Learn to play Rugby at Rugby School this summer

The sport of Rugby derives from football. It was named ‘Rugby football’ after the game invented at Rugby School in 1823, when one of the students, William Webb Ellis, supposedly picked up a soccer ball and ran forward with it ‘showing a high disregard for the rules of football as played in his time’.

According to those rules, if you caught the ball you could run backwards from the spot where you caught it before kicking it up field or passing it to someone else on your team to kick. The opposition were allowed to advance no further up field than the place where the ball was caught.

However, in both forms of the game, people were allowed to handle the ball. In those days, as schools did not play other schools but only other teams from their own school, the rules varied from school to school. Indeed, the players often had a discussion before each game to decide what the rules would be.

Whatever the legend, the truth is that the sport of Rugby football became different from Association football and spread worldwide. Indeed, in the 20th Century, rugby itself split into two versions – Rugby Union (15-a-side) and Rugby League (13-a-side). In Ireland, there is also Gaelic football and in Australia, Australia Rules Football. There is indeed an argument that Association football – or soccer – is the version that has perhaps changed the most from what was played in 1823 at Rugby School!

On the TVSS summer course at Rugby School, you can learn how to play Rugby sevens (the 7-a-side version of Rugby Union) or fine tune your skills if you are already a rugby player.

The course is run by internationally recognised coaches and will include a wide variety of different skills training. Examples of what areas you may cover are:


  • Principles of play – how to attack and defend as a team and the differences between the 15 a side and the 7 a side game.
  • Perfect performance of fundamental skills – what does the perfect passing, catching and tackling technique look like, how to do it and why is it so important to Sevens.
  • The breakdown – appropriate techniques and decision making.
  • Warm up like the professionals – complete the same warm up as international players before they play in a World Sevens Series
  • Set plays – build a powerhouse scrum and a dynamic line out to disrupt and steal the opposition’s ball. Understand how to reduce attacking teams options and to maximise the chances of turnovers.
  • Attacking frameworks – create an efficient Sevens attacking framework using width, depth and compression to manipulate defences.
  • Defensive organisation – understand how as an individual and as a team defensive organisation strategies can be used to nullify opponents attacking threats.
  • One on one defence– takes your “one on one” tackling to the next level.
  • Decision making – recognise the decisions making and technical work required at a Sevens defensive breakdown.
  • Restarts – develop kick off and kick off receiving techniques to maintain possession and exert pressure


  • Students will receive an end-of-course report and certificate.
  • Students should bring rugby kit including studded football boots, shin guards and trainers.


The Rugby course is a one week course on three afternoons a week for 3 hours per afternoon.

Dates are 13th – 19th and 20th – 26th July 2017. Students attending an English course with Thames Valley starting 06/07/17 or 20/07/17 may participate. 

 4th January 2017 /    Alice /   Schools, Culture

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