Rugby by its nature of being tough on the pitch but well mannered off the pitch and respectful to authority (even when the referee is wrong!), creates positive behaviours that benefit individuals and communities.
Some benefits are common to many sports, some to just team sports, and some particularly to rugby. Some of this is documented and presented here. More will be researched and evaluated as Atlas projects develop.
We know that exercise boosts memory and thinking skills. But now, researchers have shown for the first time that physical activity can increase the size of children’s brains and improve academic performance.
The original research that underpinned the All Schools' Programme in England concluded that "The data we collected shows a positive
correlation between playing rugby and GCSE results. Therefore, the more young people play rugby, the better they do at school.
For this reason, the provision of rugby in schools should be improved, as it will have benefits far beyond those traditionally assumed to be a consequence of sport, such as health and fitness.
The attached overview of the contribution of Sport to Sustainable Development Goals.The global reach, unmatched popularity and value-based foundation of sport, as well as its particular association with youth, make it a versatile means of implementing many of the SDGs.
Rugby has particular benefits due to its tough nature, and the strong values. Rugby provides a useful vehicle to train a number of important social and life skills and to address important risk factors for crime and violence ...
Not all sports programmes deliver benefits. The intensity of engagement matters. More intense, structured and supported programmes such as Atlas's Schools and Grassroots projects offer more benefit than unstructured or unsupervised programmes. Rugby includes the ability to control emotions and show empathy for others. This leads to stronger networks of relationships, that economists call social capital.
An opinion piece from a Health and Fitness Journal, rather than an empirical study, but a valid list of benefits nonetheless.