The Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced its participation legacy plans today (1 November), exactly three years to the day until the Rugby World Cup final 2015.
Chief Executive, Ian Ritchie, alongside Rugby Development Director, Steve Grainger, and England's most capped player, Jason Leonard, outlined seven areas of focus for the RFU in the lead up to 2015 and beyond.
Schools were one area of focus as the RFU launched the All Schools programme to ensure more schools are offering rugby and give over 1 million young people opportunities to play. The initiative aims to introduce the game into 400 non-rugby playing secondary schools by 2015, and up to 750 by 2019, by delivering a package of resources within the school.
Ian Ritchie, Chief Executive, RFU said:
"With three years to go until the culmination of one of the greatest sporting events taking place on home ground, we are putting in place the infrastructure and investment now to ensure that we deliver the greatest participation legacy for the game. This truly is a once in a generation opportunity to showcase and grow our game and one that we plan to make the most of."
Responding to the announcement, The Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport commented: "As part of these plans, the All Schools programme is an excellent initiative, ensuring that more young people across the country have the opportunity to play rugby in secondary schools."
Jason Leonard, who played in England's 2003 World Cup winning side, said: "There's nothing like a World Cup to inspire a nation and hosting the event gives us the perfect chance to demonstrate that rugby is a game for everyone. It's exciting to see plans to build participation already in place, so clubs will be ready and waiting to welcome the influx of new players."