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Have your say on RFU talent development

29 April 2013

  • RFU's Talent Symposium offers chance to ask questions that matter
  • Submit your questions to Stuart Lancaster and other experts via
England Under 18s in Six Nations action

Photo: Getty Images

Talking politics and religion might fire up a debate in the club bar, and almost as emotive is the topic of how we spot and develop talent.

The RFU’s Talent Symposium, May 17-19, is relying on you to pose the crucial questions that will shape how we nurture rugby talent in this country.

We are asking for questions online for a panel of experts to consider and discuss. Submit yours now by visiting and clicking on the Submit Questions page.

Everyone has an opinion, some believe 10,000 hours of practice will bring excellence, others take the stance that it’s all about genetics – winners are born not made.

Which player development systems have been best able to harness the various demands of elite academies, schools and grassroots clubs in the best interests of the individual player or athlete? How significant is feedback from coaches in the development of talented young players?

For the first time ever in sport, National Institute for Health Consensus Guidelines, the most powerful and scientifically validated consensus tool, will come into play.

Sixteen experts, including world renowned Professors Bruce Abernathy, Lew Hardy and Joe Baker, will look to provide the answers to your questions.

A ten-strong eminent panel from across the world, chaired by Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice Chancellor Cambridge University, will bring intellect and impartiality in considering the answers and shaping them into a consensus for the game.

Creating a unified talent pathway

The first step is to decide from the widely differing views what actually constitutes talent.

Nobody will be more interested than England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster, who will be kicking off proceedings. But everyone who has a stake in rugby talent should get involved. You might be a teacher, coach, selector, parent or player.

This is your chance to put questions to the experts, whose answers will be amalgamated by the panellists into a consensus statement.

The symposium will run from May 17-19 and will also feature informative Open Seminars throughout Saturday, May 18, with price reductions for RFU qualified coaches and students. For more information on the weekend’s activities, visit