National League Rugby Discussion Forums Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > League Rugby - www.leaguerugby.co.uk > English Counties and County Championships
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - England Counties - clarifying some points
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

IMPORTANT Remember to read the rules of the board and abide by them when posting.

England Counties - clarifying some points

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
Richard Lowther View Drop Down
Coaching staff
Coaching staff
Avatar
Moderator

Joined: 19 May 2007
Location: England
Status: Offline
Points: 3785
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: England Counties - clarifying some points
    Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 23:32
Michael Old, England Counties manager as sent the following.  They are his personal comments and he "hopes this clears up a couple of factual points which always seem to raise their head around England Counties at this time of the year, as I want to provide clarity to all who support rugby at this level.  The selection criterion has been communicated to DoR’s and County representatives during the course of this season, as it is each season – but as that is obviously not disseminated broadly I thought I would outline this briefly here."

 

Spring Games:

Firstly, selection for the home fixture against Ireland Clubs on Friday 16th March to be played at Preston Grasshoppers RFC, ko 7.30pm is from English qualified players who have their primary contract with and are playing at National League 1 (level 3) or below; this selection was made mid-February.  To clarify, this means that no dual registration players are eligible.   As agreed with the home nations, also players who have played for their Country’s national elite team or “A” level, or have held a full-time professional contract with a Premiership team for 4 consecutive years are ineligible.

 

It would have been great to include a fixture against France Amateurs this season, however the league fixtures for the respective countries meant we were unable to find a common date.  Obviously playing 2 fixtures would be our ideal, however as well as finding dates, we are also conscious of the stresses on players and clubs playing 30 league games a season especially after the weather issues of the last couple of seasons.  We are currently working with the Scottish, French and Irish rugby unions to put in place a 5 year program where England Counties will play 2 fixtures a season against 2 of the 3 teams on a home and away rotation which will mean players can test themselves against the best players outside of the full-time professional game in the home nations.

 

Selectors cover National 1 and 2 all season and we get constant input from clubs DoRs and coaches as to players performing for them as well as for opposition teams.

 

Summer Tour

This squad will be selected during the County Championship and is based solely on English qualified players representing their County in the Bill Beaumont County Championship.   One of the primary aims around the set-up of England Counties was to encourage participation in County Rugby, this remains such and are in constant communication with the counties to assist their understanding of selection criteria to pass on to players to be able to be put forward for selection for the tour.

 

To clear up last season, this was extended to include players ‘making themselves available for selection’, however this was solely special circumstances owing to the extension of the club season and this is not in place for this season at this time, nor do I expect it to be with the winter behind us and ‘free’ weekends for games still available.  This extension was implemented with the knowledge and buy-in of the Counties and was done to not exclude players who would have committed to county rugby had it not been for club commitments, ie had committed regularly in previous seasons and were endorsed by the relevant county – I believe Gareth Collins communicated this very eloquently on Rolling Maul while away in Spain last season.

 

The way selection for the tour works is that all Counties contact me with their squad lists and recommendations for ECXV once they are in a position to do so, following which the ECXV selectors cover all the County games and report at selection meetings.  Owing to the region of the world we are travelling to this summer and the need for player inoculations – we have of course had detailed medical advice to visit E Africa around vaccinations etc, - we need to select after the second fixture of the County Championship, giving us 3 clear weeks before departure; this also gives players time to get time off work.  We would love to include all games, including the final, before selection but that is impossible when we typically travel the day after the final and players need to get time off work etc…

 

It is not possible to pencil in a squad before the County Championship starts as we do not know who will be playing before the championship starts; ECXV selectors have of course watched players throughout the season, but form at the end of a long and attritional club season, plus players coming in from lower and high levels to play county rugby, is taken into consideration in the BB cup and all players are given due consideration, noted in the fact, from memory, that at least two players from level 5 have been selected to tour in recent years and I truly hope there are more….

 

East Africa

This tour will be what I believe England Counties is all about – the 26 man squad will aim to develop and leave a legacy on the game in emerging IRB countries through playing 3 matches – Uganda, then 2 games against a combined East Africa team (a squad of the best 30 players from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is being put in place to train and play warm up matches before our visit) - to provide a new pinnacle for players in the region to strive to reach and in the future encourage further international teams to tour the region. In addition, time outside match preparation will be spent in schools, clubs etc introducing / teaching rugby, working with young people and adults.  The strength of opposition on tours hard to assess, for example Spain last year IRB ranked in the low 20’s (now ranked in the high teens) should have provided a serious test – the EC team was exceptional in that game to score over 50 points.  The three games in Africa will provide a very different challenge to what players would normally encounter, both country's Unions expectation is of big and highly enthusiastic crowds for what they believe will be competitive games; we expect the tour to be a fantastic personal experience on and off the field in a wonderful part of the world.  I hope players agree and make themselves available for the tour by playing in the County Championship…

 

Lastly, no one goes into any tour without careful planning especially not one for an England representative team.  Our medical personnel are highly experienced and fantastically committed individuals as anyone who has been with ECXV will provide testament too.  We have carried out full medical assessments on our locations and are in contact with medical providers in both countries - any concerns are being addressed prior to departure and we will as always, just in case, “pack our own parachute” - player safety is our number one priority.  We will give players selected all the details of the tour, if they choose not to come then that is their choice – there is no obligation on anyone whatsoever to join the tour and will have no bearing on future selection…. however as with all tours to date, I expect anyone who is available to want to have the honor and experience of representing England Counties and will be on the plane early June.

 

General

I truly believe in providing an England representative team at this level to showcase talent and for players to play in a new environment away from their clubs, challenging themselves against their peers and enjoying a broad rugby experience.  For some it is a stepping some to further honours and for some it is the pinnacle of their playing career.  I believe the players get a huge amount out of representing England Counties and whilst that is the case people who support this team at the RFU, as well as those who give up their personal time voluntarily, will always work to keep it evolving and representing these players, clubs, counties and supporters.

 

I would like to thank all for their support of players who play for England Counties who showcase the talent of players who play at this level – 2 current EPS players, 2 in the Saxons squad and numerous top performers in the Premiership and Championship, as well as those who choose to play at levels below that who we all enjoy watching week in week out, are testament to that.  It is a pleasure to be involved with these players, their clubs and counties and meet so many dedicated rugby supporters;

 

It is great to see the great support for players on this Forum who represent their clubs and England Counties and I hope to see many of you at Preston on the 16th March…

Moderator National League Rugby Message Boards



Remember Wakefield RFC
Back to Top
Caesar View Drop Down
First XV regular
First XV regular
Avatar

Joined: 24 May 2009
Location: Stotfold
Status: Offline
Points: 117
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Caesar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2012 at 10:46
....... so what's the point of the County Championship? Aren't players knackered enough?
Back to Top
RugbyNut View Drop Down
First XV regular
First XV regular
Avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 139
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RugbyNut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2012 at 11:49
Great post from EC manager Michael Old anybody reading this should grasp the importance of EC to players at community level Clap
Biffa333 Hope you have read this !! Cry
Onwards and Upwards
Back to Top
FHLH View Drop Down
World Cup Winner
World Cup Winner
Avatar
Cambridge

Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Location: Ambridge
Status: Offline
Points: 2676
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FHLH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2012 at 12:23
It's good to see the logic of selection processes. It certainly clarifies the team name!
This is the clearest comment from HQ for months.
The advantage law is the best law in rugby, because it lets you ignore all the others for the good of the game. (Derek Robinson)
Back to Top
Monkey Boy View Drop Down
World Cup Winner
World Cup Winner


Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Status: Offline
Points: 993
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monkey Boy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2012 at 14:03
Good ol jolly boys outing to East Africa.

What a ridiculous place to go and the budget must be interesting
Back to Top
FHLH View Drop Down
World Cup Winner
World Cup Winner
Avatar
Cambridge

Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Location: Ambridge
Status: Offline
Points: 2676
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FHLH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2012 at 14:12
Originally posted by Monkey Boy Monkey Boy wrote:

What a ridiculous place to go and the budget must be interesting

'tis for the greater good of the game ...........
The advantage law is the best law in rugby, because it lets you ignore all the others for the good of the game. (Derek Robinson)
Back to Top
ruckinred View Drop Down
World Cup Winner
World Cup Winner
Avatar

Joined: 23 May 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1105
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruckinred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2012 at 18:09
Pleased to see "negotiations" are underway re the spring games hopefully involving France, Ireland & Scotland over a 5 year period. This is a good step forward and I hope it can be brought to fruition.  




Back to Top
islander View Drop Down
World Cup Winner
World Cup Winner


Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Location: jersey
Status: Offline
Points: 1839
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2012 at 20:39
Originally posted by Monkey Boy Monkey Boy wrote:

Good ol jolly boys outing to East Africa.

What a ridiculous place to go and the budget must be interesting
 
 
back in yer box victor meldrew you ol' grump...
Back to Top
RugbyNut View Drop Down
First XV regular
First XV regular
Avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 139
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RugbyNut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2012 at 21:07
Some really sad people on this forum
perhap's they want to see the budget go to elite maybe the cost of this tour
would compare to a night at Pennyhill Park ? 
What a Plonker 

Good ol jolly boys outing to East Africa.

What a ridiculous place to go and the budget must be interesting
Onwards and Upwards
Back to Top
Rainbow Rich View Drop Down
Academy player
Academy player


Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rainbow Rich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2012 at 23:00
Maybe they should just simply limit rugby to the London inner circle and be done with everything else.  Just have say 20 clubs in 2 leagues, all within a tube ride from eachother. (we're nearly there)  No regional rugby, no representative rugby, unless you are born into an academy system, connected to those 20 clubs and again all within a tube ride from twickers. 
That way there would be no money wasted on game development, no money wasted on player development, no money wasted on rasining awarenes and no money wasted on raising the profile of our glorious game, oh and no money to reward dedication to the non elite levels of the game, oh and of course then there would be no money wasted on travel costs bar a few oyster cards.  I guess too, then we could almost abolish full internationals.  Whats the point in anything involving anything to do with the game of rugby as the bigger picture.  Let alone giving chances to people that will never again experience something of what those elite london based players would experience on a weekly basis.  I think that has summed up the opposers.
 
Come on you all dont you agree? 
 
PLEASE........ Next you'll be telling me we should ringfence and abolish all things English and adopt the American approach to elite sport.  If you haven't made it by the time you are 16 and selected by an academy (a college after high school in USA) then your opportunity of a sporting career will be over. 
 
Which part of America are you from Biffa and Monkey boy?  Do they serve prawn sandwiches there?
Back to Top
Brummy View Drop Down
First XV squad
First XV squad
Avatar

Joined: 16 May 2012
Location: South Africa
Status: Offline
Points: 51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brummy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2014 at 12:52
A point well made!
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 10.14
Copyright ©2001-2012 Web Wiz Ltd.