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TRANSFORMING COMMUNITIES

Defender has been on the search for 96 exceptional young heroes from around the world, to join the teams as they walk out onto the pitch at Rugby World Cup France 2023.

Demonstrating what it means to have inner steel, here are some of the journeys that have brought them to the tournament in France. 

VIDYUT

Vidyut’s close friend, Sophie, was born with spinal muscular atrophy and relies on a wheelchair to be mobile. When her chair no longer met her needs, Vidyut embarked on an extraordinary mission, running 36km (22mi) over 6 weeks to help fund a new wheelchair.

VIDYUT

Vidyut’s close friend, Sophie, was born with spinal muscular atrophy and relies on a wheelchair to be mobile. When her chair no longer met her needs, Vidyut embarked on an extraordinary mission, running 36km (22mi) over 6 weeks to help fund a new wheelchair.

HUGO

Hugo’s cousin has autism. Hugo strives to speak out for people with autism and to raise awareness, protecting his cousin and encouraging him to not feel held back and embrace every opportunity he can.

HUGO

Hugo’s cousin has autism. Hugo strives to speak out for people with autism and to raise awareness, protecting his cousin and encouraging him to not feel held back and embrace every opportunity he can.

CAMILLA

During her rugby season, Camilla ran an incredible 464km (288mi) to raise awareness for mental health in association with Looseheadz, a clothing brand that is trying to tackle the stigma of mental health in the sport. She also tries to play her part for the environment, litter picking around her local area.

CAMILLA

During her rugby season, Camilla ran an incredible 464km (288mi) to raise awareness for mental health in association with Looseheadz, a clothing brand that is trying to tackle the stigma of mental health in the sport. She also tries to play her part for the environment, litter picking around her local area.

MICHAEL

Michael’s dad was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Throughout the illness, he has helped to care for his dad, assisting with his equipment and bringing him tea and biscuits.

MICHAEL

Michael’s dad was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Throughout the illness, he has helped to care for his dad, assisting with his equipment and bringing him tea and biscuits.

JULES

After losing an eye to cancer at the age of three, Jules was almost unable to continue playing rugby. Inspired by French rugby union player Florian Cazenave, who continued playing professionally after losing an eye to injury, Jules remains determined to continue playing the sport he loves so much.

JULES

After losing an eye to cancer at the age of three, Jules was almost unable to continue playing rugby. Inspired by French rugby union player Florian Cazenave, who continued playing professionally after losing an eye to injury, Jules remains determined to continue playing the sport he loves so much.

LILIAN

Meet Lilian  – an environmental champion. Through his efforts, the village of Villesequelande, in France, became the first and only ‘Tree Village’ in the world, offering a tree to each house and families welcoming new babies, with even more planted around the school and streets. 

LILIAN

Meet Lilian  – an environmental champion. Through his efforts, the village of Villesequelande, in France, became the first and only ‘Tree Village’ in the world, offering a tree to each house and families welcoming new babies, with even more planted around the school and streets. 

MYRIAM

Myriam is passionate about rugby and its values. As part of the Surfrider Foundation Europe, she spends her time collecting plastic waste on beaches. She also takes part in races to raise money for cancer research.

MYRIAM

Myriam is passionate about rugby and its values. As part of the Surfrider Foundation Europe, she spends her time collecting plastic waste on beaches. She also takes part in races to raise money for cancer research.

TOM

A true Defender of Tomorrow, Tom saved his little brother from leukaemia by donating bone marrow. He had to stop playing rugby for a year, one of the many sacrifices he had to make during a trying and difficult time for him and his family.

TOM

A true Defender of Tomorrow, Tom saved his little brother from leukaemia by donating bone marrow. He had to stop playing rugby for a year, one of the many sacrifices he had to make during a trying and difficult time for him and his family.

CHRISTOPHER

Christopher is captain of his house at school and recognises that leadership is about inclusion, standing against bullying and inequality. He loves to play rugby with everyone, irrespective of their ability.

CHRISTOPHER

Christopher is captain of his house at school and recognises that leadership is about inclusion, standing against bullying and inequality. He loves to play rugby with everyone, irrespective of their ability.

ABNER

Rugby has made Abner strong and confident. He cleans around his community to make sure his friends have a safe environment to play in. Abner refuses to be a bystander, using his inner strength to stand up for others.

ABNER

Rugby has made Abner strong and confident. He cleans around his community to make sure his friends have a safe environment to play in. Abner refuses to be a bystander, using his inner strength to stand up for others.

ITSUKI

Itsuki is fighting for a better tomorrow. His ambition is to become a biologist, so he can investigate the ecology of living things and invent solutions to environmental problems such as plastic waste.

ITSUKI

Itsuki is fighting for a better tomorrow. His ambition is to become a biologist, so he can investigate the ecology of living things and invent solutions to environmental problems such as plastic waste.

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TRAILBLAZERS

Celebrating those who embrace the impossible.

OVERVIEW

Defender and Rugby World Cup. Together we embrace the impossible.