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Rugby's Core Values

Rugby union is the fastest growing major sport in the country, attracting more people than ever to enjoy a vibrant game as professional and amateur players, volunteers and supporters.

But the expansion of rugby brings new challenges to the game and a need to sustain the standards that are its strengths.

Two years ago the RFU put together a task group to run an extensive consultation exercise. The Core Values project – the first time a sport has set out to define its value system in formal terms – produced the first code of rugby (PDF 1.2MB) and identified the following principles that lie at the heart of the game in England:

Teamwork

A community rugby coach talks tactics with his players before a game

Photo: Getty Images

Teamwork is essential to our sport. We welcome all new team members and include all because working as a team enriches our lives. We play selflessly: working for the team, not for ourselves alone, both on and off the field. We take pride in our team, rely on one another and understand that each player has a part to play. We speak out if our team or sport is threatened by inappropriate words or actions

Respect

Mutual respect forms the basis of our sport. We hold in high esteem our sport, its values and traditions and earn the respect of others in the way we behave. We respect our match officials and accept our decisions. We respect opposition players and supporters. We value our coaches and those who run our clubs and treat clubhouses with consideration.

England Under 18s enjoy a lighter moment while training in Devon

Photo: RFU Archive

Enjoyment

Enjoyment is the reason we play and support rugby union. We encourage players to enjoy training and playing. We use our sport to adopt a healthy lifestyle and build life skills. We safeguard our young players and help them have fun. We enjoy being part of a team and part of the rugby family.

Discipline

Strong discipline underpins our sport. We ensure that our sport is one of controlled physical endeavour and that we are honest and fair. We obey the laws of the game which ensure an inclusive and exciting global game. We support our disciplinary system, which protects our sport and upholds its values. We observe the sport's laws and regulations and report serious breaches.

Sportsmanship

London Irish and England full back Delon Armitage offers a hand to opposite number Geordan Murphy during the 2009 Guinness Premiership Final

Photo: Getty Images

Sportsmanship is the foundation upon which rugby union is built. We uphold the rugby tradition of camaraderie with teammates and opposition. We observe fair play both on and off the pitch and are generous in victory and dignified in defeat. We play to win but not at all costs and recognise both endeavour and achievement. We ensure that the wellbeing and development of individual players is central to all rugby activity.