5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
It is my honour as President to introduce the Irish Rugby Football Union's second strategic plan, to cover the period 2008 -2012, including World Cup 2011 in New Zealand.
The cycle encompasses a period of great challenge for the governance and well being of rugby in Ireland. Based on the level of success achieved in our inaugural plan, I have every confi dence in our ability to again successfully realise many of the key objectives we have set ourselves. The Strategic Plan 2008 - 2012 - Building on Solid Foundations - has been framed with a thoroughness and detail that epitomises the sense of conscientious guardianship within the Union for the welfare of rugby football in Ireland. Amongst the elements of aspiration set out, I am satisfi ed that the wellbeing of our domestic game going forward remains at the core of our objectives.
Increase in playing numbers which are an indication of the overall growth of the game are refl ected within the successful attainments of our initial plan and the ambition to drive on that momentum is critical, notwithstanding that it is the professional game which is the engine that drives all our activities. In spite of a disappointing 2007 World Cup in France, I believe rugby in Ireland, across the board, is in a satisfying state - and in good hands - and our collective endeavour to fulfi ll the targets set out in the 2008 - 2012 strategic plan can serve to enhance that status.
I greatly appreciate the extent of effort that has gone into the preparation of this document. It is the product of inordinate hard work by my fellow committee members, under the Chairmanship of John Hussey and conducted in harmony with the IRFU professional staff, under the direction of our CEO Philip Browne, together with critical input from the branches and from volunteers throughout the club game.
I strongly urge a dedicated participation by everyone in attempting to achieve the aims and values set out here, so that we can all share in the satisfaction of contributing to the common objective of having in Ireland a game from which we can all take pleasure with a sense of attainment and pride.
John Lyons, IRFU President 2008-2009
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