Fixtures - Top Bar

Exeter Chiefs’ Urban Rugby Squad are ready to defend their title as National Festival winners

While Exeter Chiefs’ community delivery manager Andrew Dudley would love to win Premiership Rugby’s Urban Rugby Squad title for the second year, he says generating even more success stories from the project is priority number one.

The Urban Rugby Squad is a ground-breaking initiative run by Premiership Rugby and its clubs, helping 1,000 young people aged 14-16 from disadvantaged communities across England.

In its first year, the scheme helped 778 young people and delivered 136 personal development workshops on topics such as anger management and sexual health.

And Dudley was thrilled to see the success of the programme stretch well beyond the Chiefs thrilling victory in last year’s finale at the Twickenham Stoop.

“This year it would be good to repeat the success we had last year – the trophy and winning is great, but the crux is getting young people into activity and back on track through what we do,” he said.

“We have some really good success stories, there’s some people still playing and others having gone into local clubs.

“That’s the main success, it’s great to win trophies but if they never touch a rugby ball again that’s a negative outcome, so to see people continue to enjoy the game is what makes us happy.

“If we have the same outcomes this year that will be the biggest success factor, it’s great to win but we want to get some positive outcomes.

“It was brilliant to see such a variety of people from different backgrounds last year. The different teams were swapping stories about their experiences and how they got into rugby which was awesome.

“It’s a real celebration of young people playing rugby and being active, and any event that does that in my eyes is great.”

Dudley and his coaches visited a variety of community sites around Exeter at the end of the last academic year to try and find new players for this summer’s scheme.

And he is looking forward to repeating Exeter’s on and off-the-field success when the National Urban Rugby Squad Festival gets underway at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium on October 26.

“We got a really good uptake and that’s down to the hard work of the coaches at the Chiefs, they work really well with the young people on the programme,” Dudley added.

“I want everyone from the programme to stay with some form of exercise, if that’s rugby that’s great if it’s not that’s not the end of the world.

“If we have made a positive impact over the past couple of months that’s all that matters to me. I feel like I have won regardless of what happens on the pitch.”

Latest News

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…