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The Vodacom United Rugby Championship continues with its call of inviting teams, players and fans to celebrate the communities and people who have helped identify, nurture and launch the careers of hundreds of rugby players and coaches across the competition.

As seen throughout the matches in Round 10, Round 11 continues with shinning the spotlight on grassroots as Loftus Versfeld Stadium gets the opportunity to celebrate the origins of 160 professional players spanning the Vodacom Bulls senior and junior teams and the Bulls Daisies. All proud products of communities across South Africa.

Over 700 players appear in the Vodacom URC each season with parents, coaches and over 550 clubs from across 17 countries and all corners of the globe helping to put them on a pathway to play at the highest level.

From #GrassrootsToGreatness the Vodacom URC will shine a spotlight on the identities of the clubs, schools and communities that do an incredible job of giving children the chance to first pick up a rugby ball and guide the lucky few good enough to reach the elite level.

Director of Rugby, Jake White touts the origins round as one of the greatest forms of celebrating the traditions and impact of the sport across South African communities.

“Rugby has been a remarkable nation builder and the fact that South Africa has gone on to win the World Cup as many times as we have is a true testament of how hard grassroots mentors are working to ensure that we continue to see talented players come through the system,”

“It will be great for us as a team to be able to partake and celebrate the schools, clubs and communities that have and continue to develop players that bring success to our franchise. Our team has players from all corners of the country and this weekend’s match will be celebrating each and everyone of them, the true unsung heroes of the sport. I look forward to seeing everyone in their Vodacom Bulls jerseys with an item of their school or club colours in the stands.”

Many clubs are already looking at unique and bespoke ways to celebrate their own communities and the origin points for their players and the Vodacom URC is hugely excited about this first-ever grassroots based activation.

Speaking about this latest initiative, Martin Anayi, United Rugby Championship, CEO, said: “Since launching the United Rugby Championship we have been very focused on ensuring we are purpose driven when it comes to celebrating all that is good about our league and everyone who plays a part in it.

“The Origin Round is such a welcome addition because every week across the world at grassroots level there are parents, family members, coaches and communities putting their efforts into helping young children realise their ambitions of pulling on a jersey as a professional rugby player.

“We have an opportunity to celebrate all of these incredible volunteers and communities not only for those they have helped guide onto the pitches of the VODACOM URC, but also to the players who don’t reach this arena but have had a love of our sport instilled in them. So please, if you’re attending, wear your club or school colours and help celebrate everyone who supports grassroots rugby across the world and encourages the next generation of players.”

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