NA4 set to benefit from IRB investment
November 23, 2006

The North America 4 series is set to benefit from an injection of funds from the IRB as part of the Board's annual investment in the game globally. And the IRB has announced an overall increase in its investment.

"The Rugby World Cup plays an important part in the development of world rugby as it provides the financial platform for the global growth of the game. Annual investment in infrastructure, strategic initiatives, development programmes and tournament structures designed to increase the competitiveness of the game around the world is indeed underwritten by the financial success of the tournament," said IRB Chairman Dr Syd Millar.

"Investment in development programmes, strategic initiatives and regional and IRB tournaments has gown significantly from £12 million in 2005 to £22 million being allocated for investment across all member Unions in 2007. This significant figure further highlights the IRB's continued commitment to the development of the game worldwide. The funding will be invested in an increased number of exciting initiatives with £6.3 million allocated for development programmes, £5.5 million for regional and IRB tournament structures and the balance of just over £10 million being invested in ongoing strategic initiatives that form part of the three-year £30 million global strategic investment programme launched in August 2005," added Dr Millar.

Annual grants for development programmes and union infrastructure initiatives for all 115 IRB member Unions and the six regional associations will increase to £6.3 million in 2007 and include a number of new initiatives aimed at aiding the growth of the game both on and off the pitch. Regional tournaments will benefit from increased investment in 2007. Following a detailed review funding will be increased to £5.5 million across all six regions to help subsidise a raft of key regional and IRB tournaments that provide Unions with access to regular high level competition which is necessary for player development.

"All grants are based upon detailed reviews and recommendations by IRB Management, the Regional Development Managers in the respective regions and the relevant Regional Associations. Investments will be prioritised to cover Senior Men's, Age Grade, Men's and Women's Rugby Sevens and Women's fifteens competition programmes. The increase in funding for Women's competition is in line with the Women's strategic plan that was launched this year," added Dr Millar.

"This significant investment in competitions is in addition to the £3 million that the IRB annually invests in strategic tournament initiatives across Tier 1 to Tier 3 Unions as a key part of the three-year £30 million global strategic investment programme. The total annual investment in tournaments in 2007 will be £8.5 million. These initiatives include key IRB tournaments such as the Pacific Nations Cup, Pacific Rugby Cup, North America 4 and Nations Cup that all made successful debuts this year and are designed to increase the competition pathway for participating member Unions," concluded Dr Millar.


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