Matt Dawson hails rugby clubs for nurturing tomorrow’s World Cup stars
Rugby legend Matt Dawson MBE has highlighted the impact grassroots clubs have on the game and their role in shaping the star players of the future.
Speaking during a visit to North London’s Saracens RFC, Matt said, “Grassroots rugby has immense significance for every rugby player; it provides a nurturing environment for everyone to explore the game. I know it had a profound effect on my England career and I can see from my visit today that Saracens, as well as other clubs around the country, is an astounding place for the players of the future to develop their skills.”
The ex-England captain and scrum half’s comments came as England prepared to play Japan in the group stage of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, a match they won 34-12. He noted that England side’s current skipper Owen Farrell and 6 other stars of the team – Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Ben Earl, Billy Vunipola, Elliot Daly and Theo Dan – all play for Saracens RFC at the StoneX Stadium.
Matt said the fact that so many Saracens RFC players have been called into the England squad for the 2023 World Cup underlined the vital role grassroots clubs play in the development of talent.
Saracens RFC is one of the thousands of rugby clubs that benefit from the £30Million raised by National Lottery players every week for good causes across the UK. The club and its foundation have received around £64,000 of National Lottery funding, which has gone towards rugby programme and coaching sessions designed to encourage more people to take up the sport.
Since 1994, The National Lottery has invested more than £185Million into rugby union from grassroots to elite level, providing vital support to clubs throughout the UK.
Matt, who recorded a special good luck message for the England squad during his visit to Saracens RFC, said, “Funding provided by The National Lottery plays a vital role in encouraging youngsters to try new experiences and get involved in their local grassroots rugby clubs – clubs that not only contribute to the growth of the game, but also the growth of communities.”
During his visit, Matt also took the opportunity to pass on some coaching advice to members of Saracen’s junior teams, who could be rugby stars of the future.
21st September 2023
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