Male U18 – Adult Rugby Age Banding

Male U18 – Adult Rugby Age Banding

Medical research into boys' rugby strongly indicates that there is an increased risk of serious injury when U18 players play adult rugby. It is Scottish Rugby's policy that the age at which any player is permitted to play adult rugby is 18 years old.

U18 player's age grade is determined by whether they were born on or between 1 September 2000 - 31 August 2002 at the begining 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 assessment should be carried out to assess whether a player should be permitted to play outside their age grade. 

Please note, U18 players who were granted dispensation for season 2017/18 must still apply for the 2018/19 season.

Male U18 into Adult Rugby Policy Document (PDF)


Players must be a minimum of 17 years old to apply to play adult rugby and complete the following World Rugby online self-check test before presenting to their coach at the pre-application assessment.

World Rugby RugbyReady self-check test 

Pre-Application Assessments

Players must complete the following pre-application assessments with a coach that has achieved (as a minimum) the UKCC Level 2: Coaching Youth & Adult Rugby

Overhead Squat Assessment (PDF)

Press-Up Assessment (PDF)

Tackle Assessment (PDF)

Application Procedures

Applications for Season 2017/18 are now closed and will reopen on Wednesday 1st August 2018 and close Wednesday 1st May 2019 for 2018-19 season - 

2017-18 Male U18 into Adult Rugby Application Form (PDF)

Completed application forms and World Rugby online RugbyReady certificate must be emailed to [email protected]  

Scottish Rugby aims to have applications for U18 players in adult rugby turned around within 2 weeks of receipt of the application being sent to the regional panel. 

Front Row Players

Front row players applying to play adult rugby must complete the 2017-18 Male U18 into Adult Front Row Form (PDF), supplying as much detail as possible about their front row experience. Front row players are also required to complete a specialist neck strength test carried out by a Scottish Rugby designated practitioner.

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 [email protected] should you have any questions.