Yorkshire Carnegie do not hold open trials, however players can gain selection for the Academy in a variety of ways, either via their club, university or representative sides. The most common route for a young player into our Academy is from the England Rugby Developing Player Programme (ERDPP), through which our coaches aim to discover the most talented young players in the county or through playing for their school, club or University. From the age of 16 players may be offered contracts with the club.

The Yorkshire Carnegie Academy is considered one of the best in the country and has a proud heritage that has seen some of the country’s most gifted players emerge through its system. The Academy are able to nurture their young stars to help them reach their potential with the support of an experienced and highly qualified coaching team, whilst the players have access to some of the best facilities in the country. We have a proven record of producing players who have been able to make the successful step up to the Yorkshire Carnegie first team as well as the national team. We have good links with local schools clubs and universities, particularly Leeds Beckett University.

The training programmes our players receive are delivered in a variety of ways. Whilst a large focus is placed on skills and training, we also look at other areas which will help our players achieve the highest of standards and best prepare them for the trials of being a professional rugby player. In the past we have been able to bring in a range of experts to deliver presentations and workshops, to enhance the players’ learning, such as sports psychologists and nutritionists.

The five main areas we focus on with our Academy players are:

  • Physical – weights, speed, agility
  • Technical – contact, tackling, running passing (position specific)
  • Tactical – Game understanding and game awareness
  • Mental – strength, concentration, imagery, positive talk
  • Lifestyle – nutrition, hydration, education, time management

From the moment players join our Academy they begin a dedicated programme to develop their basic skills and improve their game understanding, with a particular focus on making the player:

  • Highly Skilled
  • Adaptable
  • Knowledgable and aware of space
  • Able to get the ball into space
  • Good at decision making and able to find solutions to problems
  • Have a high work rate
  • Have a good game understanding game management
  • Understand their individual and positional needs

We encourage every player to pursue a form of education that best suits their own needs and aspirations. The Academy recognises the importance of each individual being able to develop interests away from the game from both a holistic point of view and a practical level, with a view to life after their rugby career is over. The best rugby players are those who can apply themselves across a number of disciplines.

We have excellent relationships with local educational providers, in particular our club sponsor Leeds Beckett University, who all understand the demands of our players and who aim to support them in their studies and in their playing career.

Under the long form agreement between clubs and the RFU, clubs will release players at the following:

  • International matches
  • Preparation for international matches
  • Trials for selection of squads for international matches
  • RFU age group development squads/courses
  • Specialist skills development and personal development sessions
  • A players programme of matches will be agreed in advance by the Academy Manager and with all others involved.

Although we are committed to promoting players through our Academy system into the first team, unfortunately not every player in the Academy is offered a professional contact with the club. However should a player leave our Academy system we do endeavour where possible to support them in their next career step, whether that be in rugby or away from the game.