RUGBY EUROPE celebrated 80 years since its launch in 1934, at its 93rd General Assembly, held at the headquarters of Societe Generale Banking Group, at La Defense in Paris, last weekend (28/29 November).
The anniversary meeting was attended by 96 delegates from 42 member Unions, including the Home Unions (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales), France and Italy and was run in parallel with a reunion of RUGBY EUROPE Board of Directors. A meeting of the RUGBY EUROPE Executive Committee was held on Thursday, November 27, 2014.
“This was an excellent meeting, which has taken RUGBY EUROPE forward. We have taken some momentous decisions in several areas of management including Communications, Marketing, and Sponsorship, while have been revising our statutes in order to modernise and simplify them, for a better governance and more transparency, RUGBY EUROPE President Octavian Morariu said.
“In this respect I am delighted to welcome the Home Unions who have formally joined the RUGBY EUROPE Executive and look forward to working together for the betterment of the game on the Continent. The close cooperation with the French Federation, with whom we have a strong, historic bond, will most certainly continue and expand. I am also pleased to salute the election to our Executive of former international player and President of Swedish Rugby Union, Madeleine Lahti, the first women to join the Executive Council of RUGBY EUROPE.
Rob Udwin of the Rugby Football Union has also joined the Executive of RUGBY EUROPE and was appointed Chairman of the Age-Grade, Development and Competitions Committee. He took over from Martin Davies of the Welsh Rugby Union, who became the Chairman of the High Performance and Professional Rugby Committee, replacing Octavian Morariu.
“Financially we are in a sound position thanks to the support of World Rugby, the game’s governing body and to the careful and cautious management of our resources by our Treasurer Jose Maria Epalza and his team, and we are planning ahead in order to expand, taking rugby to every nation in Europe. I also welcome the entry of the Belarus Rugby Union who have become a full member of RUGBY EUROPE. I would also like to congratulate the Cyprus Rugby Union who have been accepted as an Associate member of “World Rugby” and we will support the application of the Slovak Rugby Union to attain a similar status.
“Over 1000 matches of senior, women and age-group rugby, 7s and 15s, professional and amateur have been played during the past season under the aegis of RUGBY EUROPE and we have engaged in a process of reviewing our competitions structure, in order to improve and optimise it. We must be aware that the strength of the professional game is underpinned by the vigour and the values of the amateur sport in all our Unions. This is what makes rugby a unique game, admired by many and respected by all.”