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Pathway Laws

The Welsh Rugby Union has positively changed the way rugby is played at mini and junior levels in order to help develop more athletic, skillful and attacking rugby players.

The Pathway offers a progressive way of introducing the game to young players and developing coaches. It also aims to deliver a game that is fun to play, enjoyable, stimulating to coach and promotes open running rugby.

Running with the ball, passing and having the ability to beat an opponent are the Welsh way. In order for the WRU to promote and develop these skills, the pathway has been adopted for young players in Wales.

Contesting the ball is introduced in a controlled rationale at the age of ten with the aim to help players to gain confidence in this aspect of the game.  With these skills being developed progressively at each age group, it is the WRU's belief that young players will be encouraged to stay within rugby and enjoy the benefits of the game.

The WRU Rugby Pathway also includes information and guidance for coaches to introduce and develop skills both safely and effectively.  The nature of the WRU Rugby Pathway will, it is hoped assist coaches across Wales to deliver the skills of the game in a progressive and developmental manner.  For the Pathway Laws.

‘please note that in the girls pathway, players play in a 2 year banding. Players are unable to play up or down an age band)


For the Pathway Laws 


Pathways - Frequently Asked Questions

This section is dedicated to explain some of the pathways laws that cause most confusion amongst coaches and players.  The use of video clips may help individuals understand the laws which have been developed to encourage players to develop a skill set, essential for the modern day game.


Under 9's

Q.         Can the acting scrum half run with the ball

A.         No.  He must pass the ball

Q.         Can the player pop pass from the ground once tackled?

A.         Yes, if it done immediately to encourage continuity and it does not count as a completed tackle.


Under 10's

Q         Can a player run the ball from a tap penalty/free kick

A.         Yes

Q.         Can players run from the ruck

A          No.  The ball must be passed once a ruck is formed.  The 1st player to the breakdown, can pick the ball up and run if a ruck is not formed.

Q.         Can the defenders tackle the acting SH 

A.         No 

Q.         Can the scrum half run from the scrum

A.         No.  He must pass the ball.

Q.         What happens if more than 2 players from each side simultaneously contest the ruck.

A.         Blow up. Explain the law and award a scrum to the team in possession.

Q         Can there be more than 1 tackler

A.         Yes, as long as they are below the waist


Under 11's

Q.         Are players allowed to peel at the lineout

A.         No the ball has to be passed from the lineout to the scrum half.

Q.         Can the scrum half run with the ball from the lineout

A.         yes

Q.         Can we shorten the lineout

A.         There must be 4 in the lineout, plus the hooker.


Under 12's


Q         Can the scrum half run from the base of the scrum

A         Yes

Q         Can players hand-off

A.        Yes a hand off to the chest is permitted

Q         Can we have shortened lineouts

A         No

Q         In a lineout has the ball got to be passed to the scrum half

A         Yes

Q         Can the ball be passed to the hooker from the lineout.

A         No it must be passed to the scrum-half


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