The upcoming Major League Rugby Collegiate Draft is a crucial step in the pathway to professional rugby, but there are many steps that come before it as well.
Ahead of the Collegiate Draft, MLR and Rhino Rugby USA are recognizing 15 players across the League that go above and beyond to build rugby pathways for future generations.
One of the players recognized is Marcello Wainwright listed as a Game Changer for growing rugby in North America
Wainwright is a player ambassador for the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation (TIRF), a local nonprofit that builds community through rugby and offers free summer leagues to elementary and high school students across the city.
A graduate of TIRF’s programming himself, Wainwright regularly participates in TIRF festivals, practices, and events held year-round, introducing the sport to thousands of young Torontonians and teaching them about the values of rugby.
Wainwright said, “We are in such an advantageous position to do this kind of thing, and it’s an opportunity I don’t want to waste. To lend a couple of hours of my time here and there, I’m hopeful it can leave a big impact. I want to be a role model, and to see young athletes develop a love of the game right in front of your eyes is a special feeling.”