Scottish Rugby Sets Out The Way Forward

Scottish Rugby is aiming to recruit an extra 11,000 players to the game in the next five years. The aggressive target is revealed today as Scottish Rugby begins presentations of its strategic plan to its member clubs. The plan – Scottish Rugby: Growing locally, performing successfully, competing globally – sets out the governing body’s vision across four key areas:-Scottish Rugby is aiming to recruit an extra 11,000 players to the game in the next five years. The aggressive target is revealed today as Scottish Rugby begins presentations of its strategic plan to its member clubs.

The plan – Scottish Rugby: Growing locally, performing successfully, competing globally – sets out the governing body’s vision across four key areas:-

· Community rugby;

· Rugby performance;

· Financial and commercial; and

· Governance and administration.

“Our plan is about evolution rather than revolution,” said Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive Gordon McKie, “and aims to build on the success of the Genesis Report, which has been the basis on which we’ve done our annual business plans over the last two years.”

The first presentation to clubs takes place tonight at Jed-Forest RFC, Riverside Park, Jedburgh (7pm) and will be followed by presentations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth in the weeks ahead.

On the community game, Scottish Rugby plans to achieve a 35% increase in adult players and a 38% increase in youth players by 2012, so that the current 27,000 total player number reaches 38,000. This number includes male and female players.

Colin Thomson, SRU’s Head of Community Rugby, said: “The key to us meeting this target is to all work together through continuing to develop the network of partnerships, formal and informal, whether between schools and clubs or clubs, Scottish Rugby, local authorities and other stakeholders.

“The numbers may sound ambitious but what they mean is that if each club currently playing the game can raise an additional 14 players a year, each year in senior, junior clubs or in local schools or mini sections and retain them, then we will hit our target.

“This may be difficult in some areas that have already shown dramatic growth in recent years. However, it’s critically important we target areas to expand our numbers.

“And if we increase the number of players, we must obviously look to increase the number of referees and coaches and volunteer administrators as well because without that infrastructure you cannot sustain growth in the game.”

Targets for referees by 2012 would be for an increase from the current 423 qualified officials to a minimum of 1,000.

The number of UKCC qualified coaches would have to more than quadruple from the current 424; and more than 8,000 people would be required as volunteers to ensure Scotland’s rugby clubs could thrive.

On rugby performance, the plan has ten objectives committed to making the professional game in Scotland successful and ensuring that national teams can compete at the highest level. The plan will be measured against Rugby World Cup performance, world rankings for the national team, improving Six Nations win rates, standing in the Six Nations and benchmarks for the pro-teams such as finishing positions in the Magners League and knockout qualification in the Heineken Cup.

For the professional teams, both Edinburgh and Glasgow are targeting regular top five Magners League finishes by 2012 and both teams are aiming to reach the quarter final stages of the Heineken Cup at least once by that time.

On the topic of international players, Scottish Rugby wants to increase the number of Scottish pro team players playing for the national team; a minimum of 20 players in a 30-man squad should come from the Scottish based pro teams.

On financial and commercial, Scottish Rugby aims to remain financially sustainable and increase attendances at professional and national team matches, while on governance and administration the plan calls for Scottish Rugby to set new standards and drive sport forward in Scotland and to enhance and maintain partnerships with the Scottish Government and Glasgow 2014 among other bodies.

Gordon McKie added: “Our plan has been approved by the Scottish Rugby Board and endorsed by the Scottish Rugby Council. It will now be presented to our member clubs and other stakeholders and will be subject to rigorous scrutiny. I have no doubt the plan will evolve over the five years and forms the backcloth for us to continue to drive Scottish Rugby forward.”

In addition to tonight’s meeting at Jed-Forest RFC, subsequent meetings will be held at:

Gordonians clubrooms, Aberdeen – Thursday 6 December, 7pm

Watsonian clubrooms, Myreside, Edinburgh – Monday 10 December, 7.30pm

West of Scotland clubrooms, Burnbrae, Glasgow – Wednesday 12 December, 7pm

Dewar Centre, Glover Street, Perth – Monday 17 December, 7pm

With a further meeting to be held in Inverness during January.

Stats breakdown

Scotland

As a minimum, reach the Quarter-Finals of the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups
Improve win rate in 6 Nations from 25% to 40%
Win the 6 Nations at least once by 2012

Professional

Improve win rate of Glasgow Warriors in the Magners League from 37% to 55%
Improve win rate of Edinburgh in the Magners League from 45% to 55%
Improve standing in Magners League of Glasgow and Edinburgh, to be in the Top 5 by 2012
Each Professional Team to achieve 1 ERC quarter final appearance by 2012.
a minimum of 20 of the Scotland Squad of 30 should be selected from the Scottish pro teams

Community

35% increase in adult players by 2012
38% increase in young players by 2012
Total number of players to reach 38,000 by 2012 (equating to 1,900 teams of 20 players)
Seasonal structure to be researched and presented by 2009 - new structures to be implemented by 2012
Achieve integration between SRU and SWRU
Increase team of jointly funded development officers working in communities throughout Scotland
Increase the quantity and improve the quality of referees in Scotland
Increase the quantity and improve the quality of coaches in Scotland
Increase the number of volunteers in Scotland
Implement registration and tracking database for players, coaches, referees, volunteers
Develop and implement a facilities strategy, with emphasis on club and schools facilities