A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF THE TALENT IDENTIFICATION AND DEVELOPMENT POLICIES UTILISED BY THE ENGLAND RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION: A SOMERSET RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION STUDY
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The aim of this study was to establish the effectiveness and efficiency of the talent identification strategies and policies utilised within the ERFU, with the study focusing on the implementation in a local constituent body, Somerset Rugby Union. The research involved the use of semi-structured interviews with stakeholders involved in the formation, implementation and management of talent identification strategies within Somerset Rugby Union and their opinion regarding its current effectiveness. The participants were also questioned on pre-conceived key themes as concluded from the review of literature; the role and management of volunteers within the talent identification strategies and proposed alterations to the talent identification system. Results suggested that the implementation of Somerset Rugby Union talent identification strategies was not being conducted effectively and volunteers were not being managed efficiently. Additional themes became apparent from the data; the need for improved integration between the Academy structures and local clubs to improve player retention, the need to include a “safety net” aspect within the strategy to accommodate for late developing players and improved coordination between senior or high level coaches and coaching volunteers. The ultimate implication of this study was that the ERFU needs to review its implementation of the talent identification strategies, with focus on how to integrate the concluded recommendations to improve the strategies efficiency.
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