RFU launch development strategy
The Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby have begun the process of implementing their Elite Player Development strategy, which aims to improve the standard of homegrown players at the country's top clubs.
The EDPS, which formalises Premiership Rugby's contribution to the governance of the academy process, follows a 15-month review conducted by their head of academies and development Corin Palmer, with support from RFU head of elite player development Stuart Lancaster.
The Premiership Rugby Board have approved the recommendations produced from the review, which will see England's 14 licensed regional academies regularly evaluated and benchmarked against each other.
The aim is for each of them to have a clear vision and internal strategy, as well as proper management processes and financial discipline, in addition to quality coaching.
Palmer said: "There is a clear and shared vision, to have the world's best elite rugby development to enable us to produce a constant stream of talent to compete effectively at Premiership, European and England level.
"With this strategy, we now have the framework to do that."
Lancaster added: "This is the first time the clubs and the Union have had a jointly agreed, collaborative approach to player development and that has to benefit club and country."
England manager Martin Johnson said: "We are in the middle of the Six Nations and yet we have seen players like Alex Corbisiero step up comfortably to Test match rugby.
"We can already see the success of our development pathways with the number of guys coming through to the senior set-up, such as Alex, Ben Youngs and Danny Care."