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The player recruitment website is going to change the basic game

Every rugby player dreams of the grandeur of playing rugby at the highest level or in the most exotic places. It’s natural to want to play in front of thousands of adoring fans or in the most picturesque landscapes. Well, there may be a possibility that these dreams could become a reality for some sooner rather than later.

Former Newcastle Falcons rugby director Dean Richards has created a ‘dating’ style recruitment website with his son Will to improve transfer opportunities worldwide. The idea, just like with the dating app Tinder, is that players and clubs can be matched in perfect harmony.

Should players want to change clubs because they want to explore a different part of the world, or because they think they are better suited at a higher level, this app is designed to make the process easier. Aimed at all levels, players can register with affiliated clubs via the website/app while realizing their rugby dreams.

To use the platform, players simply need to create a profile with details about them for potential clubs to view, and they can even add a highlights list to increase their chances of playing at a higher level.

The website is already live and available to sign up for, while the app version – which will reportedly be quite similar to the aforementioned Tinder – will be released soon.

With four different packages you can sign up for; Platinum, gold, silver and bronze: the platform offers flexibility depending on the user’s intentions.

The premium package for a player is £250 per year and includes:

  • Live profile
  • Partner codes
  • Unlimited connections
  • Private messages

The lowest-paid plan, which totals £80 per year, includes:

  • Live profile
  • Partner codes
  • 5 monthly connections
  • Private messages

There’s even a free option for those who just want to have a look around.

At the time of writing this article, the platform has already registered seven clubs for the website. The clubs have the opportunity to describe their own performances, but also to request the specific positions they are looking for.

The highest level currently available comes through Sevenoaks Rugby Club, who currently play in National 2 East, located at level four of the Rugby Union pyramid.

However, it is not just designed for players. There are also options for agents, physiotherapists and analysts to explore their next step, opening up the opportunity for elite-level members.

Richards said of the importance of progress in the grassroots game:

“People often forget that many of the players who play at international level have an education, and very few of them went to junior clubs to cut their teeth before playing at a higher level.

“Chris Harris for example – he studied at Northumbria University and then went to Tynedale where he worked with Newcastle Falcons. He played for Tynedale and Newcastle, then played for Scotland and went on to play for Gloucester and the British & Irish Lions.

“If it wasn’t for Tynedale he probably wouldn’t be the person he is today.”

Will Richards joined his father in the business venture, adding:

“He showed that being released by a professional club does not mean this has to be the end.”

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – JULY 27: A rugby ball is seen during the UC Championship First XV High School Rugby match between St Andrew’s and Christchurch Boys’ High School at St Andrew’s College on July 27, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Speaking to the Telegraph Sport recently, Dean Richards spoke about where the idea came from and why he thinks it will work.

“Players with some status within the game will have an agent who can send them and their contacts all over the world.

“But there are so many who can’t connect with people around the world, or even in Europe – even in another province. They don’t have the contacts or an agent or anything like that. It is aimed at people just below the elite. level, those who want to reach other parts of the world and experience cultures.

“William finished university and saw a lot of kids who were either late developers or wanted to travel the world through sport – and who never really got the opportunity because they didn’t have the contacts. He thought it would be a good opportunity to develop an app and a website that would give these people a chance to promote themselves – locally or beyond. When he explained it to me, I thought it was a damn good idea!