Safe Rugby

Rugby Canada's Approach to Safe Rugby was developed in consultation with the Rugby Football Union and deals specifically with safety within the game of rugby.   

This material is part of the Community Initiation Contact and Comp-Intro NCCP courses. Safe Rugby can also be taught as a standalone module.


ALL Coaches and Referees must complete Safe Rugby prior to coaching or refereeing any match sanctioned by Rugby Canada. To complete this you must:

  1. First complete the Safe Rugby Course (this can be done via a Community Initiation Contact Course, Comp Intro Course - both of which have Safe Rugby as a module - or you can do Safe Rugby as a standalone module as outlined below). This will provide you accreditation. 

  2. To keep your Safe Rugby accreditation current, you MUST complete IRB Rugby Ready online evaluation and keep the PDF accreditation as proof EVERY YEAR.  


The primary aim of Rugby Canada’s Approach to Safe Rugby program is to provide coaches, referees, and club administrators with the required knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities to ensure that safety principles and best practice principles are incorporated into all aspects of contact rugby.

There are five distinct elements of the program. A number of these have sub-categories with distinct objectives of a specific nature:

1.     Duty of Care & Risk Management

2.     Balance and Stability

3.     Introduction to Contact: Tackle, Post-tackle Support, Rucks and Mauls

4.     Building Safe Scrums: Safe Scrum Formation (1v1, 3v3, 5v5, 8v8), Pre-engagement, Safe Stable and Square Engagement, Contesting for the Ball, "May Day" Protocol

5.     Injury Protocol: Injury Prevention, Care of Injured Players, Implementing IRB Regulation 10 Medical (Concussion)


·         Introduction 10-15 minutes

·         Duty of Care & Risk Management 10-15 minutes

·         Balance & Stability 25-30 minutes

·         Introduction to Contact 40-45 minutes

·         Building Safe Scrums 30-35 minutes

·         Injury Protocol 15-20 minutes

·         Summary and Administration 10 minutes

Additional Resource Materials

Course Introduction to Rugby Canada's Approach to Safe Rugby
May Day Protocol
Squeeze-Ball Technique

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