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Rhino Rugby teamed up with Lewis Silkin solicitors, marketing agency ENS and Running Rugby Magazine to stage the third in a series of annual Rugby Business Seminars at the Chiswick Moran Hotel in West London, on Friday November 20th, the day before the England vs New Zealand game at Twickenham.
The seminars are targeted at decision makers in rugby union and league - officials and officers of rugby clubs at all levels of those codes who are involved in the financing and administration of the game. The clubs represented ranged from Bath and London Wasps, Cambridge and Oxford Universities and St Mary’s Old Boys in Bristol in rugby union, St Helens in rugby league and geographically from as far away as Romania.
The seminar opened with a keynote address by Paul Vaughan, Business Operations Director of the Rugby Football Union, who gave an overview of the development of rugby union as a professional sport since 1995 and answered a wide variety of questions on current issues facing both England Rugby and the game globally.
Owen Eastwood of Lewis Silkin and Rebecca Hopkins of ENS, both of whom had represented clients involved in the ‘Bloodgate’ affair in the summer, then talked about the highly topical issue of Crisis and Reputation Management.
Delegates were then given an unscheduled bonus when All Black legend Murray Mexted injected some colour and on-field orientation to the proceedings by speaking after lunch about his activities as Managing Director of the International Rugby Academy of New Zealand.
Tony Colquitt, CEO of St Helens RLFC then gave an overview of the challenges facing rugby league as a professional sport, followed by Charlie McEwan of Essentially on the economics of the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa in the summer.
Duncan Sandlant and George Koureas of Lewis Silkin then presented on the new rugby agents regulations and immigration, work permits and visas respectively, and finally Bryn Lee of TigerTurf gave an overview of latest developments in artificial pitch technology.
Delegates then adjourned to the office/factory of Rhino Rugby Ltd adjacent to the hotel for post-seminar drinks. Charlie McEwan conducted the business card draw - Stewart Eru of Cambridge University winning a Rhino ball signed by England Manager Martin Johnson and Adam Kemp of the Middlesex Charity Sevens winning the hotel weekend kindly donated by the Chiswick Moran.
Stewart Eru of Cambridge University wins business card drop of Rhino ball signed by Martin Johnson, drawn by Charlie McEwan