Under 12

Under 12s Rugby at Thornbury Rugby Club

The Under 12 Rugby Team in Thornbury  is a fun and social group of boys from School Year 7.

The Under 12 Rugby Team come from lots of different local schools in the area and they get to know each other through their rugby training sessions and the games they play. We train or play a game against another local side on Sunday mornings between 10.00am and 11.30am during the rugby season.

Under 10 rugby Thornbury Bristol

We have new players start with us every rugby year and not always at the start of the season so if you’re interested in starting rugby get in touch and you can start with us any time you want. We are always looking for new players to join us and you don’t have to have played rugby before as the coaches and team will support your child to understand the rules and learn the skills they need on a progressive basis to play.

In their first training session with us we ensure they understand the basic rules, how to tackle and how to be tackled. Our coaches take as much time with them as they need to ensure they have the right skills before they train or play in a match and this continues for the first couple of weeks if they haven’t played rugby before. They can come to a couple of training sessions before a membership commitment is needed to make sure it’s something they want to do. There are no weekly fees, just an annual subscription fee of £55.

The rugby season starts in September and normally finishes for the summer sometimes in April. You aren’t expected to come to every session or game if you have other things on. It is important that your child attends as many training sessions as they can as this is when they learn new skills, tactics, strategy and formations with their team and where they get to put everything they’ve learned into practice.

As they move up into the next age groups, new skills and elements of rugby are added and there is also a week day evening training session during the rugby season.

About the Coaches

We have 4 coaches in the Under 12’s team and they work with the children in a supportive way to help them to learn new skills and have fun in both games and training sessions. Our coaches are parents of team members and are all DBS checked. They attend RFU coaching courses, ‘Play it Safe’ which are safeguarding courses, as well as coach the coach sessions which are run by the Thornbury 1st coaching team held throughout the year. These help them to plan training sessions, learn new skills for refereeing and learn new and better ways of coaching.

Rugby Football Union (RFU)

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the governing body for Rugby Union in England.

The Team Environment

The environment within the Under 12 Rugby Team in Thornbury is supportive from the coaches, players and parents. It’s fun, progressive, nurturing, team-focused, respectful, skill-focused and out in the fresh air, focusing on keeping fit and having fun whether it’s a training session or a game.

RFU New Rules for the Under 12 Thornbury Rugby Team’s Season


Players and match officials must ensure that the following Rules of Play and RFU Regulation15 https://www.englandrugby.com/governance/rules-and-regulations/regulations are observed when playing rugby at the Under 12 age.

Under 12’s Rules of Play set out below are part of the Playing Pathway that aim to equip players with the skills they need to safely enjoy rugby union. The Age Grade Rules of Play detail the level to which children of each can play to, coaches and match officials are encouraged to discuss necessary or desired pre-game and in-game modifications that reduce the playing level with the view to provide more appropriate learning opportunities.

Any terms defined in these Rules shall have the meanings set out in the World Rugby Laws of the Game
The key elements of the Under 12’s Rules of Play use the U11’s until February 2022:
• Team numbers: a maximum of 9-a-side
• Maximum pitch size: 60 metres x 43 metres
• Ball Size: 4
• Maximum minutes each half: 20

• Introduction of the contested strike
• Nearest 3 players in a scrum (all players trained, late specialisation)
• Contest for the ball (2 players v 2 players)
• Introduction of tactical kicking and kicking restarts

Kit Provided

In the Under 12 Rugby Team, we provide the team playing shirts which we pay for through local fundraising which the team and parents get involved with and really enjoy. We have bag packed in Tesco’s, held cake sales and run raffles and all the team love getting involved, knowing it is working together to pay for their shirts. We have some fundraising to do this year and this will happen throughout the season.

Under 10's Rugby Team fundraising by packing shopping bags at Tesco (Thornbury)
Under 12’s Rugby Team fundraising by packing shopping bags at Tesco (Thornbury)

We use training aids in the training sessions and these all help improve the team’s fitness, skills, confidence and abilities when playing.

Kit Needed

Every player in the Under 12 Rugby Team in Thornbury has to wear a gum shield for training sessions and games. We sell them (and other rugby kit) in the clubs kit shop if you need one which is open most Sunday mornings. Players aren’t allowed to train or play if they don’t have a gum shield.

Rugby boots are essential as they progress but if they are just trying it for a couple of weeks then they can wear trainers, however, be aware it can be really muddy and slippery without rugby boots.

Tracksuit bottoms and a top are fine when trying it out but when they start fully with us they should have rugby boots, shorts and long rugby socks as well. Layers are advisable as it can be cold and a wet top (hoodless) is advisable for the wet weather, base layers are great for keeping warm. Some of the children wear scrum hats but again this isn’t essential and is entirely optional. Again, the club has a kit shop on a Sunday when the Juniors train and play where you can try on sizes and buy Thornbury Rugby branded kit, although this isn’t essential, you can go to a sports shop to buy what you need.  

Typical Training Sessions

The Under 12 Rugby Team in Thornbury sessions are every Sunday morning throughout the rugby season 10.00 – 11.30 am. Typical training sessions are based on learning new skills needed in a game, working as a team, having fun and building confidence. The skills might be learnt as a team or they can be split into smaller groups with a game at the end of the session to put what they’ve learnt into practice.

First Training Session

When your child first starts training with the Under 12 Rugby Team the coaches will introduce themselves, introduce them to the team and talk to them about the basic rules of the game. They will find out a bit about them, if they have played rugby before and what they enjoy. They’ll teach them how to tackle as well as how to be tackled and will take as much time with them as they need, ensuring they have a basic understanding before they train and play. The coaches use other team members to help when a new team member starts with us and they will repeat it as many times or sessions that they need for both skills and confidence.

Typical Games

Games can be held at home or away at other clubs in and around Bristol and South Gloucestershire. We use the SPOND communication app for our fixture list and communication which is really easy to use and ensures we all keep in touch.

The kitchen and bar are open in the clubhouse every Sunday morning if you want to go in for a coffee before training or after a training session/game which a lot of families love to do. When we play another side at their club they normally provide them with sausage and chips or something similar, and the team enjoy eating together and talking about the game they’ve just played.


We take part in a couple of Festival / Tournaments throughout the season and there is often one arranged at the club when clubs from around the area all come together to play each other. It’s a great way for the team to plays lots of games in one morning which builds their team skills, rugby skills as well as spending time together having fun. Festival Tournaments normally start at 10.30 and finish anything up to about 2pm.


Every other year the Under 12 Rugby Team go away on Tour with other Thornbury age groups and it is entirely optional if you want to attend. We’ve been to Ladram Bay in Dorset for our last two tours and stayed in their static caravans on site. We normally have a social get together on Friday evening, the team play a game at a local rugby club on Saturday and we have a fun themed night on the Saturday evening which the kids and parents love. We then play another local team on the Sunday morning and either go home afterwards or go back to the site to enjoy the facilities. It’s a fun weekend and not only gives the children time to enjoy together but also gives the adults time to socialise as well.

Under 12 End of Season Awards

At the end of each season the club hosts a family fun day where all the age groups have a training session and then food, entertainment and music are provided to celebrate the rugby season. The Under 12 Rugby Team in have awards at the end of each season and these include; Players Player (voted for by the individuals in the team), Best Player and Most Improved Player (voted for by the coaches). The individual winners are awarded a trophy with their name engraved and the year which they then hand back for the following season awards. Every player receives a medal or certificate to thank them for their hard work throughout the rugby season.

Duty & Parent Support

2-3 times a year each age group covers duty for the Sunday morning kitchen. This involves serving food, manning the bar and clearing up at the end of the session. This ensures that the costs for running the club are kept to a minimum and the membership fees are kept affordable each year with the added bonus of players and adults having access to the club every Sunday morning. Parents enjoy the duty shifts as it gives you the chance to spend time with other parents and have a bit of fun as well.

Quotes from the Under 12 Rugby Team

I really enjoy playing Rugby and making new friends. It makes me feel proud to be part of the team. I’d also like to thank the coaches for trying to make us a better team.

I enjoy and love rugby and my team, I love playing with my friends, exercising, having fun, getting muddy and being out in the fresh air. I really enjoy the training and the games.

I love playing Rugby, I love everything about it, especially tackling and rucking, I enjoy making new friends and playing tournaments. Also, I love the sausages and burgers after games and training.

I love the friends you make at Rugby, how much fun it is and the fact that anyone can play.