Elitism in Rugby

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biffer
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Elitism in Rugby

Post by biffer » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:17 am

Off the back of Ellis Genge's interview in the Mail
England test prop Ellis Genge has hit out at English rugby’s “private school mould,” stating that it is stopping the sport from progressing.
“It’s something I want to speak about because my whole career I’ve felt like I can’t express my opinion,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
“I feel like, in rugby, people aren’t allowed to be themselves. They’re so false and that stops our sport from growing. It breaks me.”
Genge was never an age group representative, something he puts down to other people’s perception of him.
“When I was 16, 17, 18, I never made any of the age-group teams,” the 23-year-old said. “I feel that’s because my face didn’t fit.”
“I’m not white middle class… I’m working class. I don’t want to put it down to race — I don’t think it’s about that — but I’ll put it down to culture. The way people are raised and brought up. There’s that private school mould.”
The ‘private school mould’ is what Genge believes is slowing the progress of rugby in England.
“It’s stopping the game from progressing and it’s painful. I have friends working on scaffolding sites back home who are quicker than Jonny May. That’s where football and those other sports have cracked it. Is rugby really grass-roots?
“When I was younger, I never felt comfortable sitting in the clubhouse having my chips and sausage because I just felt everyone was looking at me thinking: ‘Who the f**k is this’?
“Because of the way I look, the way I act, where I’m from, I get looked at differently to someone white and privately educated. What about attitudes towards people from working-class backgrounds?
“More people need to speak up. If we’re building from the bottom up then something needs to be done.”
There's also the Elitist Britain report examining the number of people in influential and prominent positions and their educational background.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... n_2019.pdf

Sport is around page 80 onwards - 44% of English rugby internationals from private schools, 49% in Scotland, only 16% in Wales. Only 25% only England Internationals went to a comprehensive - it's 81% in Wales. There's a cultural aspect to this in terms of the sport's popularity, but then there's something more underlying about how rugby is viewed as well.

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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by LE18 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:50 pm

biffer wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:17 am
Off the back of Ellis Genge's interview in the Mail
England test prop Ellis Genge has hit out at English rugby’s “private school mould,” stating that it is stopping the sport from progressing.
“It’s something I want to speak about because my whole career I’ve felt like I can’t express my opinion,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
“I feel like, in rugby, people aren’t allowed to be themselves. They’re so false and that stops our sport from growing. It breaks me.”
Genge was never an age group representative, something he puts down to other people’s perception of him.
“When I was 16, 17, 18, I never made any of the age-group teams,” the 23-year-old said. “I feel that’s because my face didn’t fit.”
“I’m not white middle class… I’m working class. I don’t want to put it down to race — I don’t think it’s about that — but I’ll put it down to culture. The way people are raised and brought up. There’s that private school mould.”
The ‘private school mould’ is what Genge believes is slowing the progress of rugby in England.
“It’s stopping the game from progressing and it’s painful. I have friends working on scaffolding sites back home who are quicker than Jonny May. That’s where football and those other sports have cracked it. Is rugby really grass-roots?
“When I was younger, I never felt comfortable sitting in the clubhouse having my chips and sausage because I just felt everyone was looking at me thinking: ‘Who the f**k is this’?
“Because of the way I look, the way I act, where I’m from, I get looked at differently to someone white and privately educated. What about attitudes towards people from working-class backgrounds?
“More people need to speak up. If we’re building from the bottom up then something needs to be done.”
There's also the Elitist Britain report examining the number of people in influential and prominent positions and their educational background.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... n_2019.pdf

Sport is around page 80 onwards - 44% of English rugby internationals from private schools, 49% in Scotland, only 16% in Wales. Only 25% only England Internationals went to a comprehensive - it's 81% in Wales. There's a cultural aspect to this in terms of the sport's popularity, but then there's something more underlying about how rugby is viewed as well.
I have expressed my reasoning behind this several times. Private schools play more sport, both during the day and after, also Saturdays and Sundays, they employ specialist coaches, parents pay for this, so how can comprehensive schools provide more players, better players, if they don't play sport? Its quite simple really!

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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by Scott1 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:00 pm

I don't want to get into this ,you know my feelings. Helped coach a junior team littered with inner city kids,great athletes, potential was there. Not posh enough it seems though,the RFU didn't give a Castlemaine despite numerous letters and approaches from our team secretary. Is it an elitist spot? Bar the odd success stories very much so.

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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by biffer » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:25 pm

LE18 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:50 pm
biffer wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:17 am
Off the back of Ellis Genge's interview in the Mail
England test prop Ellis Genge has hit out at English rugby’s “private school mould,” stating that it is stopping the sport from progressing.
“It’s something I want to speak about because my whole career I’ve felt like I can’t express my opinion,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
“I feel like, in rugby, people aren’t allowed to be themselves. They’re so false and that stops our sport from growing. It breaks me.”
Genge was never an age group representative, something he puts down to other people’s perception of him.
“When I was 16, 17, 18, I never made any of the age-group teams,” the 23-year-old said. “I feel that’s because my face didn’t fit.”
“I’m not white middle class… I’m working class. I don’t want to put it down to race — I don’t think it’s about that — but I’ll put it down to culture. The way people are raised and brought up. There’s that private school mould.”
The ‘private school mould’ is what Genge believes is slowing the progress of rugby in England.
“It’s stopping the game from progressing and it’s painful. I have friends working on scaffolding sites back home who are quicker than Jonny May. That’s where football and those other sports have cracked it. Is rugby really grass-roots?
“When I was younger, I never felt comfortable sitting in the clubhouse having my chips and sausage because I just felt everyone was looking at me thinking: ‘Who the f**k is this’?
“Because of the way I look, the way I act, where I’m from, I get looked at differently to someone white and privately educated. What about attitudes towards people from working-class backgrounds?
“More people need to speak up. If we’re building from the bottom up then something needs to be done.”
There's also the Elitist Britain report examining the number of people in influential and prominent positions and their educational background.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... n_2019.pdf

Sport is around page 80 onwards - 44% of English rugby internationals from private schools, 49% in Scotland, only 16% in Wales. Only 25% only England Internationals went to a comprehensive - it's 81% in Wales. There's a cultural aspect to this in terms of the sport's popularity, but then there's something more underlying about how rugby is viewed as well.
I have expressed my reasoning behind this several times. Private schools play more sport, both during the day and after, also Saturdays and Sundays, they employ specialist coaches, parents pay for this, so how can comprehensive schools provide more players, better players, if they don't play sport? Its quite simple really!
How does that explain Genge's experience?

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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by ourla » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:48 pm

biffer wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:25 pm
How does that explain Genge's experience?
Genge slipped through the net, as exceptional talent does sometimes.

The system feeds the system in England.
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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by BFG » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:43 pm

LE18 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:50 pm
biffer wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:17 am
Off the back of Ellis Genge's interview in the Mail
England test prop Ellis Genge has hit out at English rugby’s “private school mould,” stating that it is stopping the sport from progressing.
“It’s something I want to speak about because my whole career I’ve felt like I can’t express my opinion,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
“I feel like, in rugby, people aren’t allowed to be themselves. They’re so false and that stops our sport from growing. It breaks me.”
Genge was never an age group representative, something he puts down to other people’s perception of him.
“When I was 16, 17, 18, I never made any of the age-group teams,” the 23-year-old said. “I feel that’s because my face didn’t fit.”
“I’m not white middle class… I’m working class. I don’t want to put it down to race — I don’t think it’s about that — but I’ll put it down to culture. The way people are raised and brought up. There’s that private school mould.”
The ‘private school mould’ is what Genge believes is slowing the progress of rugby in England.
“It’s stopping the game from progressing and it’s painful. I have friends working on scaffolding sites back home who are quicker than Jonny May. That’s where football and those other sports have cracked it. Is rugby really grass-roots?
“When I was younger, I never felt comfortable sitting in the clubhouse having my chips and sausage because I just felt everyone was looking at me thinking: ‘Who the f**k is this’?
“Because of the way I look, the way I act, where I’m from, I get looked at differently to someone white and privately educated. What about attitudes towards people from working-class backgrounds?
“More people need to speak up. If we’re building from the bottom up then something needs to be done.”
There's also the Elitist Britain report examining the number of people in influential and prominent positions and their educational background.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... n_2019.pdf

Sport is around page 80 onwards - 44% of English rugby internationals from private schools, 49% in Scotland, only 16% in Wales. Only 25% only England Internationals went to a comprehensive - it's 81% in Wales. There's a cultural aspect to this in terms of the sport's popularity, but then there's something more underlying about how rugby is viewed as well.
I have expressed my reasoning behind this several times. Private schools play more sport, both during the day and after, also Saturdays and Sundays, they employ specialist coaches, parents pay for this, so how can comprehensive schools provide more players, better players, if they don't play sport? Its quite simple really!
So LE18, are you saying that Genge is wrong?
In my experience he is correct, but you do raise an important secondary point by your comment, and that is that private schooled children are over developed compared to the majority, and then plateau quickly in development to seniors, they have less strength and fitness gains to make and find it more difficult to adapt as they have spent their youth dictated to in rigid systems.
In short they are limited in potential as seniors by how they are overtrained as youngsters!

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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by h's dad » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:39 am

BFG wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:43 pm
So LE18, are you saying that Genge is wrong?
In my experience he is correct, but you do raise an important secondary point by your comment, and that is that private schooled children are over developed compared to the majority, and then plateau quickly in development to seniors, they have less strength and fitness gains to make and find it more difficult to adapt as they have spent their youth dictated to in rigid systems.
In short they are limited in potential as seniors by how they are overtrained as youngsters!
Do you have any science or research to back that up? You do seem to have turned current thinking on how to create a world class athlete on its head.

Many rugby playing private schools offer bursaries or scholarships to students with sports potential so you might expect their poaching from state schools to yield a higher proportion of elite players.

Genge says many of his building buddies are quicker than May. If this was true I would expect a rush of scouts from a variety of sports to flock to Genge's old building sites. Not seen anything in the press about a plethora of new finds in the SW.
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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by BFG » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:21 am

h's dad wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:39 am
BFG wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:43 pm
So LE18, are you saying that Genge is wrong?
In my experience he is correct, but you do raise an important secondary point by your comment, and that is that private schooled children are over developed compared to the majority, and then plateau quickly in development to seniors, they have less strength and fitness gains to make and find it more difficult to adapt as they have spent their youth dictated to in rigid systems.
In short they are limited in potential as seniors by how they are overtrained as youngsters!
Do you have any science or research to back that up? You do seem to have turned current thinking on how to create a world class athlete on its head.

Many rugby playing private schools offer bursaries or scholarships to students with sports potential so you might expect their poaching from state schools to yield a higher proportion of elite players.

Genge says many of his building buddies are quicker than May. If this was true I would expect a rush of scouts from a variety of sports to flock to Genge's old building sites. Not seen anything in the press about a plethora of new finds in the SW.
No science needed, the evidence is in English sporting history.
Do England actually possess the ability to create world class athletes in particular in rugby union, given that since 03 it has been slowly going downhill I'd strongly question that ability!
What's really interesting is that the 03 rugby World Cup winning squad had a decent balance of backgrounds.
Fast forward to 2015 and England couldn't even get out if the group stage at a home World Cup with a squad dominated by early professional academy development and an English game with a much greater percentage of professional players from private school backgrounds than the national percentage.
This would all suggest to me that all is not well in how England develop modern young players.
Dombrandt at Quins is a fine example of what can slip through the academy net.
A plethora of finds in the SW aren't going to suddenly be found as the opportunities aren't available to them as they are to certain other backgrounds, that's the whole point of what Genge is saying.

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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by Scott1 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:31 am

"A plethora of finds in the SW aren't going to suddenly be found as the opportunities aren't available to them as they are to certain other backgrounds, that's the whole point of what Genge is saying."

That's in right there in a nutshell,bravo Sir!

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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by jgriffin » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:37 am

Scott1 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:00 pm
I don't want to get into this ,you know my feelings. Helped coach a junior team littered with inner city kids,great athletes, potential was there. Not posh enough it seems though,the RFU didn't give a Castlemaine despite numerous letters and approaches from our team secretary. Is it an elitist spot? Bar the odd success stories very much so.
Have debated this on here and elsewhere many times. Experience in both Wales and England of two different systems - one less elitist but still 'connected', the other phenomenally elitist - seen coaches in despair over selection, talent ignored in favour of independent school players, Possibles giving Probables a kicking, then none selected, etc etc. My eldest encountered it in rugby and then in the RAF where public school boys got automatic preference. England will never regain pre-eminence without a clearout at lower levels of the 'connected'. And the argument about bursaries holds little water, the damage has been done; the system also prioritises early developers and big lumps. The Genges are almost an aberration.
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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by Cardiff Tig » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:17 am

It's a money issue.

Who's going to pay for travel to get the low-income kids to training? England is one of the richest rugby nations but can barely keep a 12 team professional league going let alone a professional lower division. Who's going to pay to increase the number of training centres and where should they be? There just isn't enough money in the sport without the private schools and parents that can afford to let their kids play rugby.

Welsh grassroots rugby is in dire straits. Welsh professional rugby probably won't be around in 5 years at the current cash burn rate! The WRU have done sort of a good job focusing back on schools to get more kids playing at younger ages, but post-16 levels when the kids can decide for themselves see the numbers drop significantly. And the players that do play are full of illegal steroids.

Rugby is a professional sport that can't actually afford to be professional...

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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by fleabane » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:11 pm

“It's a money issue.

Who's going to pay for travel to get the low-income kids to training? “

This is only partly true - they manage to get to football ok!

Surely the desires of inner city kids is to play for their local football team, since that is a prevailing culture, over and above the desire to play for a local, less popular rugby team. There are far more football teams (every pub, local leagues, etc) which can give youngsters a start on the ladder. This is where rugby fails.

The lack of school playing fields following the government sell off some years ago also deprived many of the opportunity to play rugby. You can play full 5 a side footy in the gym, community hall, in the street or wherever. You can’t do that with full contact rugby.

Don’t blame private schools for giving the opportunities to play a range of sports. What is wrong is that the state does not provide the same opportunities for state educated pupils.
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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by BFG » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:29 pm

The main point I think is that beyond any selection corruption, that does also exist in my experience, the routes through to professional rugby are academically selective.
For a young kid like Genge who may not possess that academic background opportunities are extremely limited if not noticed before 16 years old for academy, for a spring/summer born child you are probably talking 15 years old.
I remember my lad was about five and a half feet tall at that age, he wasn't even close, now he is built like a barn door.
Late developers are seen through university and a prominent rugby playing one (BUCS super rugby) at that, and they have a better chance of a good university choice if coming from private education.
The odds on getting through outside of these routes are next to nothing.
It's a system of sporting prowess built on academic potential.
That's why Genge very likely does know lads faster than May who work as scaffolders.

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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by h's dad » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:51 pm

BFG wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:21 am
No science needed, the evidence is in English sporting history.
Do England actually possess the ability to create world class athletes in particular in rugby union, given that since 03 it has been slowly going downhill I'd strongly question that ability!
What's really interesting is that the 03 rugby World Cup winning squad had a decent balance of backgrounds.
Fast forward to 2015 and England couldn't even get out if the group stage at a home World Cup with a squad dominated by early professional academy development and an English game with a much greater percentage of professional players from private school backgrounds than the national percentage.
This would all suggest to me that all is not well in how England develop modern young players.
Dombrandt at Quins is a fine example of what can slip through the academy net.
A plethora of finds in the SW aren't going to suddenly be found as the opportunities aren't available to them as they are to certain other backgrounds, that's the whole point of what Genge is saying.
The results in 2003 and 2015 are both points in time rather than trends, both influenced by the coaching influence and ethos as much as or more than the players.
A decline since 2003 cannot be attributed to private schools or backgrounds as these were generally much more influential before 2003 so, if anything, the reverse should be true.
Re talented athletes in the SW, not every sport is as 'elite' as rugby and people with the attributes ascribed by Genge would flourish in a variety of more welcoming, and probably better paying, sports - a point I tried to make previously but apparently not clearly enough.
I agree that all is not well in how England develop modern young players but I don't find your reasoning for it entirely cogent.
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Re: Elitism in Rugby

Post by h's dad » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:54 pm

Scott1 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:31 am
"A plethora of finds in the SW aren't going to suddenly be found as the opportunities aren't available to them as they are to certain other backgrounds, that's the whole point of what Genge is saying."

That's in right there in a nutshell,bravo Sir!
As I said, obviously not clearly enough for everybody, there are other sports which aren't quite so elitist.
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