Players preparing for the final round of pool matches at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in South Africa came together on Tuesday to take a collective stance against doping.
As part of ‘Keep Rugby Clean’ Day, all 276 players representing their nations in Cape Town and Stellenbosch donned distinctive T-shirts during their warm-ups in a show of support for World Rugby’s anti-doping awareness programme.
World Rugby launched Keep Rugby Clean in 2005 and it has supported players and team management across the game ever since.
The programme aims to deter doping by educating participants on the responsibilities, raising awareness of doping risks and fostering an ethical clean-sport ethos.
As part of an extensive programme prior to the start of this year’s Under-20 Championship, all participating teams were required to complete online and face-to-face education, delivered in their native language.
World Rugby work closely with the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) and national anti-doping organisations to deter intentional doping behaviours and avoid accidental doping.
Ireland Under-20 captain Gus McCarthy, whose side have qualified for the semi-finals, commented: “As a squad we’re delighted to take part in World Rugby’s ‘Keep Rugby Clean’ Day.
“The World Rugby Under-20 Championship is all about the future of the game we all love, and to showcase and highlight such an important message on this stage is a really great initiative.
“As young players, we are constantly learning, both on and off the field, and it’s imperative we understand the values of our sport and maintain its integrity.”
For more information on the ‘Keep Rugby Clean’ campaign, please go to www.world.rugby/keep-rugby-clean.