Playing rugby from a young age can be a lot of fun – boys get to interact with others in their age group and learn what it feels like to belong to a team. As straightforward as this may sound, these benefits teach young players the core values of rugby, sport and of life.

The game of rugby, albeit divided into nations, provinces and divisions, is united by a sense of culture – an unwavering idea of what good sportsmanship entails. This culture largely stems from World Rugby, organiser of the Rugby World Cup, as well as a regulator and investor in all things rugby.

Good sportsmanship is centred on the values of World Rugby – integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect. In understanding the values, young players are taught necessary life skills.

  1. In order to have integrity, a player must be honest and must be able to be fair – on and off the field.
  1. Having a passion for the game teaches young players how it feels to be excited for a big match, about feeling emotionally connected to “the team”, and gives players a sense of belonging to a global family.
  1. As a team sport, rugby enables young players to make lasting friendships, teaches them how to work as a team and to experience camaraderie and loyalty. This solidarity extends beyond any geographic boundaries, political or societal prejudice.
  1. Rugby is inherently a game of laws and regulations. Young players learn that rules are there for a reason and that it is in their best interests to obey them in order to enjoy the rewards.
  1. The truest value of sportsmanship is respect. In order to have respect, young players must first grasp the concept of healthy competition. It is of the greatest importance that young players respect the members of the rugby family – regardless of whether they are a teammate, opponent, coach or match official.