England will want for nothing in World Cup build-up
December 6, 2012
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie insists no expense will be spared when it comes to England's preparations for the next World Cup © Getty Images
Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie has promised that no expense will be spared when it comes to England's preparations for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
England will play host to the sport's showpiece event and earlier this week were drawn in the 'pool of death' alongside Australia and Wales. With a tough challenge ahead, Ritchie is prepared to offer Stuart Lancaster's side every possible advantage in the hope of them repeating their previous World Cup success in 2003.
"I said this in a meeting I had with the players' leadership group - I don't want anyone to say in 2016, 'If we'd had this, we might have won, we might have done better'," Ritchie said. "All I want to know is what we need to put in place now to make sure over the next three years that the team have everything they want.
"It's not just the obvious, it's things like analysis and IT support, state-of-the-art technology to look at performance, the absolute best in terms of strength and conditioning and medical support.
"To my mind, we should have the absolute best. We have to keep developing, enhancing and growing, making sure the right support mechanisms are in place for the England team. We need to make sure we have the highest-quality people within the environment - not just coaches."
The RFU commissioned a report into their own elite department earlier this year with former UK Sport chief Peter Keen and Sir Ian McGeechan asked to assess the current set-up and Ritchie insists he will not be afraid to act should they see reason for change. However, he believes England's recent success over New Zealand suggests they might already be on the right track.
"If there are good, radical suggestions, I won't hold back but I really don't think we're in that kind of place," Ritchie said. "Do we need major heart surgery? I think the patient performed pretty well on Saturday.
"We had the same players, the same coaches and the same processes in place against the All Blacks as we had at the start of the autumn. Were those processes capable of delivering? Palpably, the answer was 'yes'."
Ritchie has also revealed he will share the conclusions of the report but it will not be published. "I quite happy to sit down and talk about what's in it, how we are going to move forward, absolutely. But is it going to be published? No," Ritchie said. "As far as you can you should always be transparent.
"You run into inordinate difficulties if you start to fully disclose the details of these kinds of reports which inevitably have views. To be honest, I don't want to go down that sort of route again. I don't think publishing the full details is right or necessary because it is an internal report."
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