Male U16 – U18 Rugby Age Banding

Male U16 – U18 Rugby Age Banding

Medical research into boys' rugby strongly indicates that there is an increased risk of serious injury when U16 players play U18 rugby. It is Scottish Rugby's policy that the age at which male players are allowed to play U18 rugby is 16 years old.

An U16 player's age grade is determined by whether they were born on or between 1 September - 31 August at the beginning of each season. That age grade applies for the whole season.

National and Regional Representation cut-off dates are 1 January.

Players must only play contact rugby with players of their own age grade unless the player is permitted to play outside it. In exceptional cases, a player’s physical development, skill level and experience may be such that the player may be allowed to participate in a higher age grade. An application should be submitted to Scottish Rugby to assess whether a player should be permitted to play outside their age grade. 

Please note, U16 players who were granted dispensation for season 2016/17 do not need to re-apply for the 2017/18 season.

Male U16 into U18 Rugby Policy Document (PDF)


Players must be a minimum of 15 years old to apply to play U18 rugby and complete the following World Rugby online self-check test:

World Rugby RugbyReady self-check test

Application Procedures

Applications for Season 2017/18 are now closed and 2018/19 forms will be accepted between Wednesday 1st August 2018 and Wednesday 1st May 2019 - 2017-18 Male U16 into U18 Rugby Application Form (PDF)

Completed application forms must be emailed to the Community Rugby Administrator, Shona Stott

Email: [email protected] 

Scottish Rugby aims to have applications for U16 players in U18 rugby turned around within 2 weeks of the physical maturity test date.

Front Row

Male U16 players cannot play front row in U18 rugby until they turn 16 years old.

Physical Maturity Assessments

Physical Maturity Assessment Information Sheet (PDF)

Physical Maturity Assessment Dates 2017

Are You Ready to Play Rugby? Physical Maturity Assessments are conducted at an assessment centre set up by Scottish Rugby and manned by suitably qualified medical personnel.



Date & Time

East Lothian

None scheduled till August 2018



None scheduled till August 2018



None scheduled till August 2018


Glasgow + The West

None scheduled till August 2018


Dispensation to Play in a Younger Age Grade

In exceptional cases a player may be given dispensation to participate in rugby at a level below their true age grade. This could be  due to an existing or previous medical disability (physical or behavioural). Any dispensation, if granted, would only be valid for one season, and would only allow players to play down one age grade, in a specific team.

If a club or school wishes to apply for such a dispensation for a player they must make a written submission to Scottish Rugby, including any supporting evidence of the player's condition. The player and their coach must have completed the online Rugby Ready course (, and submissions should be signed by the player's parent or guardian and coach.

Submissions will be considered on a case-by-case basis by Scottish Rugby's medical team.

Please contact Shona Stott, Community Rugby Administrator (Email: Shona Stott Tel: 0131 346 5155) should you have any questions.