19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
The new plan, for the period 2008 to 2012, will build on the success of the first four year plan (Growing the Game - Achieving Success) which led to the number of players increasing from 85,234 to 119,840 (39%) and revenues growing by from 37.35 to 55 million euro (32%) in 2008.
The new plan places emphasis on:
* Provision of quality in all aspects of the domestic game
* Focus on increasing the number of adult players
* Success through winning teams in the professional game
* A 25% revenue growth target to reach 69 million euro by 2012 has also been set
The heart of the new plan is the domestic game programme which was heavily influenced by an extensive market research study commissioned by the IRFU as part of the planning process.
John Hussey, Chairman of the IRFU Management Committee, which was responsible for developing the plan, said: "All of us involved in Irish rugby must continue to challenge ourselves and set ever higher goals in order to maintain and build on Ireland's position as one of the leading rugby countries in the world.
"The competition in the professional environment is clear for all to see, but our ambition is to provide quality at all levels of the game to continue to build on the foundations of the domestic game, which is the key area for the success of Irish rugby.
"We have an exciting range of new initiatives that we are confident will enable domestic rugby to make great strides over the next four years," he added.
Some of the main objectives in each of the key performance areas include:
Domestic Rugby - A Quality Experience
* Provide a quality rugby environment for players and supporters alike by ensuring clubs have the structures, know-how and resources needed including:
- 75% of clubs to participate in new club management training programme
- Development and widespread take-up of floodlit rugby
- Establishment of Club Award to recognise attainment of quality standards
- Greater adult participation across all forms of rugby union football
- The highest standards in age grade sport on the island of Ireland so as to provide young players with the best foundations and motivation for pursuing a prolonged playing career well into adulthood
Professional Game - A culture of success through Winning Teams
* National Team
- Win an RBS 6 Nations Championship and reach the semi-final of the 2011 Rugby World Cup
* Provincial Teams
- An Irish province to win the Heineken Cup
- An Irish province in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup each year
- Irish provinces to win two Magners Leagues
- Provide world class medical support at national and provincial level
- Achieve and maintain three referees in the top level of international game
* Commercial, Marketing and Communications
- Increase revenues by 25% to ?69m by 2012
- Enhance the profile of the game in Ireland
* Governance and Management
- Governance Audit - Complete review of governance models for Irish rugby
- Production of Irish Rugby 2020 - the long term vision for Irish rugby
To view a copy of the Strategic Plan (file size: 1.65MB), please click . To download, just right click and select 'Save Target As'.