British Council and Premiership Rugby bring innovative community outreach and youth development program Try Rugby to the United States

As part of Premiership Rugby's London Irish v Saracens game at the Red Bull Arena on March 12th, the British Council in partnership with Premiership Rugby, have announced they will bring their award winning international community outreach and youth development program Try Rugby to the United States. Try Rugby was co-created and launched internationally by the British Council and Premiership Rugby in 2011 and is already achieving tremendous impact in supporting the growth of the game around the world.

Try Rugby USA is a capacity-building program for coaches, clubs and players designed to bring together, develop the skills, and inspire the US rugby community to build sustainable pathways to introduce the sport and its values to youth.

A current professional player, ex-international coaches, Academy coaches and Community coaches from the Aviva Premiership Rugby Clubs will visit the United States for 16 days during February and March.

Hosted by British Council USA, Friends of the British Council USA and USA Rugby geographical unions and state-based rugby organizations, the coaches will be joined on the road by coaches from US-based Tiger Rugby. Together they will deliver a range of coach education sessions, coaching clinics for schools, universities, clubs, and youth programs, as well as linking with existing rugby based social projects like Play Rugby USA.

Activities will take place in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, DC and Texas. These sites are a few of the geographic areas under consideration by British Council and Premiership Rugby as potential program site locations for the eventual launch of Try Rugby USA. Also under consideration are locations in the South East, Midwest, Mountain States and West.

Premiership Rugby's Community and CSR Director Wayne Morris said "The game between London Irish and Saracens is a significant day in the history of Premiership Rugby and one that has taken a number of years and a lot of hard work to bring to fruition. There are ambitious plans to grow the game in the States and we are delighted to support these through our Try Rugby initiative which not only supports the development of the game but also demonstrates the social impact that can be delivered through rugby, we look forward to announcing more details of the activities and locations in the weeks leading up to the game."

British Council USA Director, Paul Smith said, "We are thrilled to be at the cusp of bringing the great project Try Rugby to the USA. The British Council is committed to using sport to bring fun, opportunity and self-realization, particularly to young people and to celebrating the unique capacity of sport to create bonds, understanding and camaraderie between diverse peoples of different nations, different communities, different backgrounds, and different outlooks on life. We have pioneered our community rugby programs in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and South Africa and it is a sheer pleasure to be growing awareness of this great sport, which was first played in the UK, in the USA, a country which already knows a thing or two about this wonderful sibling of football."

Coach education sessions, open to all rugby coaches, have been confirmed for Newark, New Jersey on February 20th and Houston, Texas on March 13th. These sessions will offer coaches an interactive and dynamic afternoon of demonstrations, presentations, problem solving and dialogue. Sessions will take the coaches out of the classroom and into the gym as well as on to the pitch for sessions covering best practice and fundamental technical skills, strength and conditioning methodology, season and session planning, player pathway development as well as discussions about club sustainability and community outreach.

USA Rugby is offering five (5) Continuing Education Unites for coaches who attend the sessions.

To register for one of the coach education sessions CLICK HERE. For additional questions about coach education sessions please contact James Walker, Tiger Rugby at .

About British Council

The British Council is the United Kingdom's organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff - including 2,000 teachers - work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programs.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through @britishcouncil on Twitter and blog.britishcouncil.org.

About Premiership Rugby

Founded in 1987, Premiership Rugby is a professional league for men's rugby based in the UK. The league currently has 12 participating rugby clubs including Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, London Irish, Newcastle Falcons, Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks, Saracens, Wasps and Worcester Warriors. The season is September through May followed by playoffs and a championship.

Premiership Rugby has a deep commitment to community outreach and development. Premiership's community programs engaged over 310,000 people in the UK and internationally in 2015. Each season Premiership Rugby and its clubs, working together with our players, coaches and private, public and third sector partners, invest over £3.3 million in a variety of community programs. Each Premiership Rugby club is required to have a community engagement program involving local schools, colleges and clubs led by appropriately qualified and experienced employees in order to be a part of the Aviva Premiership Rugby League. They have won numerous awards for several of their innovative and impactful programs conceived to address different aspects of community development through rugby.

For further information, please contact: Paul Morgan, Premiership Rugby Communications Department communications@premiershiprugby.com or go to www.premiershiprugby.com

For more information about Try Rugby USA or to schedule a visit with your rugby team please contact Erin Sullivan, Executive Director, Friends of the British Council USA at fobced@gmail.com.