Future of recreational rugby?

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TigerXV
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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by TigerXV » Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:58 pm

Nofrontteeth wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:49 pm
:smt030 Is it the socialising constraints?

A vicious circle of less local clubs equals greater distances to matches (Home or away) equals constraints on dads taxis, limited ale consumption (rugby club culture and club finance).

You can change the rules all you want to cater for the instant result, "I don't understand" Brigade to appease the TV audiences and dare I suggest the less intelligent :smt018, but rugby is not just a game played with a funny shaped ball.

Give me 80mins of skill, grit and respect, with a civil audience and another 80mins of banter/discussion in the clubhouse bar.
:smt023
I think you have nailed one of the big issues here in the club game. When I played club rugby back in the 80's there were no leagues and every game was a 'friendly' (other than the annual knockout comp) played between clubs probably no further than an hour's drive from the club. Sometimes you won easily others you got smashed but more often than not the games were even, hard fought contests and over the years the fixture lists would change to reflect the standards and aspirations of each club. I think leagues at the mid to low end of club rugby introduced a level of competition that to me wasn't ever required but added a needless amount of travel, additional overhead and unnecessary Competition. Everyone knew the really good young players would be attracted to play for the better teams and good for them but the main thing was to get out on the pitch, play hard and then share a beer in the clubhouse.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Soggypitch » Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:39 am

I too loved Michael Green's "The Art of Course Rugby", only surpassed by his brilliant "The Art of Course Sailing" !!

My experience of having three boys going through the mini's and juniors at Market Harborough RUFC was very positive. Lots of other Clubs locally also had thriving junior/mini sections. Some Clubs however neglected their juniors preferring to concentrate on first team glory eg South Leicester and in my opinion wrecked their club as a result.

The trick has always been how many juniors/colts carry on playing at senior level. By no means all, but again in my experience at MHRUFC I would say a fair percentage, the current first and second teams are full of ex colts/juniors, many of whom played at Uni and elsewhere before returning to the fold......

They also seem to have an excellent social set up. So in short I think the article is unduly pessimistic and I still have high hopes for the game at grass roots level.
Soggypitch

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Scott1 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:35 am

Soggypitch wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:39 am
I too loved Michael Green's "The Art of Course Rugby", only surpassed by his brilliant "The Art of Course Sailing" !!

My experience of having three boys going through the mini's and juniors at Market Harborough RUFC was very positive. Lots of other Clubs locally also had thriving junior/mini sections. Some Clubs however neglected their juniors preferring to concentrate on first team glory eg South Leicester and in my opinion wrecked their club as a result.

The trick has always been how many juniors/colts carry on playing at senior level. By no means all, but again in my experience at MHRUFC I would say a fair percentage, the current first and second teams are full of ex colts/juniors, many of whom played at Uni and elsewhere before returning to the fold......

They also seem to have an excellent social set up. So in short I think the article is unduly pessimistic and I still have high hopes for the game at grass roots level.
You're talking about one area though ,I can balance your post out with the shocking treatment our local junior sides had by the RFU who were just left to rot

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by chris111 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:45 pm

Scott1 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:35 am
Soggypitch wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:39 am
I too loved Michael Green's "The Art of Course Rugby", only surpassed by his brilliant "The Art of Course Sailing" !!

My experience of having three boys going through the mini's and juniors at Market Harborough RUFC was very positive. Lots of other Clubs locally also had thriving junior/mini sections. Some Clubs however neglected their juniors preferring to concentrate on first team glory eg South Leicester and in my opinion wrecked their club as a result.

The trick has always been how many juniors/colts carry on playing at senior level. By no means all, but again in my experience at MHRUFC I would say a fair percentage, the current first and second teams are full of ex colts/juniors, many of whom played at Uni and elsewhere before returning to the fold......

They also seem to have an excellent social set up. So in short I think the article is unduly pessimistic and I still have high hopes for the game at grass roots level.
You're talking about one area though ,I can balance your post out with the shocking treatment our local junior sides had by the RFU who were just left to rot
My experience of the local picture is that the strong county/market town clubs are thriving, those in and around Leicester are struggling, and without merging many will go under before too long. Sadly blind loyalty/stubbornness means that the mergers won’t happen. Not sure if this is replicated nationally, but if club rugby is declining in Leicester of all places, I can’t imagine it being any difference elsewhere.

Junior rugby suffers particularly badly because of the private school pulling kids away from community clubs….but no doubt I’ll be flamed as a woke warrior for saying so!

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Scott1 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:52 pm

chris111 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:45 pm
Scott1 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:35 am
Soggypitch wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:39 am
I too loved Michael Green's "The Art of Course Rugby", only surpassed by his brilliant "The Art of Course Sailing" !!

My experience of having three boys going through the mini's and juniors at Market Harborough RUFC was very positive. Lots of other Clubs locally also had thriving junior/mini sections. Some Clubs however neglected their juniors preferring to concentrate on first team glory eg South Leicester and in my opinion wrecked their club as a result.

The trick has always been how many juniors/colts carry on playing at senior level. By no means all, but again in my experience at MHRUFC I would say a fair percentage, the current first and second teams are full of ex colts/juniors, many of whom played at Uni and elsewhere before returning to the fold......

They also seem to have an excellent social set up. So in short I think the article is unduly pessimistic and I still have high hopes for the game at grass roots level.
You're talking about one area though ,I can balance your post out with the shocking treatment our local junior sides had by the RFU who were just left to rot
My experience of the local picture is that the strong county/market town clubs are thriving, those in and around Leicester are struggling, and without merging many will go under before too long. Sadly blind loyalty/stubbornness means that the mergers won’t happen. Not sure if this is replicated nationally, but if club rugby is declining in Leicester of all places, I can’t imagine it being any difference elsewhere.

Junior rugby suffers particularly badly because of the private school pulling kids away from community clubs….but no doubt I’ll be flamed as a woke warrior for saying so!
You're right,it's definitely down to class. Inner city schools/clubs get next to ZERO help from the RFU. Ive seen some potentially very good players lost from the game because of the schools they go to and its wrong, rugby has to lose this elitist tag. And it's something I was involved in for about 8 years and seen first hand. Don't get me wrong it does happen, Barkers Butts for example had a reputation but had a very good pathway to further their juniors in the game but that's a very rare success story.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by chris111 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:00 pm

Scott1 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:52 pm
chris111 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:45 pm
Scott1 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:35 am


You're talking about one area though ,I can balance your post out with the shocking treatment our local junior sides had by the RFU who were just left to rot
My experience of the local picture is that the strong county/market town clubs are thriving, those in and around Leicester are struggling, and without merging many will go under before too long. Sadly blind loyalty/stubbornness means that the mergers won’t happen. Not sure if this is replicated nationally, but if club rugby is declining in Leicester of all places, I can’t imagine it being any difference elsewhere.

Junior rugby suffers particularly badly because of the private school pulling kids away from community clubs….but no doubt I’ll be flamed as a woke warrior for saying so!
You're right,it's definitely down to class. Inner city schools/clubs get next to ZERO help from the RFU. Ive seen some potentially very good players lost from the game because of the schools they go to and its wrong, rugby has to lose this elitist tag. And it's something I was involved in for about 8 years and seen first hand. Don't get me wrong it does happen, Barkers Butts for example had a reputation but had a very good pathway to further their juniors in the game but that's a very rare success story.
Always nice when we find something we can agree on, Scott!

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Scott1 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:02 pm

chris111 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:00 pm
Scott1 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:52 pm
chris111 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:45 pm


My experience of the local picture is that the strong county/market town clubs are thriving, those in and around Leicester are struggling, and without merging many will go under before too long. Sadly blind loyalty/stubbornness means that the mergers won’t happen. Not sure if this is replicated nationally, but if club rugby is declining in Leicester of all places, I can’t imagine it being any difference elsewhere.

Junior rugby suffers particularly badly because of the private school pulling kids away from community clubs….but no doubt I’ll be flamed as a woke warrior for saying so!
You're right,it's definitely down to class. Inner city schools/clubs get next to ZERO help from the RFU. Ive seen some potentially very good players lost from the game because of the schools they go to and its wrong, rugby has to lose this elitist tag. And it's something I was involved in for about 8 years and seen first hand. Don't get me wrong it does happen, Barkers Butts for example had a reputation but had a very good pathway to further their juniors in the game but that's a very rare success story.
Always nice when we find something we can agree on, Scott!
👍

Nofrontteeth
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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by Nofrontteeth » Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:55 pm

Reading thread with interest and can relate being brought up on very east of Leicester in 50/60's and a lifelong Tiger

The historical schools curriculum certainly had a strong influence then. County schools and City grammars to Rugby and Cricket, with City 'secondaries ' to Soccer.

For example:
Covert Lane, Scraptoft held 2 neighbouring clubs, Aylestone St James (Jimmies) and Stoneygate. Big local catchment of youngsters from the of North Harbro area right up to Humberstone/Thurnby City boundaries. A lot of kids turned up walking or cycling from neighbouring villages and estates.

However:
Local Kids were in the middle of the political education boundary. Thurnby Lodge in City favouring Soccer with Bowhill/Willowbrook in the County catchment favouring Rugby (kids being bussed to Birstall and Syston). To add to this split if you went to a grammar e.g. Auld Newts you tended to retain allegiance to them.
How many Rugby kids stuck with their schoolmates and their game (Soccer or Rugby) as opposed to the immediate facilities like Jimmies or the The 'Gate'??

I wonder where 'Shilts' and Lineker would have ended up if their school allocation had been different. Shilton as a fullback at Welford Rd?

Where does the current national educational sport directive to Rugby lay?

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by chris111 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:14 pm

Nofrontteeth wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:55 pm
Reading thread with interest and can relate being brought up on very east of Leicester in 50/60's and a lifelong Tiger

The historical schools curriculum certainly had a strong influence then. County schools and City grammars to Rugby and Cricket, with City 'secondaries ' to Soccer.

For example:
Covert Lane, Scraptoft held 2 neighbouring clubs, Aylestone St James (Jimmies) and Stoneygate. Big local catchment of youngsters from the of North Harbro area right up to Humberstone/Thurnby City boundaries. A lot of kids turned up walking or cycling from neighbouring villages and estates.

However:
Local Kids were in the middle of the political education boundary. Thurnby Lodge in City favouring Soccer with Bowhill/Willowbrook in the County catchment favouring Rugby (kids being bussed to Birstall and Syston). To add to this split if you went to a grammar e.g. Auld Newts you tended to retain allegiance to them.
How many Rugby kids stuck with their schoolmates and their game (Soccer or Rugby) as opposed to the immediate facilities like Jimmies or the The 'Gate'??

I wonder where 'Shilts' and Lineker would have ended up if their school allocation had been different. Shilton as a fullback at Welford Rd?

Where does the current national educational sport directive to Rugby lay?
I came to Leicester somewhat later than this, so interesting to hear this bit of the history!
As for sport in schools now - the curriculum is a mess and successive governments have continually marginalised it (along with the creative arts) almost to the point of extinction.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by sk 88 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:18 pm

Lineker went to a rugby playing grammar and had to change to one of the ones that played football, has spoken about it a few times.

Massive need to focus on getting it right for rugby in the city/intimidate area. Wales' Dewar Shield is a good model I think. Focus on getting 6-10 games in the secondary school years in Autumn term and then have a programme for the better/more dedicated boys to play after Xmas for Leicester Schools with good coaching against either equivalents in Cov/Northampton/Notts/Birmingham or probably preferably the public schools, hard for academies to favour the public school boys if you can beat them.

Some of the stuff I see on-line seems to be good, there was a good video about either Old Newts or Leicester Forest linking with a school in Braunstone through the club's Hits programme.

The "Swifts" should be producing players into the academy soon if that has been done properly.
Goooooodeeeeeyyyyy!

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by LE18 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:36 pm

Soggypitch wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:39 am
I too loved Michael Green's "The Art of Course Rugby", only surpassed by his brilliant "The Art of Course Sailing" !!

My experience of having three boys going through the mini's and juniors at Market Harborough RUFC was very positive. Lots of other Clubs locally also had thriving junior/mini sections. Some Clubs however neglected their juniors preferring to concentrate on first team glory eg South Leicester and in my opinion wrecked their club as a result.

The trick has always been how many juniors/colts carry on playing at senior level. By no means all, but again in my experience at MHRUFC I would say a fair percentage, the current first and second teams are full of ex colts/juniors, many of whom played at Uni and elsewhere before returning to the fold......

They also seem to have an excellent social set up. So in short I think the article is unduly pessimistic and I still have high hopes for the game at grass roots level.
I agree totally with what Soggypitch is saying here, my Grandson played at Market Harborough on Sunday mornings, the place was heaving with parents watching and socialising. I think Professional clubs gained new support from this as the kids grew in enthusiasm and then dragged their parents to see the likes of Tigers and Saints.
I loved going to watch him right from a 6 yr old up to 16, until the colts started playing on Saturdays which clashed with his school matches.

Its my experience that other clubs have thriving junior sections, Lutterworth, Melton, Colville, Hinckley, Market Bosworth, Syston and especially my old club now called Leicester Forest (ex Dixie Old Boys/Old Bosworthians).
I recall Michael Green coming as guest speaker at our Annual Dinner, held then at the old Airman's Rest, I read most of his books.

I think Leicester Forest did well out of the RFU as they have a fabulous artificial pitch and lights etc, but that really all came about after the merger with West Leicester and the very hard work and fund raising to build and extend a great club house.

I fondly remember the days we used to change at the Red Cow, and had 3 galvanised tin baths to wash in, lovingly filled by our super pub landlady, Jeanette always told us she had written a book all about us and based on what she saw through the conservatory window.

Our local match against Syston nearly always kicked off late as 30 players all turned up wearing the same colours.

Wow those were the days.
Last edited by LE18 on Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by chris111 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:37 pm

sk 88 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:18 pm
Lineker went to a rugby playing grammar and had to change to one of the ones that played football, has spoken about it a few times.

Massive need to focus on getting it right for rugby in the city/intimidate area. Wales' Dewar Shield is a good model I think. Focus on getting 6-10 games in the secondary school years in Autumn term and then have a programme for the better/more dedicated boys to play after Xmas for Leicester Schools with good coaching against either equivalents in Cov/Northampton/Notts/Birmingham or probably preferably the public schools, hard for academies to favour the public school boys if you can beat them.

Some of the stuff I see on-line seems to be good, there was a good video about either Old Newts or Leicester Forest linking with a school in Braunstone through the club's Hits programme.

The "Swifts" should be producing players into the academy soon if that has been done properly.
Haven’t heard of that Welsh initiative - thanks, will look it up.

The dereliction of school sport is depressing enough for the general state of health and well-being across the population. From the perspective of elite rugby, I absolutely agree there’s a need to look beyond the private schools for talent. I understand why clubs like Tigers focus almost exclusively on these to stock their academy….it’s a ‘quick win’ because they are getting players who because of the experiences, the good coaching they’ve had from the outset, are further ahead skill-wise than kids of comparable talent in state schools. However, what they miss then is the exceptional talent that goes unnoticed - and either goes into less elitist sports, or is lost to sport altogether.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by LE18 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:50 pm

chris111 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:37 pm
sk 88 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:18 pm
Lineker went to a rugby playing grammar and had to change to one of the ones that played football, has spoken about it a few times.

Massive need to focus on getting it right for rugby in the city/intimidate area. Wales' Dewar Shield is a good model I think. Focus on getting 6-10 games in the secondary school years in Autumn term and then have a programme for the better/more dedicated boys to play after Xmas for Leicester Schools with good coaching against either equivalents in Cov/Northampton/Notts/Birmingham or probably preferably the public schools, hard for academies to favour the public school boys if you can beat them.

Some of the stuff I see on-line seems to be good, there was a good video about either Old Newts or Leicester Forest linking with a school in Braunstone through the club's Hits programme.

The "Swifts" should be producing players into the academy soon if that has been done properly.
Haven’t heard of that Welsh initiative - thanks, will look it up.

The dereliction of school sport is depressing enough for the general state of health and well-being across the population. From the perspective of elite rugby, I absolutely agree there’s a need to look beyond the private schools for talent. I understand why clubs like Tigers focus almost exclusively on these to stock their academy….it’s a ‘quick win’ because they are getting players who because of the experiences, the good coaching they’ve had from the outset, are further ahead skill-wise than kids of comparable talent in state schools. However, what they miss then is the exceptional talent that goes unnoticed - and either goes into less elitist sports, or is lost to sport altogether.
I agree with your assessment of the coaching etc at private schools, I have had this discussion previously with J Griffin, who teaches at a state school.

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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by jgriffin » Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:15 pm

LE18 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:50 pm
chris111 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:37 pm
sk 88 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:18 pm
Lineker went to a rugby playing grammar and had to change to one of the ones that played football, has spoken about it a few times.

Massive need to focus on getting it right for rugby in the city/intimidate area. Wales' Dewar Shield is a good model I think. Focus on getting 6-10 games in the secondary school years in Autumn term and then have a programme for the better/more dedicated boys to play after Xmas for Leicester Schools with good coaching against either equivalents in Cov/Northampton/Notts/Birmingham or probably preferably the public schools, hard for academies to favour the public school boys if you can beat them.

Some of the stuff I see on-line seems to be good, there was a good video about either Old Newts or Leicester Forest linking with a school in Braunstone through the club's Hits programme.

The "Swifts" should be producing players into the academy soon if that has been done properly.
Haven’t heard of that Welsh initiative - thanks, will look it up.

The dereliction of school sport is depressing enough for the general state of health and well-being across the population. From the perspective of elite rugby, I absolutely agree there’s a need to look beyond the private schools for talent. I understand why clubs like Tigers focus almost exclusively on these to stock their academy….it’s a ‘quick win’ because they are getting players who because of the experiences, the good coaching they’ve had from the outset, are further ahead skill-wise than kids of comparable talent in state schools. However, what they miss then is the exceptional talent that goes unnoticed - and either goes into less elitist sports, or is lost to sport altogether.
I agree with your assessment of the coaching etc at private schools, I have had this discussion previously with J Griffin, who teaches at a state school.
I also had a part time few years at Bishop Veseys, the first while Zac Feaunati was head of rugby. However the rugby dept soon went after Zac left. An interesting debate at the time was how some Independents prioritised big lumps over skills, just to win games, and the bad effect on rugby in general.
My current berth in Stafford is a bog standard broke high school (most non-academy state schools were before the plague, more so now), and PE makes genuine efforts to teach rugby. Stafford RFC is close by, and a few kids go on to play but the chances of talent being spotted 🤣
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Re: Future of recreational rugby?

Post by chris111 » Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:46 pm

jgriffin wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:15 pm
LE18 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:50 pm
chris111 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:37 pm


Haven’t heard of that Welsh initiative - thanks, will look it up.

The dereliction of school sport is depressing enough for the general state of health and well-being across the population. From the perspective of elite rugby, I absolutely agree there’s a need to look beyond the private schools for talent. I understand why clubs like Tigers focus almost exclusively on these to stock their academy….it’s a ‘quick win’ because they are getting players who because of the experiences, the good coaching they’ve had from the outset, are further ahead skill-wise than kids of comparable talent in state schools. However, what they miss then is the exceptional talent that goes unnoticed - and either goes into less elitist sports, or is lost to sport altogether.
I agree with your assessment of the coaching etc at private schools, I have had this discussion previously with J Griffin, who teaches at a state school.
I also had a part time few years at Bishop Veseys, the first while Zac Feaunati was head of rugby. However the rugby dept soon went after Zac left. An interesting debate at the time was how some Independents prioritised big lumps over skills, just to win games, and the bad effect on rugby in general.
My current berth in Stafford is a bog standard broke high school (most non-academy state schools were before the plague, more so now), and PE makes genuine efforts to teach rugby. Stafford RFC is close by, and a few kids go on to play but the chances of talent being spotted 🤣
Heartening to hear that your school is persevering with rugby….sadly I’d imagine you’re one of a dwindling minority. Do you actually play matches, or just include in PE? Not sure too many Leicester schools play actual matches now - my youngest son’s stopped some years ago. A few primary schools make a valiant effort to provide mini-rugby (including one where I’m a governor - they have a fantastic sports offer, despite being a city school with not a blade of grass on site!)

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