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Premiership Rugby

Rugby’s values to be promoted by the Prince’s Trust and Zurich

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The three organisations will lend their weight to the further development of the Prince's Trust's 'xl clubs' programme that helps 14 to 16-year-olds tackle their problems.

The motivational personal development programmes supported by the xl clubs are linked to the National Curriculum and will be directed at those most at risk of dropping out of school.

The expanding xl programme provides Zurich and the Premiership clubs with the opportunity to support their local community by linking rugby's sporting values with the delivery of practical skills such as working together, motivation, organisation and leadership.

Zurich Premiership players will visit xl clubs and talk with students about topics such as teamwork and facing challenges, whilst stadium visits for the children will include team-building exercises from coaches.

Students involved in the xl clubs will be able to attend Premiership matches and they will have use of club facilities, such as IT services for work training and conference rooms for xl club celebration days.

The children will also be able to take part in rugby via organised tag tournaments staged at the various Premiership grounds.

The partnership has already been successfully piloted by London Wasps and Newcastle Falcons, and is now being rolled out to Leicester Tigers, Saracens and the Northampton Saints. More of the 12 top Premiership teams will follow soon after.

"It's fantastic that the Zurich Premiership Clubs and The Prince's Trust are working together to help young people," said England and Leicester Tigers captain Martin Johnson.

"Sport can play an important role in teaching skills that are important in every day life, such as being motivated and supporting others in your team. With the right backing, we can all take pride in our achievements."

Leslie Morphy, director of policy and programmes at The Prince's Trust, added: "Sport helps us engage the hardest-to-reach young people.

"Rugby is one of our major sports partnerships and we know it will play a major role in providing young people with a chance to get their lives working."

Chris Staples, Zurich's director of community affairs, said: "This innovative partnership gives vulnerable teenagers a second chance.

"Working with local schools, the Prince's Trust and the Premiership clubs we hope that together we will create a real and long-lasting impact on many young lives."

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