a) All players must be selected in fair rotation for matches whatever their skill level, but with due regard for the safety of the individual. Consideration must be given to the needs of developing players' experience and morale over considerations of performance.

b) Preferential selection, where a choice has to be made, will be given to those players with good behavior and attendance record rather than necessarily to the best skill level.

c) Half time substitution should be made wherever and whenever possible with the express permission of the Referee and opposition Coach, this ensures that all players get their turn.

d) League, Cup and Tournament matches pose different problems. In this situation the Coaching team should select the strongest squad available due to the fact that their team could meet strong opposition. This action is taken to protect the weaker/less skilled players who may get injured or have their confidence broken.

e) With the structure of single age groups, numbers of available players may be a problem; players will however play within their age groups except in special circumstances in which strict adherence to the provisions of the RFU Continuum will be applied. In these circumstances the Academy Player/Coach Development Panel will be consulted to ensure this adherence.


In order to clarify, we would expect that in training, normal games and triangular fixtures, ALL players get a similar amount of time being coached and playing games. In fact these games give Coaches a great opportunity to try players in different positions and also a chance to rotate players from different squads i.e. from B to A and vice versa. All players within in a squad should be given both the same amount of time and levels of Coaching.

Players should NOT be selected by reputation alone!

Regarding Festivals, as you are aware there are 'A' Festivals and also Emerging Festivals. The squad selection for an 'A' Festival should be the strongest available, however there will always be players who are on the fringes of the 'A' squad and these players should be rotated in order to give them an opportunity to experience an 'A' Festival. Emerging Festivals should be used to give those players who are not automatic choices for 'A' Festivals, are new to the game or who have a lower skill level. The Emerging Festivals are a great opportunity for all players within a squad to experience the highs and lows of Festivals. Remember to always travel with the maximum squad number allowed for these Festivals.

If you are fortunate to have a large squad, please remember to make provision for adequate coaching cover for training those players not attending the Festival, and if necessary contact the Coaching Development Panel to see if we can assist.

It should always be taken into account that all Players develop both mentally and physically at different rates, and therefore this should be considered when selecting squads as some players may develop their skill set a lot over just one season! The Youth Academy policy is for an inclusive game with Rugby For All. The development of ALL players should be paramount, as we wish to retain ALL our players in our great game for the current season and beyond....

If you have any questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or the Coaching Development Panel.

Head Coach - Andover Rugby Football Club Youth Academy.

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