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World Rugby statement on activity in young people

World Rugby and its member unions takes player safety extremely seriously and it is at the heart of all the training we deliver to coaches, referees and medics, at all levels of the game.

We believe that rugby is a fantastic sport for children, and when inactivity and obesity are major societal issues, the health and social benefits of rugby participation massively outweigh any potential drawbacks.

While independent research suggests that injury rates are minimal and therefore comparable to football and other contact sports for children, World Rugby also works tirelessly to manage the risk involved in the contact nature of the sport, particularly for young people and continues to commission and monitor al research in this important area.

Rugby for young people at schools or clubs exists in different forms, both non-contact and contact, and significant work has been undertaken over a number of years to develop a structured progression to cover the introduction, playing, teaching and refereeing of the game from child to adult level to maximise player safety through World Rugby’s Rugby Ready programme.

Among the many positive benefits rugby brings for children is an increase in confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline, as well as getting enjoyable physical exercise while working as part of a team, learning skills which help them in the wider world. Teachers frequently comment on notable off pitch improvements when the sport is introduced in their schools.