The East Yorkshire College have formed the partnership with Yorkshire Carnegie as the professional club in Yorkshire to hold the license for the RFU regional academy. The partnership will support the academy’s aim to develop premiership rugby union talent in Yorkshire and as such will be a significant arm of the academy pathway that will allow Yorkshire based players a range of appropriate access points to rugby development opportunities to help them reach their potential.
The programme will see the best talent from the region being able to combine education with a full-time rugby union training programme and see the College enter the new RFU National League against other club education academies in England.
James Earl, Director of Sport at Bishop Burton College, said: “This is an exciting new venture for the College and the club, which I’m sure will provide the game of rugby union with many future stars.
“The College is already a hotbed of performance sport development for young people in the region, which will be further enhanced with this new partnership.”
Mr Earl said the collaboration would further build on the College’s outstanding rugby credentials.
“Our strides in women’s rugby and university rugby will complement the developments in our U18 rugby well, ” he said.
The College, in Bishop Burton, near Beverley, has first class facilities which saw it awarded training venue status for the Rugby Union World Cup. It is the home of the City of Hull Rugby League Academy – an innovative partnership combining the academies of Super League clubs Hull FC and Hull KR – and recently hosted the Team GB Women’s 7s squad ahead of their preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The College’s University Rugby Union Academy were BUCS (British Universities and Colleges) Trophy Winners in 2016 and British Colleges Sport U19 National Finalists in 2014.
The new academy will be headed up by Tom Gilchrist, Yorkshire County U18 head coach and ERDPP head coach for Yorkshire Carnegie. He will report to the College’s Director of Rugby, Mike Umaga. Yorkshire Carnegie staff will provide support to the programme that will include coaching support from established academy coaches as well as cutting edge strength and conditioning support from the club’s key partners at Leeds Beckett university – who are currently amongst the leaders in the field of developing adolescent rugby players.
Bishop Burton is already an RFU-approved academy in women’s rugby, which has seen the development of players such as England U20s star Rachel Woosey, as well as the men’s programme developing Yorkshire Carnegie number 8 Jarad Williams.