Next LIVE rugby on TV
to be announced
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:30:05 +0000
  • Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / England / News
Follow@ESPNSCRUM
England
All Blacks 'acid test' of England's progress
ESPN Staff
April 25, 2014
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie poses with the World Cup trophy, Twickenham, England, October 31, 2012
Ian Ritchie: 'We go with a confidence that we're capable of winning' © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links

Ian Ritchie, the chief executive of the RFU, has said that the summer series against New Zealand is "the acid test" of England's progress and that the future is promising thanks to a sound financial base.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph , Ritchie said that England were aiming to beat the best "so it's a perfect time to be going to New Zealand … we go with a confidence that we're capable of winning. It was a very close game against them here, and the acid test is going there".

He said that the model adopted by New Zealand was one that could be learnt from. "It's going back to the general theme of sustainability. If anyone has achieved that, it's New Zealand. I believe we have the resource, the capability, of being better. If you look back over 30, 40, 50 years, we should have done better.

"We're fortunate in that economically we're reasonably well set up to invest. And in rugby terms we ought to be able to. We're in a fortunate position of being generally well resourced. I think you'll see that opportunity for raising the bar all over the place."

He also spoke for the first time about the settlement reached on the future of European rugby, one in which he played a vital role.

For a time it seemed that European club rugby could be split in two, with England facing a real risk of being isolated after an about-turn by France who had initially backed English proposals for a new competition. Ritchie is widely credited for working tirelessly behind the scenes to broker a solution.

"You've got to be terribly patient, try to persevere, and to say: what's the objective?" he told the Daily Telegraph. "Throughout the toing and froing of the European thing it seemed pretty clear to me everybody thought the best objective was a six-nation, nine-organisation competition.

"Then I said, 'Are we really not going to do this for what are the impediments? Are we not going to have this competition, which is hugely important, because we're having a disagreement about how we govern it?'

"Hell's bells. It's only 20 years since rugby went professional. What we have to recognise is that balance between club and country. This is a club competition. We had to find the right balance between the clubs and the countries. We can't stick our heads in the sand and say, 'We don't want the clubs to be successful', because of course we do."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

    Arsenal facing UEFA crowd probe over flares

    Arsenal will face UEFA charges for "insufficient organisation" following Wednesday's Champions League clash with Galatasaray, during which flares were thrown onto pitch by the Turkish side's fans

  • Golf

    McIlroy off the pace at Carnoustie

    World number one Rory McIlroy was struggling to reproduce his Ryder Cup form on the opening day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Thursday

  • Football

    Solution to Sturridge injury saga 'amicable'

    Brendan Rodgers believes England boss Roy Hodgson has learned a lesson over the Daniel Sturridge injury saga, but says their handling of the issues was "amicable."

  • Football

    Alves set to leave Barcelona for England

    Barcelona full-back Dani Alves has said he is leaving the club at the end of the season for a move to England, according to a report

  • Cricket

    Strauss fears for Test cricket

    Andrew Strauss, the former England captain, and an increasingly influential voice in cricket administration, has issued dire warnings about the survival of Test cricket

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!