Discipline is one of the core values of rugby. The RFU Discipline team strives to ensure that rugby is a game of controlled physical endeavour and that it is honest and fair.

The RFU’s disciplinary regime reflects World Rugby Regulation 17.

It exists to penalise players whose foul play or misconduct is other than purely accidental, and one of its most important principles is to prevent the risk of injury to other players in a dynamic and physical sport.

Players have an obligation to ensure that they do not cause injury to opponents, so there is a presumption that any conduct which is proscribed by World Rugby Law 9 (foul play) merits a sanction.

The RFU Discipline Department deals with foul play and misconduct cases in levels 1-4 of the Game.

It also deals with appeals from Constituent Body Disciplinary Panels and other specific cases that the Constituent Body Disciplinary Panels do not have the power to deal with, for example, breaches of World Rugby Regulation 10 and 21 (medical and anti-doping) and RFU Regulation 21 (Safeguarding).

There are 35 Constituent Bodies to which the RFU delegates disciplinary powers. These bodies will normally deal with misconduct and foul play cases at level 5 and below.

Members of the RFU Disciplinary Panel and Constituent Body Disciplinary Panels are trained and accredited to sit on such cases by the RFU. In all cases heard by an RFU panel, a written judgment is produced and published on the website.


  • Age grade rugby guidance
  • RFU club disciplinary guidance
  • RFU Guidance to Adult Disciplinary Hearings
  • Citing Complaint Level 3 and Below Form
  • Yellow and Red Cards Levels 1-4 Form
  • Red Card Report Levels 5 Form

Click here


Oxfordshire RFU Disciplinary hearings

All Oxfordshire clubs are encouraged to have internal disciplinary procedures in place to deal with any discipline matters that may occur within the Senior or Junior sections of their club.  It is wise for clubs to make sure that all playing teams are aware that they must report back to their Club Secretary, or another nominated person,  if a sending off has occurred.  The Club Secretary or Nominated Person should then inform Jenny Bosley, Oxfordshire RFU Disciplinary Secretary, within 24 hours of the sending off.  Contact details below.

It should be noted that when a player receives a red card in a game, that player is automatically suspended from the time the red card is received.  The player cannot play again until the case has been dealt with by the Oxfordshire RFU disciplinary committee, and any suspension given has been served.

Adult Players: It is not always necessary for the player to attend a hearing.   If the player pleads guilty to the charge, then this means that the player agrees with the referees report and a papers only hearing can take place.  This means that the panel will hold their meeting over email or conference call.  Because the player has pleaded guilty, they are able to deal with the case this way and the player does not have to attend.  However, if the player wishes to make a not guilty plea then they must attend in person at a  Panel hearing, the venue will be arranged by Oxfordshire RFU (it may be the case that it will be a Zoom meeting). At the hearing, the player may have accompany them witnesses and evidence as appropriate to support their case, and at least one officer of the club should accompany the player.

There is an administrative charge of £40 for a Papers only hearing, and a charge of £60 for a Panel hearing.  Please note that the fee must be paid before the player can resume playing even if any suspension given has been served.

The club should then send their report of the hearing to the Oxfordshire RFU Disciplinary Secretary. 

Junior Players:  These should be dealt with by a clubs disciplinary committee and a report sent as above (in accordance with the current RFU disciplinary regulations).  If any help is needed please contact the Oxfordshire RFU Junior Disciplinary Secretary.


For further information:

Chair of Governance and safeguarding