The first of 1,000 Return to Rugby sessions kicked off in rugby clubs across the country last night, running weekly from now until October 30.
This year’s Return to Rugby follows on from the success of last year’s inaugural programme which saw 2,500 people sign up for sessions and 800 players re-introduced back into the game, playing rugby regularly as a result of the programme.
Steve Grainger, Director of Rugby Development at the RFU, said “Return to Rugby was originally launched during Rugby World Cup 2015 with the aim of offering opportunities for players who’d dropped out of the sport, inspired by watching their rugby heroes, to get in on the action and back into the sport within a social environment. Now in the second year of the programme, the legacy lives on and drives people’s appetite for the sport, with rugby continuing to inspire people whether that be through its inclusion in the Olympics, and the GB men and women’s strong performances, or the England team’s recent success in Australia.”
Return to Rugby sessions are focused on providing players with a fun environment from which to brush up on their skills, with each session involving a warm up, skills based exercises and a match. At the end of the ten week session there is also the chance for clubs to get involved in friendlies with nearby Return to Rugby clubs.
24 year old Jules Martin, who attended last night’s Return to Rugby session at Chiswick Rugby Club, was inspired to get back into rugby after playing in Dubai.
Jules said “I started playing rugby out in the Middle East, playing in the Dubai rugby 7s when I was 17 which was a really fun experience. As I now live in Chiswick I thought I’d come down and join my local club. Sometimes you forget the basic skills in rugby so it’s been great to have an introductory session to go over core skills, meet some new lads and get back out there again.”
This year’s Return to Rugby sessions were launched at the beginning of the month by James Haskell and Dom Joly, star of Trigger Happy TV, using a selection of tongue in cheek videos to encourage more people back into the game.
Throughout this year’s ten-week programme, the new-look Return to Rugby website will provide information to potential recruits, video content and rugby challenges for players to take on in order to win prizes. Click HERE for a message from James Haskell and link to the selection of videos released to date.
To find out about Return to Rugby sessions in your area, and to sign up, click here or follow @EnglandRugby, using the hashtag #ReturntoRugby.
Report courtesy of England Rugby