As one of the world’s very first Inclusive Rugby clubs, we were established back in 1999 by men who wanted to play rugby in an LGBT-friendly environment with a zero tolerance of homophobia.

Thanks to pioneers like our founders, The Kings Cross Steelers and others, the world of rugby (and the world!) has come on leaps and bounds since then, in terms of LGBT rights and equality.

We continue to exist to lower the barriers that lots of players of any sexuality or gender still face when trying to take part in team sport and are proud that we continue to help people play the game we all love – regardless of the sex of the person they choose to love.

Anyone aged 18yrs and over is welcome to join the Village Spartans – regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, background, physicality or rugby ability. 

You don’t need to be gay to join. You just need a good attitude. 

Our aim is to maximize a player’s potential through DEVELOPMENT and GROWTH, on and off the pitch.

The Club’s playing and organisational membership is diverse – made up of members from the LGBT community, as well as heterosexual members from local Sale area, and friends or family members of our players. 

Approximately 75% of our members are homosexual and 20% are heterosexual.


The season runs from September to April. Training happens most weeks with occassional rest weeks and breaks for Christmas and Easter.

There are away matches and home games See our Fixtures Page to get an idea of how often and where we play. There are occassional weekend’s away for UK IGR Tournaments or friendlies. 

Rugby Union takes a break for a few weeks over summer but usually after some pre-Tour training sessions if we are competiting in an International tournament (The Bingham Cup or The Union Cup).   However, players and members of the club are welcome to play O2 Touch Rugby with our Touch squads whose season gets busier in Summer as Union tails off.

In July / August, Pre-Season fitness training begins with a break for Manchester Pride weekend.

Inclusive Touch training runs from mid-January to mid-October with the main Season of competitions and friendly games being played throughout the summer from April to the end of August.

If you have any questions or concerns about the level of commitment needed, please feel free to ask us via email here.  



Wednesday circa 7pm at Sale Sports Club

Competitive games on Saturdays



Saturdays 11am at Sale Sports Club

Development matches on occassional Saturdays



Monday’s circa 7pm at Sale Sports Club

Summer competitive games some Wednesdays & occassional Sundays 


The Club enters several International Gay Rugby tournaments which are held in England, Europe and Worldwide.

The Spartans were one of the three founding clubs of International Gay Rugby and have competed in every IGR Bingham Cup. The most recent was held in Amsterdam in June 2018 with Ottawa 2020 postponed to 2022 due to the global pandemic.

The Spartans have also competed in every IGR Union Cup, most recently competing in the 2019 Union Cup held in Dublin, Ireland. 

Our players also attend mini-tournaments or Rugby Clinics such as Touch My Brum and others, including our own Inclusive Touch Summer Draft.

The club usually tours for 3-7 days per year, depending on the distance travelled and where the tournament is being held in the UK or abroad.

We work hard to get funding to help support our players and get as many Spartans experiencing the thrill of foreign tours and those closer to home.


The club has a Director of Rugby, Neil Mason, who oversees the strategy and overall rugby development for the club. 

The club has 3 RFU level 2 qualified coaches who work with all 3 squads to offer a good level of technical support.

The men’s 2XV-A’s and B’s have additional support from our club’s volunteer coaches, Gareth – our Club Chair and Scott – our Club Treasurer.  

Both are volunteer ex-players. They work closely with our new players to develop their fundamental skills while safely progressing them owards to playing full-contact rugby when the time is right for each individual player.

Our mixed-gender, Inclusive Touch squads are trained by two professional coaches, along with support from Tom, an experienced O2 Touch Ambassador. Our Director of Touch Rugby, Ben, oversees the section.


The club welcomes adults of all gender-identities, sexualities, ages, background and rugby or sporting experience (or lack of) to become a member of the Spartans. 

Please ensure you complete an application form before you turn up to your first training session. 

At your first session, we’ll introduce you to the coaches and other players and you’ll make friends very quickly.  

You’re encouraged to ask questions no matter how stupid they may feel to ask.

You can also ask our volunteers questions online via FB Messenger or email.

We’re always looking for support on the sidelines too and invite people to join us as supporters if they cannot play.

Please immediately check your email spam for an automated response from the club once you have completed your application form (below).  Please also look for a seond email immediately following and click to subscribe to our emails and newsletters. This is important so that our players and coaches can reach you easily before your first training session to confirm the date, time and location of your welcome.

For your first session, if you aren’t experienced and have no existing rugby kit, please wear layers of casual sports clothing to your first session.  

We recommend wearing a tee-shirt, tracksuit training top or hoodie, shorts and tracksuit bottoms or joggers, sports socks and trainers or, if you have them, plastic studded rugby boots. 

You don’t need to turn up to your first sessions with all the gear and safety equipment.  Your coach and team mates can help you with any questions about gear as and when you need the items.  

“Mouldie” (plastic studded) boots can be worn on the grass and also on 4G artificial surfaces so may be best for Inclusive Touch or beginners.

Check the weather forecast before you come. 

Please bring your own water bottle as Covid Restrictions have put an end to share water for the time being.

Download this RFU guide to kit

If you’re a total novice at either Rugby Union or O2 Touch Rugby, our coaches will help you pick up the game at a pace that fits you – starting right at the very begining – including teaching you how you hold a rugby ball.  

Our squads are suitable for all different levels of skill and ability so there’s a programme right for everyone from fresh newbie to experienced pro.

Download these useful documents if you want to get a jist of Union / O2 Touch.

World Rugby Beginners Guide

RFU Handbook 2018/19

Touch Rugby Rules – World Rugby

Once you become a member we’ll send you additional handbooks and workbooks.

Watch videos about the Spartans and rugby as a sport in our Video Archive

Rugby Union training is normally on a Wednesday evening circa 7pm at Sale Sports Club.

All our New Player training sessions are being held on Saturday mornings at 11am at Sale Sports Club – regardless of experience.  If you are experienced, we’ll move you quickly into Wednesday’s training sessions but we are taking all levels of starters on Saturdays to help us manage numbers whilst we maintain certain RFU Covid practices.

Inclusive Touch training is Monday evenings circac 7pm at Sale Sports Club during the Spring and Summer.

Please ensure you chat to one of our Union or Touch Rugby Volunteers by email or FB Messenger before attending your first session.

The Village Spartans are based at Sale Sports Club with a modern, new clubhouse, located on the corner of Dane Road and Clarendon Crescent, Sale M33. 2DE.

For travel information and directions to Sale Sports Club, click here.

Once you start playing you will be added to Player Chat Groups on Messenger who often lift-share or travel together.

If within your first couple of weeks of training with us you feel that rugby is something you enjoy and you want to join the club, there is an online Direct Debit form which you can sign up to arrange your membership fees.

This covers the running costs of the club, coaching, equipment, facilities etc.

This costs between£5.50 – £15.00 per month depending upon your employment status (i.e studying, unemployed or level of earnings).

Please ensure you complete an application form (below  at least a day before attending your first training session.

In addition to buying any new sports clothes you may want (or kit as you progress in development) there are some other costs typically involved in playing competitively.

  1. Competition entry costs may be required to play in certain Touch Rugby Competitions (prices vary but tend to be low (£2-£5pp)
  2. Tournament Costs – If you chose to play in any particular tournament, players cover particular costs ofd their own such as travel and accomodation although these are sometimes subsidised by the club or a sponsor.
  3. Travel to and from matches and training is at the players own cost but, again, many people carshare (Not allowed under existing  Covid rules)  
  4. We request that all new members to pay a £30 fee to purchase a membership share to Sale Sports Club. This can be accepted via direct payment to the Spartans bank account, via Pay Pal,   spread over a few months or post-poned for payment within an agreed timeframe. 
  5. Please email for any addiitonal information.

You can set up your low-cost, monthly Direct Debit here

Terms and Conditions of FREE Training offer.

The Terms and Conditions for non-members receiving up to four weeks of “Free” training sessions with the Manchester Village Spartans RUFC (the “Club”) are as follows:

Manchester Village Spartans RUFC offers members of the public, the opportunity to train (without paying membership fees) for a maximum period of four weeks within the first calendar month from the date of the player’s first training attendance with certain restrictions and the following conditions:

Players must be 18yrs of age or over.

The free training covers up to a maximum of 8 individual training sessions comprising Inclusive Touch Rugby Training and/or Union Rugby Training.

A new player may only attend training sessions or other games or events if they meet particular health and safety criteria (available upon request)

The free trial period offer is not available to players who have previously been paying or playing members of the club, including players who have previously held a direct debit mandate as a player or supporter.

The Free trial period may be withdrawn at any time and the club reserve the right to refuse any player, subscribed or not, to play for the Spartans or attend training sessions – for example, due to current Covid-19 precautions.

The decision of the club’s Directors is final and no discussion or negotiation will be entered into.

The four weeks of Free training is a limited offer that ends November 1st 2021 and is subject to availability. It is likely to be available again in January 2022 during the mid-winter recruitment period.

Please note, a player is responsible for their own travel and other expenses including kit, refreshments and insurance.  

More details about some typical costs a player can expect to incur by playing rugby can be found here or by asking our recruitment officer here.  

We strongly recommend that anyone playing rugby should purchase their own insurance to cover them in the event of an accident as club insurance is unlikely to cover you in the event of an accident, prior to subscribing.

Useful advice about insurance can be found here

If you have any pre-existing health conditions that you worry may put yourself or others at risk by participating in training, we request that you inform our Club Medical Officer by email here (in confidence) prior to your first training session.  He will be happy to provide advice and look to take actions that could improve your personal safety during play.

Apply to play.