Growing Rugby Players:

Position Specific Skills:

ARU Functional Area

Community Rugby

Policy Title

Player Pathway Policy

Policy Reference

COM008 Australian Rugby Player Pathway Policy


  • All junior teams ages U6 – U12 years competing in competitions managed by the ARU, member and affiliate unions must play under the laws of the Australian Rugby Player Pathway
  • ARU in conjunction with Member Unions will monitor compliance

Policy Objectives & Rationale

The philosophy of the Australian Rugby Player Pathway provides game modifications and law clarifications to maximise skill development, enjoyment and safety for individuals.

The Player Pathway consists of the following game variations:

  • U6 – Small-Sided Games, 7-aside T ag
  • U7 – 7-aside T ag
  • U8 – 7-aside T ackle
  • U9 – 10-aside T ackle
  • U10/U11 – 12-aside Tackle
  • U12 – 15-aside T ackleThe Australian Rugby Player Pathway comes into effect in the 2011 season nationally.

Impacted Parties

Member Unions and their affiliates, clubs and players, coaches and match officials and Affiliate Unions


ARU Community Rugby

Communications Strategy Outline

GM, Community Rugby to communicate to Member Unions and Affiliates Unions

Related Policies

ARU Insurance Scheme (COM002)

Approved By

Board – 10 December, 2010.



The Australian Rugby Player Pathway has existed for players aged 6 to 12 years since 1991 and has as its aims to:

  • Keep it simple, free flowing and enjoyable;
  • Let the players develop skills with safety;
  • Discourage any dangerous actions or unsafe practice;
  • Adopt an educative, positive reinforcement approach;
  • Ensure that players receive an equal chance to participate regardless of ability;The Australian Rugby Player Pathway for 2011 seeks to reinforce these aims by providing new and innovative game-styles that promote attack over defense and provide players with enhanced opportunities to carry the ball and run forward into space.Each game-style has a developmental skills focus which takes into account the chronological age of the modern child and their capacity for safe and achievable rugby skill acquisition.

    It is envisaged the Australian Rugby Player Pathway for 2011 and beyond will excite young players, and enable future Wallabies to learn how to play the game more easily, more enjoyably and correctly.

    The modified rugby games to be played from 2011 are summarized in the table below:


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Laws Summary U6 to U12

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