RUGBY DEVELOPMENT REPORT – 2016-2016 Season Review


RUGBY DEVELOPMENT REPORT – 2016-2016 Season Review


Dave Southern


Area 5 RFU Manager




The Rugby World Cup proved to be a great success notwithstanding the performance and outcomes of the host team in the tournament. The Area 5 Legacy board led by Fran Cotton did some great work adding real value to work at the RFU and locally.




Ken Andrews and his group working alongside the RDOs did a great job of ensuring the clubs in Lancashire were in the best place possible to maximise the opportunities of the RWC, with a series of 3 workshops bringing clubs together to plan their individual campaigns.  As ever the clubs who did the most got some great results in terms of recruiting players returning former players and links to the broader community.




All preparations are in place for the World Rugby U20s Championships




Only one major change within the team this year with the retirement of University RDO John Livesey, John has been a great asset to the game and Rugby in Lancashire over the past decade. Chris Lowden former CRC in the North of the county has stepped up and has complemented the great relationship work done established John, and is proving a really strong member of the team.


Andrew Soutar has settled really well into the Merseyside RDO role and has already established great relationships with the clubs and I expect even more good things next season. George Glenn has also made a good start as Greater Manchester RDO and is proving a very capable and popular team member




The team comprises of myself the Area manager, supported by RDOs Stuart Urquhart, Phil Clarke, George Glenn, Andrew Soutar and Dave Westhead together with their highly dedicated teams of CRCs who work within Lancashire and in some cases Cheshire to a greater or lesser extent. The team are supported by specialists who cover Lancs along with the rest of Area 5, including Women and Girls Development Officer Claire Antcliffe, we are also supported by a Funding and Facilities Officer Tom Bartram, a Player Development officer Ian Bletcher, Area Training Manager Dave Livesey.




The key elements of our role remain




Core purpose:


“Strengthening our Member Clubs and Growing the Game in Communities around them”




Key drivers:


Retaining & Developing Current




Recruiting New




Retaining & Recruiting high quality Coaches, Volunteers & Referees


Integration with the Local Community


Effective & Efficient


Management & Governance


Effective & Efficient Facilities




While not all activities of the team must support the above they are certainly the filter through which all potential activities must be viewed.




The “All schools” programme targeting non-rugby playing schools, with the aim of making them self-sustaining rugby schools through investment of up to £10000 and substantial staff hours continues to grow in both number and impact within Lancs.




Targeted work-strands also sees each RDO identifying Education establishments or clubs based on need and potential to focus on to retain and recruit players, over 20 more schools in Lancashire will benefit this season. Once again the majority of the targeted work are on target, to sustain or grow the game in the county.




As ever the Clubs have been well served by the North West Facilities Group, Lancashire are represented by Rob Briers, RDO Stuart Urquhart and Dave Herriman. The group did their usual first rate job in helping clubs drive forward achieve their ambitions. I would emphasise it is important that clubs get in touch early in the planning process to avoid mistakes, duplication etc.




As ever a big thank you to the CB and club volunteers who have helped with Development in the County, I must mention Rob Briers, Dave Herriman, Ken Andrews, Tom Fitzgerald, Malcom Worsley, Carol Baker, Peter Saunders, Mark Downs and Paul Deakin, President Tim Stirk and I must single out Stephen Briers for his work with the PFR plan and funding, all have again worked closely with the team, and who I know all my colleagues in the Area Delivery Team have the utmost respect for. Our monthly review meetings have helped streamline an increasingly complex process and help us to work more as closely as ever.