The review process will involve consultation with schools, rugby clubs and Provincial Unions.
New Zealand Rugby’s Head of Participation and Development Steve Lancaster said including the rugby community in the review process is an important part of NZR’s commitment to deliver a world-leading secondary school rugby system.
“We see this review process as a collaborative effort with the rugby community and we are encouraging those with a view to share that with us via the online submission process,” Lancaster said in a statement.
“Retaining teenagers is a challenge for us and there is work to be done by everyone in the rugby community to ensure they are provided with open, inclusive and fun environments and formats of the game that are relevant to them.”
Lancaster said a key driver of the review was to ensure that there was a successful model for secondary school rugby throughout New Zealand in which boys and girls can both participate and perform.
“Performance rugby is an increasingly important area of secondary school sport in New Zealand and we are producing fantastic rugby players through our school system. Finding a healthy balance in this environment is important and a growing challenge.
“Of equal importance is the participation side of school rugby and how we can provide teenagers with enjoyable experiences that will carry long after their school years.”
Lancaster said the review was timely given the significant growth in women’s and girl’s rugby and the need to ensure secondary schools rugby was equipped to manage and enhance this growth.
“Many of the challenges and opportunities we see in secondary school rugby aren’t unique to the boys’ side of the game, however, there’s a need to ensure there are sustainable competitions and pathways in place for girl’s rugby in schools.
“The review will also look at how the completed 2017 Respect and Responsibility Review can be implemented in secondary school rugby to ensure we are building a culture on the foundation of respect and inclusion.”
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