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England head coach Stuart Lancaster paid a visit to Millwall Rugby Club last Monday for the nationwide launch of NatWest RugbyForce.

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Lancaster and RFU rugby development director Steve Grainger were both in attendance for the launch of the scheme, which aims to help English community rugby clubs to become stronger businesses over the next five years.

Lancaster will act as a NatWest RugbyForce ambassador in England from 2013 onwards, looking to raise the profile of the initiative and encourage community clubs to register to take part.

He said: “Rugby clubs are at the heart of their local communities and we know that they need support to sustain themselves, not only for the next couple of seasons but also for the years to come.

“Many England players started their careers at these clubs and NatWest RugbyForce will help clubs to help themselves by giving them long-term vision and enabling them to think like a business to attract and retain members.”

RugbyForce was created by RBS in 2009, underpinning the RBS 6 Nations sponsorship to demonstrate the bank’s support to the grassroots game.

The RugbyForce programme forms part of the partnership announced by the RFU and RBS last November, focused on supporting the grassroots game, as part of the RFU’s commitment to strengthen its member clubs.

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