ARU introduce rugby to young fans
ESPN Staff
August 11, 2014
Local Bathurst school kids welcome Christian Leali'ifano to a training session © Getty Images

The Australian Rugby Union has launched an annual National Rugby Week, the first involving more than 700 schools in the week leading into the opening Bledisloe Test in Sydney. The initiative has been created to introduce younger fans to rugby, and it will use a range of innovative educational experiences to educate fans of respect, teamwork and passion both on and off the field.

More than 120,000 students will take part throughout the week, exceeding the original target by 56%. They will participate in the ARU's new non-contact sevens, launched last week by union chief executive Bill Pulver, who said the week was a great way to introduce young Australian's to participate in the game.

"National Rugby Week will provide the ideal platform for young boys and girls to engage in non-contact sevens," Pulver said. "It is an excellent initiative which will hopefully foster further growth for rugby in Australia. The week-long program is designed to educate boys and girls on what rugby is all about, and encourage students to take up the high-intensity, low-impact sport of non-contact sevens."

Australian primary and secondary schools will take part in the event, regardless of their rugby background. They will be introduced to non-contact sevens and the rugby opportunities in their areas, and will be given the opportunity to win a visit from Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie as well as several other prizes.

Several schools will also host the Bledisloe Cup throughout the week in order to promote the annual Test series.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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