Blackheath Rugby Club, in partnership with JSS Pinnacle, will be providing coaching to schools in the boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark.

The new project starts this month and will serve 10 schools in each borough.

Mark Percival, Blackheath's director of youth and development, said: This is without doubt the most exciting project the club has undertake in recent years.

“The development of the game is something the club has overlooked for a number of years and the scheme will give us the opportunity to provide rugby coaching for these local communities”

Under the scheme, schools which currently do not have any sort of rugby tuition, will be offered five-week courses and it hopes to introduce about 1,000 pupils during its first phase.

Festivals will be held at Blackheath's home ground, the Rectory Field, allowing pupils to apply what they have learnt in a competitive atmosphere against teams of similar ability.

Blackheath's community sceheme would not be taking place but for funding provided by JSS Pinnacle and Sportsmatch, a Government-funded organisation which encourages commercial sponsorship of sport at its grass-roots.

The scheme has the full backing of the various sports devlopment units in each borough and the Kent Rugby Football Union.