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English Rugby
RFU unveils player development plan
ESPNscrum Staff
March 2, 2011
England manager Martin Johnson in relaxed mood, England media briefing, Pennyhill Park Hotel, Bagshot, England, January 31, 2011
England team manager has thrown his support behind the RFU's new player development plan © Getty Images
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The Rugby Fooball Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby have launched their new Elite Player Development strategy.

Premiership Rugby's head of academies and development Corin Palmer conducted a 15-month review of the academy process, with the support of RFU head of elite player development Stuart Lancaster, and submitted a number of recommendations to the Premiership Rugby Board.

Those recommendations, which cover management, financial discipline and coaching standards, have now been approved, meaning England's 14 licensed regional academies will be regularly evaluated and benchmarked against one another.

"There is a clear and shared vision, to have the world's best elite rugby development to enable us to produce a constant stream of talent to compete effectively at Premiership, European and England level," Palmer said. "With this strategy, we now have the framework to do that."

Lancaster said, "This is the first time the clubs and the Union have had a jointly agreed, collaborative approach to player development and that has to benefit club and country."

Meanwhile, England team manager Martin Johnson believes that the new initiative will prove hugely beneficial to the national team.

"We are in the middle of the Six Nations and yet we have seen players like Alex Corbisiero step up comfortably to Test match rugby," he said. "We can already see the success of our development pathways with the number of guys coming through to the senior set-up, such as Alex, Ben Youngs and Danny Care."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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