Lions Sports Academy Announces exciting Partnership with the RFU to increase rugby in state schools

Lions Sports Academy is delighted to announce a partnership with the RFU that sees the organisations joining forces with the aim of increasing participation in rugby in state schools.

The RFU, with the support of Lions Sports Academy, is launching a pilot scheme as schools return this academic year to increase participation in rugby by state school pupils. Together, the organisations will be training, supporting and mentoring teachers to raise the standards of rugby coaching in schools and elevate the sport in school curriculums. They will also facilitate opportunities to trial and play Rugby during the school day whilst building closer links between schools and their local community rugby club.

During the 2021/22 season, the RFU is supporting the Lions Sports Academy team to act as School Rugby Coordinators across Middlesex with the aim of further embedding rugby into schools and linking with local clubs. Lions will work to understand the needs of the schools and work with teaching staff to put in place solutions to address these including staff training/CPD, providing competitive opportunities and facilitating links to local organisations and clubs.

Lions founder, Andy Jones, commented, "We are excited to be working with the RFU on this school's pilot to support state school rugby. It is widely recognised that the sports played in a school is often dictated by the personal preference or confidence of the teaching staff. Our partnership will look to increase teaching knowledge so that they can confidently and competently include Rugby in their curriculums.’

He continues: ‘It is our mission to help children to reach their potential through sport, as I know first-hand how powerful rugby can be to achieve this. Rugby has the potential to develop vital life skills in young people such as resilience and teamwork and I believe every schoolchild should have the opportunity to at least try the sport for themselves.’

Chris Sigsworth, Schools and Colleges Manager at the RFU said, “We understand that there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to the challenge of increasing rugby within schools and that there is value in having a local point of contact who understands the needs of the school and who can help devise and deliver solutions to address their needs. This is exactly why we have partnered with Lions Sports Academy. The Lions team have a proven track record of working with many schools across Middlesex and are passionate about inspiring the next generation of rugby players. We are hopeful that by working together on this pilot scheme, we can show that with the right support there is an appetite for rugby to be both taught and played in state schools, paving the way for us to support more schools later this year.’

The pilot scheme launches this term and sees the RFU partner organisations across Middlesex, Yorkshire and Shropshire to support schools in these regions. 

For more information about how your school can get involved email Andy Jones at

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