Project Rugby is a joint initiative between Premiership Rugby and England Rugby designed to increase participation in the game by people from traditionally underrepresented groups:

  • Black Asian & Minority Ethnic People
  • People from Lower Socio-Economic backgrounds
  • Disabled People

Project Rugby exceeded its initial target of reaching 12,000 participants by the summer of 2018, and has now involved over 20,000 young people, increasing participation in the game by people aged 14-24 from underrepresented populations.

Gallagher have announced their partnership with Project Rugby, bolstering the community insurance broker’s commitment to support not only the professional game, but also at a grassroots level across the country.

In its first season as Official Title Partner of Premiership Rugby, Gallagher has been championing the people within the game that embody the values and spirit of rugby, both on and off the pitch.

The programme engages thousands of participants per year (aged 14+ and 16+ for disabled people) and is delivered by community staff from Premiership Rugby’s clubs at over 750 locations across England, providing accessible opportunities for people to participate in the game at a time and place that can be easily accessed by target audiences.

Wayne Morris, CSR and Community Director at Premiership Rugby:

“Launched in 2017, Project Rugby is run jointly by Premiership Rugby and England Rugby allowing rugby to reach new communities and put the benefits of playing the sport on the agenda for many participants for the first time,” said Wayne Morris, the

“The ground-breaking initiative has been one of the success stories of English rugby with more than 20,000 participants introduced to the game so far. Now, in partnership with such a passionate community broker as Gallagher, who is committed to making a difference, we look forward to Project Rugby getting a huge boost and going from strength to strength.”

Project Rugby
Project Rugby (c) Gloucester Rugby

Aims/Outcomes of Project Rugby

  • Engage thousands of participants from new communities every year
  • Transition participants from Project Rugby activity into regular rugby participation
  • Improving individual confidence, resilience and overall wellbeing
  • Reduce social isolation and improving levels of social connectedness
  • Challenge existing perceptions of the game, positioning rugby as a sport for anyone regardless of background, ability

Key Messages

  • Premiership Rugby wants to change the traditional perceptions of rugby union and show that that rugby is for anyone regardless background or ability
  • Project Rugby was launched in October 2017 conjunction to bring more people from traditionally under-represented communities into the game. This is the first time Premiership Rugby and England Rugby have collaborated to deliver a grassroots project of this scale, bringing together the unique assets and resources from both organisations.
  • Community staff from 14 Premiership Rugby clubs are providing accessible opportunities for under-represented groups (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic, low socio-economic and disability) to play rugby
  • Taking place at over 750 sites across the country
  • Project Rugby exceeded its initial target of reaching 12,000 participants by the summer of 2018, and has now involved over 20,000 young people, increasing participation in the game by people aged 14-24 from underrepresented populations.
  • Building on insight form Premiership Rugby’s previous work with these groups, and research conducted as part of the pilot – Premiership Rugby has identified consistent themes to the barriers to the game for all three targeted under-represented groups

a) a feeling that ‘people like me don’t play rugby’

b) there is often a low awareness of the sport within the Project Rugby target audience

c) no family or peer group history of playing rugby

d) a perception that rugby is ‘not a sport that’s played in my community’

e) a perception from individuals that they are ‘not capable’ or ‘able’ to play the game

  • Project Rugby activity delivery will provide accessible variant formats of the game, including touch and mixed ability rugby.
  • Rugby is a sport for everyone – no matter what their background or ability
  • Rugby has a unique ability to change lives, bringing increased self-confidence, resilience and improve individual wellbeing
  • Rugby can bring people together, reducing isolation and improving connectedness

In March 2019 Gallagher announced its partnership with Project Rugby, bolstering the community insurance broker’s commitment to support not only the professional game, but also at a grassroots level across the country.

In its first season as Official Title Partner of Premiership Rugby, Gallagher has been championing the people within the game that embody the values and spirit of rugby, both on and off the pitch

For more information about Project Rugby please visit projectrugby.co.uk