities

The last two DPP playing opportunities for the 23/24 season are:

Sunday 18 February @ Market Bosworth RFC from 2.00pm
Featuring: Leicestershire, East Midlands and NLD (squad below)

Sunday 17 March @ West Park RFC Leeds
Featuring: Durham and NLD

NLD U15s Gallery

The following pictures are of the 2021/22 NLD U15s – this was the last season of U15 representative rugby, as the programme has now been replaced with the U16 DPP (see above).

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