Some might think it ironic that a US rugby outfit is taking rugby back to the UK, where the game was first invented, but Play Rugby USA is on a mission.
Play Rugby USA, a non-profit that uses rugby as an educational and inspirational medium for disadvantaged kids in New York, LA and beyond, is a different brand of rugby to the more traditional form of the game played by five million players worldwide.
With a vision of a better world through rugby, Play Rugby USA founder Mark Griffin has rebranded youth rugby as a game in the US that can help improve youth’s mental and physical wellbeing and help drive positive change in their lives. This begins with lessons in the classroom and teaching the values of integrity, honesty and camaraderie. R4UK is the new vehicle.
It won’t be an easy task to bring rugby to boys and girls in inner city London. The UK is a country that has 40,000 football clubs and millions of players and supporters, but Griffin managed to bring rugby to the youth of the US with passionate energy. He is part of the engine room that has seen as the fastest growing team sport in America with a 350% increase in rugby players since 2004.