Obtaining Tour Permission

The often over-complicated process is broken down here into simple chunks. No Blazer-Brigade input in sight.

Our Guide to Obtaining Permission to Tour

Obtaining Permission to Tour from your Home Union is a vital part of the pre-tour planning process. This essential, but simple, process is often over-complicated by the Blazer-Brigade & a lack of understanding makes this box-ticking exercise a lot more daunting than it is.

Our to-the-point guide is designed to blast the jargon and give you the advice you need to get it done.

The Key Facts

Once your players are registered for your club, they are automatically Insured to play Rugby on your local circuit during the regular season. This insurance policy, organised through your Union, will include a Death or Catastrophic Injury’ clause which protects your players against such incidents during the normal season.

Obtaining Permission simply extends this insurance policy to cover the games you will play whilst on tour.

It is a notification exercise which the Union requires to ensure your players are safe to play.

If you are leaving your home country, including tours between the 'Home Nations,' you will need to complete the Permission to Tour Form. The document will ask for information on your tour games, your number of tourists & the ratio of children to adults.

This document, once complete, requires signatures from your Club Chairman/President/Secretary & your local constituent body (County or State Union).

In England, the local counties, or constituent bodies, have been delegated authority to authorise both incoming and outgoing tours on behalf of the Rugby Football Union. We do have the contacts for many of the National Bodies, so if you are unsure, please just ask.

Your application to tour should be submitted at least one month in advance of the tour. If this is not possible, don’t worry. It isn’t ideal, but we have submitted and received permission to tour within 24-hours of departure.

When authorising Outgoing Tour applications your home union will undertake the following checks:

  • Have all sections of the correct form been completed?
  • Has the Club Declaration been signed by the club?
  • Is the match schedule reasonable? (i.e. no matches on consecutive days for age-grade tours, unless the tour party is large enough to accommodate)
  • It is not the responsibility of the HOME UNION to ensure that the host Union's approval is in place prior to granting HOME UNION approval. The HOME UNION's responsibility is simply to ensure that it is comfortable with the club touring to another Union. Should the HOME UNION wish to do so they can grant approval, subject to the host club obtaining approval from their host Union.
  • Is the disciplinary record of the club such that the touring team can be considered good ambassadors for the home union and HOME UNION, and expected to uphold the core values of the game?
  • If all of the above points are satisfactorily covered, then it is reasonable to assume that the tour can be authorised.
  • If a club has any disciplinary, safeguarding, player welfare or any other concerns in relation to any of the above points or about the club generally, HOME UNIONs may consider it appropriate to withhold approval, or grant approval subject to certain conditions.

It is important to know that your hosts will also be required to complete a similar document ahead of your arrival. We will facilitate this process & provide them with the information they require.

For your own Permission to be valid, the host union needs to approve the games.

Please note, when on tour, you adhere to the regulations of the hosting country. A common misconception is the timing of tours. Should you travel to England for example, youth tour matches can only be played between September and May, in accordance with the RFU’s scheduled season.

However, if you are an English Team travelling to Spain, it is the Spanish Federation who can decide when the tour matches can take place. It is therefore false to believe you cannot tour outside of the English season.

A good example of this is when School U18 XV’s tour countries like South Africa, Australia & New Zealand in our Summer Holidays. As those tours fall within their seasons, but not ours, the games are sanctioned & are good to go.

On the flip side, if you are hosting a team who are from a different Rugby Playing country, then you must complete an 'Incoming Tour' Permission Form.

As stated above, successful Tour Permission applications extend your existing Insurance. You will need to take out a basic travel insurance policy for the tour which will meet the requirements of your home union.

When travelling to another Union, you must ensure that appropriate travel insurance is in place for the playing party. This includes cover for any non-rugby activities, legal, medical and repatriation costs as may be required.

For more information on Insurances, click here.

For tours away from your host union, it is important to remember that the club will play to the host unions rules and regulations and may face players of a different age band.

For example, in France, junior rugby age-grades are split at every two years rather than every one year in England. Therefore, an English U14 Team would play a French U15 team, as the touring English side would be too old in French eyes to play a French U13 team.

It is also the case that you will play to the Host Unions permitted season. The English season runs from September to May & is rigorously enforced. This is the case across the ‘traditional’ home nations. Other countries and developing Rugby Countries have varying attitudes to this. Do not allow your home body to tell you when you can play until you have written confirmation from the host union. See the ‘Hosts’ section above for more detail.

In advance of every tour, clubs should ensure that they are aware of those rules and regulations and communicate with the opposition to ensure a balanced and safe match.

At Sky High Sports, we insist on introducing you to your fixture hosts as soon as possible to discuss this and various other points. When planning your tour fixtures, we take ability very seriously and do everything we can to ensure you are playing like-for-like opposition.

It is the touring teams' responsibility to ensure that all safeguarding practices are followed and the Tour Manager should liaise with the Club Safeguarding Officer on this matter. Your home union should have a list of resources on issues connected with Touring with Children.