Rugby - Callard promotes draft system

The 12 Premiership Rugby clubs have been urged to consider accepting a draft system for the country's best young players as part of an "obligation" to help build a successful England team.

The proposal was made by Jon Callard, the England Saxons head coach, in the wake of further reports that promising fly-half George Ford is leaving Leicester for Bath due to a lack of game-time. Premiership Rugby currently run a dual-registration scheme that sees promising young players loaned out to Championship clubs and Ford went on loan to Leeds last season.

But Callard would like all England Under-20 players to be placed at Premiership clubs where they would see the most top-flight action in order to aid their development. And he said: "I am not going to win any favours here but I am still one for the England players coming out of the Under-20s being drafted out and playing Premiership rugby."

He added: "Our young players do need to play. You can do all your training, all your fitness but playing is the only way you learn. That is the only way they develop."

"It doesn't matter what their age is, put them in the Premiership.

"So say X club have three great hookers and another English club have only one, chuck them in the other one. We should have the ability to get young kids playing.

"That way the base will get stronger. We all have an obligation in this country to produce a very, very successful senior team.

"We have seen the power of what a successful senior team can do in any sport, how it galvanises the country. There is no reason why we shouldn't be trying to do that in England, certainly with what is coming around the corner in 2015. It has to start now."

Ford has made just five Premiership starts for Leicester this season, where he is behind Toby Flood in the fly-half pecking order.

Billy Twelvetrees felt in the same position at Welford Road and his move from Leicester to Gloucester last summer has led to regular rugby and a call-up into the senior England squad.