Increased focus on Auckland key to rugby growth

New Zealand Rugby     10 Sep 2013     New Zealand Rugby

Investment across Community Rugby of $5.6 million per year includes an increase of $0.5 million on 2012 to specifically target activities that will encourage greater involvement in rugby across Auckland. It also provides increased funding for secondary school positions.

$500,000 extra to expand rugby across Auckland region and schools

Provisional 2013 registered player numbers show teens a challenge

All Blacks and World Cup winning captains provide historic moment for Auckland rugby teens

Provisional rugby registration numbers for 2013 show that players aged 0-12 (78,568 in 2013) and 21+ (27,794 in 2013) are in line with 2012 figures, however teenage participation is down 3 per cent (41,835 in 2013). Total player numbers for the year were 148,483.

“New Zealand Rugby’s Community Rugby Strategy includes a specific focus on secondary schools and teenage rugby as well as helping position rugby as the sport of choice in Auckland,” said Brent Anderson, General Manager Community Rugby and Provincial Unions.

“While we have seen good momentum at most levels of the community game in recent years, teenage participation continues to be a challenge declining by more than two thousand over the past five years,” said Anderson.

“Auckland has many of the best performing rugby schools in the country, but it also has large schools where rugby is not so strong. By providing a dedicated programme of rugby support to 10 schools across the region we’re aiming to increase the number of teens choosing rugby as their sport of choice.”

Teenagers from the schools receiving additional support to grow rugby were selected in consultation with the regions Provincial Unions and invited to attend a workshop with the All Blacks as part of coaching clinics being held in the lead up to Tests being held this year with the rugby community.

The encounter with the All Blacks was made even more special when the 120 teenagers received a surprise visit from World Cup winning captains Richie McCaw - All Blacks, Melissa Ruscoe - 2010 Black Ferns, DJ Forbes - All Blacks Sevens and Huriana Manuel - Women's Sevens along with current trophies New Zealand teams hold.

New Zealand Rugby CEO, Steve Tew said it was a remarkable achievement in world sport to have one country hold all of the silverware available for the highest level of its sport for both men and women.

“Having four World Cup trophies at a single time is quite incredible and something that New Zealanders should be immensely proud of. To achieve this is testament to the work being done at all levels of the game, from school kids through to the professional area.

We certainly don’t take this success for granted and remain focused on our key strategic goals which include back to back Rugby World Cups and two Olympic gold medals at Rio in 2016”.

The ten schools participating in the All Blacks coaching clinic were:

• Lynfield College
• Mt Roskill Grammar School
• Pakuranga College
• Tuakau College
• Papakura High School
• James Cook High School
• Northcote College
• Long Bay College
• Rangitoto College
• Birkenhead College