• Revision published after major targets attained
  • Plan developed in collaboration with unions, regions and fans
  • New vision provides a revised roadmap for an even stronger global game
  • Sets out to protect and promote integrity

World Rugby today announced details of its revised strategic plan, which is designed to support and sustain continued rugby participation and popularity growth, while protecting the sport's integrity up to and beyond 2020. The revision comes as the international federation continues to activate its strategic mission to grow the global rugby family.
The updated plan sets out to exceed targets of the original 2009-20 strategic plan which has so far delivered record participation, popularity and commercial growth, Olympic Games inclusion and record-breaking Rugby World Cups. The new strategy is also designed to strengthen the game for all, while protecting and promoting rugby's character-building values.
Publication follows extensive consultation with the global rugby community, including all member unions and regional associations. It provides a blueprint for World Rugby to achieve its mission by focusing on goals within three main pillars over the next four years:
Protect - drive player welfare best practice and promote and protect rugby, its values, spirit and ethos
Grow - increase global participation and maximise commercial values and increase the financial sustainability of international rugby
Inspire - Olympic participation is successful in every way and provide strong and inspirational leadership 

Importantly, within an increasingly congested entertainment marketplace, the plan reflects World Rugby's transition from purely a game regulator to that of an inclusive game-inspirer, operating with dynamism and strong leadership to reach and engage the next generation of players and fans.
The World Rugby Strategic Plan sets out some ambitious targets for 2020, including but not limited to the following: 

  • World Rugby recognised as a leader and pioneer in player welfare best practice, including concussion education, prevention, management and research
  • World Rugby player welfare standards adopted by all elite rugby tournaments
  • World Rugby laws, regulations and protocols consistently aligned across the game to reflect rugby's character-building values
  • Total playing numbers sustainably reach 11 million by 2020, including four million registered players
  • Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan delivers a net surplus of 60 per cent of England 2015
  • Rugby sevens at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games considered to be one of the best team events
  • World Rugby demonstrates that it is a leader in sport and its governance processes are agile, dynamic and driven by best practice 

The revised plan will be supported by the now operational dynamic new governance model that will deliver wider union and regional representation on Council and an independent skills-based voice on an even more agile Executive Committee body.
Announced last November, the reform implementation follows an extensive period of game-wide and external consultation and recognises the enormous contribution that member unions and regional associations make to the game at all levels.
Speaking at the World Rugby ConfEx 2016, World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "Rugby is in excellent, record-breaking shape around the world and guided by a common mission and a strong strategic plan, we have collectively doubled participation, achieved Olympic Games inclusion and delivered very-special and record-breaking Rugby World Cups since the launch of the plan in 2009.
"The best time to change is when you are successful and this revised strategic plan will pave the way for further impetus on and off the field. Importantly, this means ensuring the continued growth of the game through to Rugby World Cup 2019 and beyond, protecting our players at all levels, promoting integrity and guaranteeing that the sport continues to flourish and grow among the next generation of fans and players by embracing innovation.
"This is a plan for rugby, by rugby. We look forward to collaborating with all our member unions, six regional associations and all members of the rugby family to ensure rugby remains an inclusive sport for all that will further its record growth and development as we look to the future.”