• Sport England investment to help grow participation
      • Rise of women’s rugby to be a focus of investment
      • Find a rugby club near you here 

England Rugby has been awarded £12.6 million Sport England funding to help grow rugby participation across the country.

Sport England acknowledged the RFU’s successful CBRE All Schools programme which has, to date, worked with 500 state schools without a tradition of playing rugby and in areas with highly-diverse communities.

Through the Sport England investment the RFU will also create more opportunities to play informal, social and non-contact touch rugby as well as more chances to play rugby sevens.

With female players currently playing on average fewer than 10 matches a season but 50 per cent wanting to play more, the investment will also help boost women’s and girls’ rugby with more ‘pitch up and play’ opportunities in clubs across England.

There will also be a focus on supporting young up and coming female players through the England talent system as well as targeting a growth in university students playing rugby with 13,000 currently involved in the sport.

“We are delighted to secure a significant partnership with Sport England over the next four years,” said Steve Grainger, RFU rugby development director.

“Since the staging of Rugby World Cup 2015 in England we have seen substantial interest in our sport. This renewed partnership will support us in sustaining current rugby participation across England while helping grow the game, providing even more opportunities for people to play all variants of our game.”