JWC stars spread rugby values

(IRB.COM) Monday 7 June 2010
 JWC stars spread rugby values
Australia's players worked with local youngsters in Parana - Photo: Jano Colcerniani/IRB.

Under 20 players from South Africa and Australia inspired more than 100 stars of the future when they held a coaching clinic on one of the grounds at the Club Atletico Estudiantes in Parana.

Staged as part of the IRB Junior World Championship legacy programme, which aims to help develop the sport at grass roots level in the host country, the players spent around three hours with the 12 to 14-year-old students, covering everything from basic ball skills through to team drills.

South Africa hooker Francois du Toit, Australian wing Dominic Shipperley and teammate Cameron Mitchell were among those who gave their time to the initiative.

Eric Sauls, the South Africa coach, said the legacy programme was a great way to spread the sport's values, particularly across countries where rugby was not the number one sport.

"It is really important for South Africa to leave a legacy," explained Sauls. "In our country this game is taught from a very early age in the schools and then it becomes competitive."

An opinion echoed by one of the children Juan Mendez, who said he had learnt a lot from the experience.

"The way they trained us, with their tactics and knowledge, made the practice a very good one. Tomorrow I'll say to my classmates that we were trained by Junior World Championship players ... but they won't believe me."

At least five players and management from each of the 12 teams participating in the Junior World Championship will attend legacy events with further clinics planned for each of the host cities of Rosario, Santa Fe and Parana.

The next legacy day takes place on 10 June.