It works to improve people’s lives regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race or religion.
ATLAS funds UK and overseas projects, providing pitches, coaches and teachers for schools, clubs and communities.
ATLAS’s Rugby Champions are mostly celebrated international rugby players, including “centurions” with over 100 international caps, and multiple world cup winners.
England Rugby’s most-capped player, with 114 caps for England, a further 5 for the British & Irish Lions, and in 2003 a Rugby World Cup win in Australia. He was awarded the OBE in 2004 for services to sport, and is currently RFU President.
Played at prop for England and toured with the British & Irish Lions in Australia. He acted in the revived stage play Up ‘n’ Under and appeared in a rugby special of the television show Come Dine with Me.
Thinus Delport played for South African at wing or fullback and thereafter for Worcester, Gloucester and in Japan. He is a regular commentator for Sky Sports.
Flanker who represented England on 70 occasions, and won the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2014. First woman to win the Rugby Writer’s Pat Marshall award, winner of the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the year in 2010, she is now a respected TV presenter and in 2016 was elected to the RFU Council.
“Hambo” played prop for England U21’s before suffering a critical injury in practice in 2005. He established his own Foundation and helps rugby players and others with critical injuries recover and “get busy living”. He is an active supporter of his own and other charities, and an established writer for local, international and specialist rugby publications.
Known as Pepsii, Kamaldeep Dagar plays for Delhi Hurricanes and captains the national team. Pepsii has a full time job with the police force in Delhi.
Don was a tighthead prop who represented the USA 9 times, won the Collegiate title 4 times with the University of California, played in Ireland, at Harlequins and for Oxford in the Varsity Match. He also played high level football (the American kind). He is on the US Rugby Foundation Board of Directors and in the University of California Athletic Hall of Fame. He founded and runs a successful IT company with offices around the world.
The Australian scrum-half with the quick wit and fastest distribution in world rugby is the most capped player in the international game, playing in 139 Tests for Australia. He played in three Rugby World Cups, winning one.
Richard was a hard-running loosehead prop and an integral part of the Wallabies during a golden era, which included clinching the Bledisloe Cup in 1998 and retaining it for the next three years, winning the Rugby World Cup in 1999, and a Tri Nations triumph in 2000.
Shane is a former hooker for Ireland and also won four caps with the Lions on the New Zealand tour of 2005. He played most of his club rugby with Leinster and a short stint with Saracens. Shane is much loved and remembered for his fearsome mullet haircut. He is now a successful businessman and burgeoning media celebrity, in 2014 he got his acting debut in Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie.
John Eales was given the nickname “Nobody” because “Nobody’s perfect”. He captained Australian and won the Rugby World Cup twice.
Martyn is a flanker who appeared 100 times for Wales, 4 for the British and Irish Lions, and captained his country He currently holds the Welsh record for most appearances in the Five and Six Nations championships.
Carlo is the current Italian national team manager. As a player he represented Italy at World Cups in 1995, 1999 and 2003. He earned 83 caps and scored 21 tries, an international try total for forwards that he held until 2007.
Dan played prop for Australia and is one of a very select band of players to be a double world champion having won Rugby World Cups in 1991 and 1999. He also worked as an undercover police officer specialising in busting drug-rings. He has written of these experiences in a book Undercover Prop.
David made his Scotland debut in 1986 against France and went on to win 44 caps at prop, with a record 25 as captain. He also made three appearances for the British Lions in Australia in 1989. He now has a successful media and corporate career. In 1993 he was awarded the OBE for services to Rugby Football.
Philippe is a former French centre who held a world record for the most international appearances with 111 caps, until he was overtaken by ATLAS’s own Jason Leonard. He is one of only five players to have scored a try in every game during a five nations season. He became a member of the IRB Hall of Fame in 2008.
Alessandro played hooker for Italy 45 times including captaining his country on 17 occasions. He led his club Treviso to the Italian title before announcing his retirement from club rugby in the summer of 2003. He now has a successful corporate career.
Photo: Ellie Kealey
Catherine is the former England Women’s captain and no.8 who won six Six Nations Titles, five Grand Slams and led the team to the final in the 2010 World Cup in New Zealand. She retired from international rugby in 2011 and founded her own company Inspiring Women which provides organisations with inspiring women to develop talent and leadership.
Gus is the former Argentinian scrum half and captain who took Argentina to third place in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He has played for teams in England and France and was the first foreign captain of a French team to win the French Championship.
Bernard is a former hooker who played club rugby for Connacht, Leinster and Sale, where he helped them win the European Challenge Cup, and represented Ireland 9 times before retiring due to a concussion injury. He took up coaching and is now Head Coach at FC Grenoble.
Bob is a former Springbok captain and Rugby World Cup winner. He has played in Wales and England as well as South Africa and frequently captained the Barbarians. After international rugby Bob started his own company, represents a number of public bodies and charities, including his own Foundation, and works as a presenter for Sky Sports.
Fernando played fly-half for Uruguay U21 and for Old Boys Club. He recently earned his MBA degree from London Business School and is successfully developing his career both as a Strategy Consultant and as an Entrepreneur. Fernando has been an energetic supporter of several charities, especially those focused on education.
Gary is a former prop for Ireland. He made his debut in 1990 and played at international level until 1995. He was part of the Ireland Rugby World Cup squad in 1991 and 1995. He is now 1st XV coach at Christ College, Wales but returns home regularly to support ATLAS in Ireland.
Gregg is well known for presenting Masterchef and a host of other television programmes. It is less well known that he used to play in the Front Row and is a Level 2 rugby coach.
Supported by corporate heavyweights and charity specialists, ATLAS was founded in 2015 and its first projects start work in 2016 in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, South America, India and the Pacific Islands, paying for coaches, funding education, and building sports pitches for schools, clubs and communities with none of their own.
Founding Chairman, Jason Leonard OBE said,
“ATLAS was started by a bunch of people who have seen how effective rugby is in tackling a range of problems. We have seen at first hand the good that the game, and the rugby family can do when it pulls together. I know that a solid prop added to a great pack will drive teams forward over any obstacles. In rugby this was match winning, in the lives of children this means winning the war against poverty, illiteracy and disease.”