The following are eligible to play for the Political Animals:

    • Current or former MPs, Lords, UK MEPs, MSPs, Welsh AMs, NI MLAs, London Assembly Members, Local Authority Councillors
    • Any staff member who works or has worked for any the above
    • Individuals who have stood for election to public office
    • Officers/staff of Parliament and the UK devolved legislatures
    • British staff in the European Parliament
    • Staff working in a political role for political parties on a national basis
    • Staff working in a political role for Council groups
    • Those who have stood for public office. This now includes Police Commissioner candidates
    • Longstanding Associate Members of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group by invitation

If you are eligible to play for the Political Animals, please contact the Club Secretary.


The Political Animals play a modified version of rugby league, designed to enable older players and those who haven’t played the game before get the most out of their on-field experience.

The Animals currently field a male side but are looking at options for club growth into other versions of rugby.

The Spirit of the Game

  • Games are about enjoyment and having a good time – on and off the pitch.
  • Rough or over-vigorous play may be penalised.
  • There is no age limitation, but both sides will agree to balance the number of under-35 players, particularly those aged 18-30. Prior to kick off, each team must state how many players aged 18-30 they have.
  • There will be attempts to balance the number of former professional players, if any.

Level of contact

Players may determine the level of contact according to the following guidelines:

  • WHITE and BLACK short players tackle normally subject to modifications (See Section 2: Tackling)
  • On attack, RED short players must be physically stopped and held.
  • On defence, RED short players must make a definite handed hold on the attacker.
  • In defence, a GOLD short player touches his opponent: he stands at the point of the tackle and raises his hand to indicate the tackle to the referee. The tackled player MUST return to the point of the tackle to play the ball.
  • On attack, the defender must remove the tag from the GOLD short player. No other contact with the GOLD short player is permitted. The tackling player stands at the point of the tackle and raises his hand and the tag to indicate the tackle to the referee. The tackled GOLD short player MUST return to the point of the tackle to play the ball.


  • Players may continue to progress in the tackle until the referee has called held.
  • No lifting; no throws.
  • All tackles are to be below the shoulders.

Running with the ball

  • Players may run as hard as they wish.
  • Players may fend or hand off below the shoulders.

Play the ball

  • TWO markers are permitted.ll other defenders must retire 5 metres minimum at the play the ball.


  • Advantage is played where there is a “clean, safe transfer” of possession in case of knock on or forward pass.
  • Where there is no advantage all knock-ons and forward passes result in a scrum.


  • No pushing/pulling in scrums is allowed to avoid injuries (it is accepted that teams will win their own ball back i.e. scrums go with feed).
  • The scrum half must not follow opposing scrum half around the base of the scrum.


  • All penalties are a tap kick on the mark, given by the referee, at point of the misconduct.
  • All defenders must retreat FIVE metres.

Number of players

  • The game is played with teams of a maximum of 13 players per team.
  • Each team can name up to 7 replacement players.
  • Unlimited interchanges are allowed. Interchanges may occur at any time.

Duration of games

  • A game is normally of 50 minutes duration.
  • There will be a half time interval of 5 minutes.


  • Sin Bin: FIVE minutes – player stands in his in-goal area behind the posts.
  • Sending off: Player is excluded for rest of the match.