FAQs - Match Approvals and Permission to Tour

Who is covered by the Regulation? The Regulation covers clubs in membership of the Scottish Rugby Union, affiliated Scottish schools and visiting clubs/schools during their stay in Scotland.

Do we have to apply for approval for every fixture? No. Whilst Scottish Rugby reserves the right to approve any fixture, approval is only normally required where:

  1. The match involves clubs/teams from more than one Union (e.g. a Scottish club going on tour, a Scottish club hosting an incoming touring team or two incoming teams wishing to play a match in Scotland); or
  2. The planned match is during the Summer rugby break (known as “Close Time”); or
  3. The match involves a non-club team, such as those sometimes drawn together to mark a special occasion or for a charity match (“Scratch Teams”).


How do we apply for Permission to Tour? There is a standard form on our website. The form should be completed under the authority of your club committee.

When should we apply? Clubs are advised to apply as early as possible, and at least four weeks before the departure date, as we will require to obtain the approval of the other Union(s).

Do we need to apply if we are only visiting England, Wales or Ireland? Yes. Whilst there is an informal arrangement between the “Home Unions” that permission will be granted, approval is still required under the relevant WR Regulation.

What are the consequences if we don’t apply?  If you tour without permission your club may be subject to misconduct proceedings. The tour party will also not receive the benefit of the free travel extension available under the Club Accident Insurance Policy. 

We have an incoming touring team. What should we do about Tour Approval? You should let us know by using the form on our website and the visiting team should apply for permission to tour from its own Union. Your visitors’ Union will ask the SRU to approve the match against your club/school. We will send you a copy of the approval when granted.

Matches during the Summer break “Close Time”

Why is there a summer break from matches? This is a player welfare issue.

Does this mean that my club needs permission to train in the summer? No. The ban is from playing matches. If you want to hold training / practice sessions then this is fine.

Does the summer ban on matches involve all forms of the game? The summer break includes XV’s, tens and sevens - both adult and age-grade. It does not involve other forms of the game recognised by World Rugby (such as Touch, Tag and Beach rugby).

How long does the summer break last? The exact dates each year are set out in the National Competition Rules. During 2016 Close Time will run from 22 May to 4 August 2017.

What are the consequences if we don’t apply? Your club may be subject to misconduct proceedings.

Can we apply to play a match in Close Time? Yes, permission may be granted if there is a good reason why the game must be played in Close Time. Please use the application form on our website.

Matches against Scratch Teams

What is a “Scratch Team”? A Scratch Team is one which is not part of a SRU member club or a SRU Affiliated School, or for which permission has been granted for an incoming Tour or is a representative team of any Union in membership of World Rugby (WR). Scratch teams are often formed to play charity matches or in relation to special one-off events.

Why is permission required for Scratch Matches? Under WR Regulations Scottish Rugby is obliged to be able to regulate all rugby union within our territory. We also need to make sure that all those playing the game are provided with appropriate catastrophic injury insurance cover.

How do we apply for permission to play a Scratch Match? There is an application form on our website.

What are the consequences if we don’t apply? Those involved in the match (including players, match officials and club administrators) may be subject to misconduct proceedings.

Further Information

For information on Incoming and Outgoing Tour permissions :Please contact Kathleen Munroe at [email protected] or phone 0131 346 5102.

For information on Close Time and Scratch Team permissions : Please contact Graham Ireland at [email protected] or phone 0131 346 5005.