So some big news today for English rugby. After devastation at the last World Cup on home soil you would possibly be thinking the RFU would be happy trying to make sure we at least go deep into the competition in Japan. But the RFU are on a mission, and their main objective is to start challenging football as the primary sport in the country. Whilst it would take years to rival football in terms of participation and support the RFU can certainly continue to lead the way in terms of how they interact with communities and how they invest in all levels of the sport.
To make Rugby Union the “Strongest sport in England” is going to take more than a couple of years and an increase in budgets, but you’ve got to start somewhere. The RFU is increasing it’s 4 year strategic budget by 30% to a record £443 million. See below for the main aims of this strategic plan.
- Win the Mens World Cup 2019
- Win the Womens World Cup 2021
- Medal Placing for Men & Women in Tokyo Olympic Games 2020
- Win back to back Six Nations titles.
- 60 RFU-owned artificial pitches to be in place by RWC 2019
- 17 Seven-a-side contracts for Women’s squad with 35 match-fee Elite Player Squad contracts for 15-a-side game to come to add to the recent £1million investment.
The RFU are pushing £253 million into the professional game as the aim for the success at the top level will ripple down to the bottom levels of rugby that success creates.
All this is great news, it will be difficult to for the individual to feel the benefits but the commitment to increase investment in the women’s game is great news. But giving back to infrastructure of rugby union by committing to 60 new artificial pitches gives opportunity for players of all ages to be playing rugby throughout the year. Not only that there will be less mud baths and more running rugby!