THE need to evolve Taunton Rugby Club as a business and community club was at the heart of Thursday night's well-attended open meeting.

Following on from last July's AGM, six senior members had been tasked with coming up with a proposal to streamline the way in which the club was run.

Chairman John Wrelton summed this up when he told members at last night's meeting that the club "needs to evolve, to make it the best it can be".

The working group spoke with four other clubs - Canterbury, Chinnor, Henley and Old Elthamians - to get an idea of their situations and structure, before coming back to the Taunton committee.

The first proposal would see a small executive board, made up of four to five members (including a chief executive, director of finance, director of commerce and director of rugby), working above the committee.

This proposal was discussed at length by the current committee, and there were concerns over how it would serve the many facets of the club - a semi-professional side (the Titans) which has seen 28 players go on to play at a higher level, amateur teams, and a thriving youth section, which last weekend had five players in the Somerset Under-15 side.

There was also a concern that there would not be enough diluting of one strong opinion, so the proposal was rejected and sent back for discussion.

The second proposal would see the committee reduced to nine members - president, chairman, treasurer, secretary, general manager, club captain/director of rugby, youth chair/safeguarding, facilities/grounds, and matchday co-ordinator.

This would mean boiling the entire Taunton RFC structure down to nine senior members with the requisite skills, who would be interviewed for those roles (for example, to check that the treasurer nominee understands accounts) before going to be voted on by members at the AGM.

The general manager would be the only unelected role, and the only paid one - the others being volunteer posts.

An 'indicative vote' among the members present suggested that the second proposal met with favour, although several members were keen to see more detail.

Club president Jack Matthews concluded the meeting by saying the mood seemed to be to go to an SGM (Special General Meeting) to confirm any changes, after members have seen the full proposal in writing, in the next month or so.


TOMORROW brings Taunton Titans' final home match of the season, against Dings Crusaders at the Commsplus Stadium (ko 3pm).

The Titans' promotion hopes have gone for this season, as they are 16 points off the top four, but they will look to put on a show for the home fans against the 13th-placed visitors.

Also on tomorrow, Wellington aim to keep themselves in the Western Counties West title race, as they host Bideford in their penultimate game of the season (and final one at home).

In Somerset Premier, champions Wiveliscombe host Yatton for their last match this season; Minehead Barbarians are without a fixture.