10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Also at the launch at Lansdowne Road were (from left to right): Alex Quigley, Alex Dunlop, Paul O'Connell, Minister John O'Donoghue T.D., Tom Carroll, Brian O'Driscoll and Conor Cleary.
The Long Term Player Development Model will provide an integrated framework to facilitate the development of rugby players at all levels of participation and experience. Its stages are, namely, the FUNdamental stage, the Learn to Play & Practice stage, the Train to Train stage, the Train to Compete stage, the Train to Win stage and the final Retirement/Retention stage.
Irish Sports Council Chief Executive John Treacy, the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, John O'Donoghue T.D., and IRFU President Peter Boyle at Lansdowne Road.
IRFU President Peter Boyle said of the announcement: "The Long Term Player Development model is an important component in our strategy to improve the quality of players and coaches in Ireland at all levels, and an integral part of increasing participation numbers. We are confident that Irish rugby will continue to help the Irish Sports Council to meet its increased participation targets."
**All photos by Lorraine O'Sullivan of Inpho Photography**