Skip to Content

Spotlight on Sport: Rugby

26 March 2018
Young boys playing a game of ripper rugby on a field

With the winter sport season fast approaching, Sport NZ is taking a look at some of the options available for kids aged 5 to 8 years old.

Whether your child dreams of wearing the black jersey or you're looking for a fun and safe way to get them involved in our national game, Small Blacks rugby is the place to start.

"Small Blacks rugby is our largest format of the game and is all about fun, friends and young children experiencing the enjoyment sport can provide," says New Zealand Rugby Head of Community Rugby Brent Anderson.

Small Blacks rugby has been designed to help players develop their rugby skills as their physical ability grows, making the game as simple and safe as possible for all Kiwi kids, regardless of their age, shape or size.

For boys and girls aged 5-6 years old, Rippa Rugby is a safe and non-contact and focuses on ball handling and running skills as well as the fun of being in a team.

As kids get older, Small Blacks rugby offers modified ways to play the game depending on age and development. This means contact rugby but with fewer players and a smaller field and ball.

"There are around 85,000 Small Blacks players, which is 3000 games of rugby every week during the season and it's great to see these young rugby players developing their skills in a safe and fun environment," says Brent.

Small Blacks rugby is played in clubs around the country, while Rippa Rugby is also offered in primary schools. And with so many kids taking part, there are always opportunities for parents and caregivers to get involved. Clubs and schools are always on the lookout for coaches, managers, helpers and supporters cheering from the sidelines.

Getting Started

A good place to find a club in your local area is by visiting the All Blacks website.  

What You Need

Kids will need a jersey, shorts, socks and trainers or boots.

Club Fees

Fees vary from club to club but fees start from around $20.

More Information

You can learn more about Small Blacks rugby by visiting

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

Get Active
Find a sport or recreation activity
Browse Directory
Sport NZ
Who we are and what we do
Information on funding
Stay updated
Me whakahoutia

Sign up to our regular newsletters that connect Sport NZ to all those involved in the play, active recreation and sport sector.

burger close icon

Stay updated

Me whakahoutia

Keep up-to-date with news, events, and initiatives across the play, active recreation and sport sector.
No thanks