Getting Your Kids Into Tag Rugby


Tag rugby or “Rippa” rugby as known in New Zealand is a great introduction for kids willing to get into the sport and learn the overall foundations of the game.

Rippa rugby was launched throughout New Zealand in 2003, with the aim to provide a safe, enjoyable and easy way to learn the game for young players. Ever since the launch, the game has become extremely popular and has developed players into stars for the future and acted as an ideal stepping stone to contact rugby.

When getting your child into the game, it’s important to choose the right rugby club and have the correct equipment necessary for the game.


Whether you live in a small town or city location, you have the option of choosing which rugby club your child joins. In some areas there are only a few clubs available, limiting your options. Make sure you pick the right club for your child which has a schedule which suits you and your family. Keep an eye on your local newspaper for weigh in times and open days which you can sign your child up to play. Depending on your location, the club nearest to you maybe the easiest option. It makes it easy when taking your child to practice, home games etc. Some primary schools are linked with clubs. Some clubs may provide notices through school of open days, weigh ins etc. Check to see if any clubs are affiliated with your child’s primary school.


Subs are annual fees you pay to join the rugby club which covers registration, mouthguards, resources and equipment etc. With some clubs they offer an incentive if you pay subs before the due date. Depending on the club they may provide a free beanie or bonus item etc. It’s important you pay by the due date.

Mouthguards/Safety Equipment

Mouthguards are used to protect teeth in case of contact, and are compulsory in Rippa rugby. Most clubs provide mouthguards, otherwise they can be purchased at a small expense from supermarkets, pharmacies and sports retail stores. Players will not be let on to the field without a mouthguard, so make sure your child has one.

To fit correctly, place mouthguard in near boiling water for 10 seconds then pull out with a spoon. Make sure it’s not too hot that it burns your child’s mouth. Place it in your child’s mouth and get them to bite firmly into the mouthguard. This will mould their teeth into place for a good fit. Repeat process if not achieved. If the mouthguard is too long, you can trim it back to a comfortable size which suits your child’s needs. Your child may also want to wear optional safety wear such as headgear etc.

Uniform /Team kit

The uniform worn represents your club and who your club is. Your team’s jersey is usually provided at your first training session or just before your first match, and must be well looked after. These are to be returned at the end of the year so they can be reused the next season. The rest of the uniform is at your expense.

These are the uniform requirements:

Rugby Socks – The club’s socks can be purchased from your club directly or at most sports retails stores.
Rugby Shorts – Rugby shorts can also be purchased from your club or sports retail stores. Make sure you purchase the correct size as your child will be growing regularly at this age.
Rugby Boots – There are various models and sizes of rugby boots which can be purchased from most sports retail stores. Start with basic rugby boots and upgrade as your child develops a better interest in the game.

Shop around as some stores maybe cheaper than others.

Other Items

Make sure your child is ready on game day with important items inside their sports bag. On a freezing cold day, include thermals which can be worn underneath for extra warmth and comfort. Inside the sports bag, make sure you carry a drink bottle so your child can have keep hydrated at half time and after the game.
Keep a practice ball so you can practice with your child at home.

Tag rugby is a fantastic sport for all involved and has proved a real hit throughout New Zealand communities. It’s a sport which promotes great fitness and provides real enjoyment for all. Get your child on to the field of play and have some fun!

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