Rugby Union: A matter of time, perseverance and the melting pot

"Perhaps what we need is a melting pot," Ron Tennick said by way of a light-hearted introduction as to why there are so few Asians playing rugby union at senior level. The Rugby Football Union's technical administrator is aware of the situation, but there is no ready-made solution.

"The only one I can think of who has gone all the way through is Adel Kardooni, but he's Iranian," said Tennick, who runs the RFU's National Centre for Schools and Youth at Castlecroft, near Wolverhampton.

"So far as the Indians and Pakistanis are concerned, though, we've seen the odd one playing in schools' teams but not at county level. We found an awful lot playing at mini-level, although very few have progressed to 18, 19 or 20-year-old level yet. All the schools that play rugby will have Asians playing in their teams and they'll be taught the game."

It is a question, then, of persevering. Enter Tom Smith, the lock who can count Kardooni among his team-mates at Leicester and who is also the RFU's youth development officer in the county.

Smith, working in an area containing a large Asian population, is at the sharp end of attempts to spread the rugby union gospel. "I do quite a lot of work in the city generating interest, some of it among schools with a large number of Asian pupils.

"The work, though, is not aimed at any particular group. One of the problems here possibly could be that there are only three clubs in the city at present.

"I do believe that though the game has become faster it is still designed for all shapes and sizes and there is normally a position to suit everybody. What you have to take into consideration is that possibly the game is still quite new to Asians.

"The biggest problem sometimes is that it's fine while you're doing the work in the schools but then it's a question of making it easy for the kids to get to their local club.

"To be honest, my job is rugby youth development for anybody who wants to play, rather than targeting one particular angle. But it would be nice to encourage Asian children by giving them a taste of the game in the hope that they would then move on to a club.

"People are very aware of trying to get everybody involved and there may well be some youngsters in the system now who eventually come through to the top. It's a question of time.

"It's a process of giving them an opportunity to have a go, and that applies to all children because we're hoping to offer the sport to everybody."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory