Rugby bosses in firing line over future

RUGBY'S rulers will be in the firing line in the Eastern Counties this weekend.The RFU's senior management team are visiting Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire - the three counties that make up the Eastern Counties Constituent Body (CB) - over three days.

RUGBY'S rulers will be in the firing line in the Eastern Counties this weekend.

The RFU's senior management team are visiting Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire - the three counties that make up the Eastern Counties Constituent Body (CB) - over three days.

Anyone involved in the game, from players to administrators, volunteers to supporters, will get the chance to question the work of the Union and to provide feedback on the challenges rugby faces in the region.

RFU Chairman Martyn Thomas, CEO Francis Baron (former St Joseph's College pupil), Community Rugby director Andrew Scoular and Community Rugby chairman John Owen all start their tour with a question and answer session at Diss RFC tonight (7.30pm).


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Tomorrow they visit West Suffolk College (10 to 11.30am) before travelling to Cambourne RFC, near Cambridge, for the rest of the day and Sunday morning sees the group move on to Bury St Edmunds RFC.

The visit is part of a programme of five CB visits this season. The group go to Kent next month before trips to Leicestershire, Northumberland, Gloucestershire and Somerset in the New Year.

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“These fact-finding visits are an essential part of our work,” said Thomas.

“It's important that we can interact with everyone involved in rugby from the grassroots upwards to help address the issues facing the game throughout the country.

“We're looking forward to seeing as many people as possible over the three days and to see what's going on at the adult, school and youth team levels.

“The question and answer session at Diss is an integral part of this.

“Nothing is off limits - from the mechanics of the grassroots game to the future of the professional and elite rugby - and we look forward to receiving everyone's feedback either during the formal part of the evening or informally over a drink.”

Roger Pierson, the secretary of the Eastern Counties CB, has planned the visit to demonstrate how rugby is addressing the challenges it faces at a local level.

Tomorrow the party will learn about how West Suffolk College are able to link the development of playing skills in young players to their academic work before seeing an ambitious new club in action at Cambourne, who play Saffron Walden at 2.15pm. Cambourne, in their second year of existence in a new town, have been supported by funding from the Rugby Football Foundation for floodlighting and equipment

The next morning they travel to Bury St Edmunds RFC, who have a new clubhouse development taking place and a state-of-the-art artificial playing surface already installed. Some of the club's 400 young players are involved in games at the ground that day.

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