Fixtures - Top Bar

London Irish’s Urban Rugby Squad makes national festival semi-finals

li-urban1

London Irish Urban Rugby Squad coach Ali Lawrence was bursting with pride after he watched his youngsters star on a national stage at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium.

Over 150 youngsters turned out at Worcester’ home ground to compete for the Urban Rugby Squad National Festival trophy and the young Exiles made it all the way to the semi-finals before losing out to eventual winners Northampton Saints.

Representatives from every Premiership club, as well as Championship side Irish – including boys and girls from diverse backgrounds, many of who had never played rugby before – turned out in a fine day’s action at Sixways.

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.

Click here to view the Urban Rugby Squad National Festival

And Lawrence – who also coaches with Richmond Ladies – was ecstatic with the way his side had come together on the day.

“I am really proud, we have a couple of guys in there who know each other, but to have never played together before they have done really well,” Lawrence said.

“We played some really nice stuff and it is great to see them enjoying themselves.

“It is hugely important to get as many people as possible into the game. It is a game for everyone – you can see that when you watch it on the television.

“Getting kids from all backgrounds together and bringing them to an event where they can all enjoy themselves is fantastic.”

Urban Rugby Squad National Festival 261016

With tickets to see the Premiership Rugby final at Twickenham on offer, there was some spectacular running rugby on display as 13 sides aimed to seal a trip to the top-flight showpiece.

Though there could be only one winner, Lawrence was extremely happy with the way his side performed during a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

He said: “Coming and playing at a Premiership side’s stadium is a huge draw and adds to the players’ experience.

“It makes them give it that little bit extra because they can imagine themselves in five, six, seven years time running out onto the pitch themselves.

 

“If we have kids coming from non-rugby backgrounds who then go home to their friends and family and tell them how good a time they had, it will make them more inclined to join a club.”

Urban Rugby Squad National Festival 261016

For more information about Premiership Rugby’s Urban Rugby Squad, run in partnership with BT Sport’s The Supporters Club, the broadcaster’s initiative that aims to build a better world through sport, and Restart Rugby, the Official Charity of The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), please visit http://www.premiershiprugby.com/urban-rugby-squad/ and the join the conversation #RugbyChangingLives

Latest News

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball