Innovate Rugby, a new fan-led rugby group, is launching a campaign, calling on World Rugby to establish an Innovation Board to help the game prepare for its future during and after the coronavirus crisis.

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In a letter to Sir Bill Beaumont this morning, Innovate Rugby has outlined the initial remit and details of the potential Innovation Board, which would be made up of young members selected from different Unions across the globe.

“A global Innovation Board is a potentially transformative vehicle to drive much-needed change in the game across the world, which has been badly impacted by the current pandemic,” say the group.

“The board’s function would be to provide guidance to decision-makers in World Rugby, and would focus on issues including how we encourage develop and support Women’s rugby; how best to unleash the vast e-marketing potential of the sport; help improve the sport’s diversity across the globe; support the mental health of players at different stages of their career, especially young people; and how we turn rugby into a global sport that still supports its grassroots communities.”

“Youth-focused boards have already been established by different organisations across the rugby codes, and an Innovation Board comprised of skilled communicators and thinkers would be able to assist World Rugby on policy decisions and campaigns during the year. Innovate Rugby believes that the Innovation Board would also complement not only Sir Bill Beaumont’s ambitions for the next four years as Chairman but the existing advisory structures within World Rugby.”

“Due to the challenges facing the game this year and beyond, Innovate Rugby wants to work with people across the game – fans, players and decision makers – to ensure rugby emerges in a strong position from coronavirus. A council of young, innovative and ambitious people is one way to ensure the game survives and thrives over the next few years.”

Theo Davies-Lewis and Cameron Petrie, co-founders of Innovate Rugby, said: “We are both passionate rugby fans and want to ensure the game is best prepared for the challenges it faces going forward in a range of areas. By putting the power in the hands of young people, we believe that World Rugby has a unique opportunity to encourage innovation across the game.

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“Our Innovation Board is an idea under development, and we invite the wider rugby family to come together to discuss how best to make this a reality. For us, it has the potential to help support the priorities of World Rugby, and in turn, enhance the sport around the world.”

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