A Devon youngster has been hailed for an ‘amazing turnaround’ after using a love of rugby to improve his prospects on and off the field.

Archie Doman, a student at Tiverton High School, lacked focus and struggled to engage with education until his PE teacher, Mr Morrell, recommended he try Exeter Chiefs’ Project Rugby sessions.

The year eight student previously lacked motivation to attend lessons and was often absent from school, leading to a decline in his grades and periods of exclusion.

But through Project Rugby, which has brought the sport to more than 100,000 participants since its inception in 2017, Archie discovered a love for the sport which saw him sign up to play for his school team and local grassroots club, Tiverton RFC.

Archie’s engagement with school life has improved and he now harbours ambitions to take his love for rugby to elite level, with aspirations to play in the Premiership for Chiefs.

He is just one inspirational individual being celebrated during Community Weekend Round 14 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby (March 29-31), when all games will be dedicated to the award-winning community programmes run by Premiership Rugby in collaboration with its shareholder Clubs and Club Foundations.

Wayne Morris, Community & CSR Director, Premiership Rugby, said: “Hats off to Archie for such an amazing turnaround.

“The success of our Project Rugby programme in schools is demonstrated here with Archie’s story.

“By taking the step to give rugby a go he has improved not only his physical health but impacted every aspect of his life positively.

“We believe everyone can benefit from the core values of rugby and that they can be life changing.

“By working with schools in local communities Project Rugby provides opportunities for young people, irrespective of background or ability, to experience a growth in confidence that can transcend into all areas of their lives helping them go on with a brighter future.”

Cheryl Phillips, Managing Director of title partner Gallagher’s Exeter branch said: “Archie is a shining example of the impact playing sport regularly can make to a young person’s life and the positive future it can help carve out.

“The core values of rugby are not restricted to the pitch. Through finding his love for this great sport via Project Rugby, Archie has developed values which influence every aspect of his life positively. 

“We are very proud to be supporting Project Rugby as it is helping to improve the lives of young people through presenting them with new opportunities.”

Project Rugby is delivered in partnership with Gallagher, title sponsor of Premiership Rugby, and the RFU and is designed to introduce as many people as possible to the benefits of rugby. 

With a specific focus on engaging participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, no matter their background or ability, Project Rugby sessions introduce rugby to novices at easily accessible, familiar locations within local communities, run by coaches and volunteers from Premiership Rugby Clubs and Club Foundations spread across the nation.

To find your nearest Project Rugby session visit: www.premiershiprugby.com/community/project-rugby