The financial ruin of three clubs at national level, allied with a difficulty in recruiting and retaining players at a local level has prompted Steve Lloyd, the president of Doncaster Knights, to organise a conference in which delegates from every club in Yorkshire’s union ecosystem are invited.
Doncaster, the county’s leading representatives in the national pyramid, are hosting the event with guests encouraged to contribute to the discussion during the afternoon before taking in the Knights’ Premiership Cup game with Bristol in the evening.
Lloyd has been working with British and Irish Lions legend Sir Ian McGeechan, former RFU director of professional rugby Nigel Melville and Driffield RUFC stalwart Ted Atkinson, among others, to bring the conference to fruition.
High up on the agenda is regaining an RFU academy licence in Yorkshire, creating a development plan to grow participation, and developing talent pathways, all with collaboration between the clubs at heart.
Lloyd said: “Rugby at club level and nationally is going through a particularly difficult time at present and a significant number of passionate individuals have come together to create what we hope will be the start of a resurgence of the game within our beloved county.
“The theme of the conference is: ‘say it, play it, plan it, do it for Yorkshire’. We want clubs to talk to each other.
"The strength and success of Yorkshire rugby can only be increased via cohesion between all clubs.
"We’re happy to spawn this, but we don’t want this conference to be a one-off, we want it to become something bigger.
"We want every club to come down and have a say and hopefully it will prove a productive day.”