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RFU set to receive review findings

Sir Ian McGeechan and Peter Keen have concluded a five-month review into England's elite structure and will present their findings to the Rugby Football Union board on Wednesday.

The need for a review was established in the poisonous aftermath of England's failed Rugby World Cup campaign in 2011 and was pressed for by the Professional Game Board.

Keen, the architect of Great Britain's Olympic success from his time as performance director at UK Sport, and McGeechan focused on improving the management structures of England's age-group teams. It is understood there are no radical calls for change contained within the report, with any recommendations unlikely to be serious enough to warrant a vote by the board.

Keen developed the high performance system at UK Sport that led to Britain winning 19 gold medals at the Beijing Olympics and a remarkable 29 in London.

RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie has worked closely with Keen and McGeechan during the process and England have not stood still waiting for the recommendations.

Matt Parker has been recruited from British Cycling, where he was the head of marginal gains, to become England's head of athletic performance.

Keen believes vehemently that the right structures, management and commitment to supporting athletes can virtually guarantee success on the pitch. His motto, borrowed from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, is "Lead To Serve".

Speaking at the outset of the review, Keen told Press Association Sport: "I have been asked by an organisation who want to win to come in and see how it can be improved.

"The brief is: How are we going to win? They have in their (rugby) world the unbelievable, iconic history of the All Blacks.

"In New Zealand's world it is possible to win 82% of Test matches and that is what you are aiming for. Bring it on."


From Belfast Telegraph