- World cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio marks two years until RWC 2015
- Posts in the Park aim to raise awareness of tournament around England
World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio was on hand to mark two years until the start of Rugby World Cup 2015 with the installation of the first Posts in the Park at Inwood Park in Hounslow.
Sets of single rugby posts are being placed in parks in the English host cities as visible symbols of the RFU’s commitment to broadening the appeal of rugby and to reaching out to new audiences in new areas.
From Newcastle to Exeter and from Birmingham to London, the posts are situated in places not traditionally associated with rugby and aim to raise awareness of the tournament, which will be arriving in their city in just 24 months.
Photo: RFU Archive
Dallaglio, who won 88 England caps in a 12-year international career, was joined by RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie and England Rugby 2015 CEO Debbie Jevans, as well as a group of local school children from Cranford Community College.
Focussing on the legacy aspect of hosting rugby’s showpiece tournament, he said: “Two years out from the tournament and we are already seeing the impact of Rugby World Cup 2015 being hosted in England.
“Posts in the Park is a great concept – to see 100 rugby posts going up in parks all across the country is a real opportunity to raise interest and awareness of the game. For the RFU to have a legacy programme in place now means that more people can have access to rugby – not only in the lead-up and during the tournament, but long afterwards.”
Local comprehensive Cranford is among the latest group of 100 schools to join the RFU’s All Schools programme. Launched last year, All Schools is a key part of the RFU’s legacy plans, aiming to create a step-change in the number of secondary schools playing rugby union by supporting schools new to rugby over a three-year period.
Photo: RFU Archive
It forms one of the RFU’s seven legacy strands of the Rugby World Cup 2015 to deliver the greatest participation boost for the game. From building capacity by getting more school children playing rugby to improving facilities in rugby clubs or increasing the quantity and quality of coaches, the governing body’s plans are making good progress, as Ritchie explained.
“When we launched our legacy vision last year, we talked about inspiring people and bringing rugby to more people across the country,” he said. “Today marks an important step on that journey to get people thinking about the game and to make the most of the opportunities that hosting the Rugby World Cup brings.
“Over the past year we have put in place realistic plans and additional investment to ensure that we build a lasting legacy for the game. We want more people playing, coaching, refereeing and volunteering, watching and talking about rugby – and we are on our way to delivering that vision.”