Top brass move to an­swer Twick­en­ham bias claims

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Rugby Union -

Andy Cosslett, the chair­man of the Rugby Foot­ball Union, has moved to ad­dress per­cep­tions that the gov­ern­ing body is too Twick­en­ham-cen­tric by tak­ing its board meet­ings on the road.

Cosslett in­vited the direc­tors to hold their re­cent board meet­ing at Pre­ston Grasshop­pers Rugby Club – fa­mous for its links to a host of Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­als, in­clud­ing Dick and Will Green­wood, Steve Borth­wick, Wade Doo­ley, Paul Grayson and Iain Bal­shaw.

It is un­der­stood that the board spent the day at the club, whose se­nior side play in the North Pre­mier – the fifth level of the English sys­tem. The visit in­cluded a din­ner with 40 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of lo­cal clubs and uni­ver­si­ties, and there was a “frank ex­change” of ideas.

Plans are un­der way to hold an­other board meet­ing in the Mid­lands and, pos­si­bly, the West Coun­try as the union bids to counter grass­roots crit­i­cisms that it spends too much time at Twick­en­ham and does not ex­pe­ri­ence first­hand the chal­lenges that clubs face.

“Eng­land rugby is for the whole coun­try and it’s im­por­tant that we aren’t Twick­en­ham-cen­tric,” said an RFU spokes­woman.

“So, we are com­mit­ted to hold­ing board meet­ings around the coun­try, in rugby clubs in dif­fer­ent parts of Eng­land, to en­sure that we are in touch with ev­ery­thing that is hap­pen­ing in the game.”

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