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Coventry Rugby fills Wasps and Worcester gap

By Ian Cameron
Coventry Rugby celebrating a try Credit; Dan Lewis

Coventry Rugby has come to the rescue of aspiring teenage rugby players in the West Midlands after the collapse of the region’s two Premiership clubs, Wasps and Worcester Warriors. The demise of these clubs also meant the disappearance of their RFU-funded academies, which were crucial pathways for talented 18-year-olds to pursue a professional rugby career.

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With limited spots available in Leicester and Northampton’s academies, the competition has intensified, leaving some exceptional young players in the densely populated West Midlands struggling to find a viable route into the professional rugby arena.

Although Coventry Rugby finished third in the Championship last season, they are not a Premiership shareholder and, therefore, ineligible for RFU academy status. However, they have taken matters into their own hands and formed a partnership with Coventry College to address this void in the West Midlands.

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Coventry Rugby
Tom Ball and Fin Ogden (right) – credit: Dan Lewis

Chief Executive Nick Johnston believes this collaboration allows them to offer an exceptional opportunity to aspiring 18-year-olds, filling the gap left by the collapsed Premiership clubs’ academies. Coventry Rugby’s proactive approach is set to provide a new avenue for talented youngsters to pursue their rugby dreams.

“We are very committed to offering talented players the chance to get more education which prepares them for life after rugby while simultaneously improving their playing skills,” he said.

“We firmly believe that by investing in our group we end up with better people and higher-performing rugby players and this is a good example of that philosophy at work.

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“We have got together with Coventry College to offer a Level 3 Certificate in Coaching (Sport and Physical Activity).

“Based at the Butts Park Arena, this one-year course combines study content delivered by the College with an absolutely outstanding rugby programme.

“Students joining the course next month will learn from our first team management and coaching squad, not academy coaches. This means they will receive input from some of England’s leading experts in areas including nutrition, strength & conditioning, sports psychology, analysis and coaching.”

Coventry Rugby head coach Alex Rae also believes the course offers plenty for ambitious teenage rugby players.

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“This is a fantastic opportunity for a young player to get some education while also being part of a really good rugby programme incorporating all the key elements which make them a better rugby player and a better person,” he said.

“They will be surrounded by first team players and coaches and within a pathway that is a proven route already taken by players like Tom Ball and Fin Ogden who are currently within our senior squad.”

Rae also sees the course as a potential route into professional rugby for those who really impress.

“If someone comes on this programme and excels I am not frightened to give them their chance in our first team in the Championship,” he said.

“But we realise not everyone will achieve that, so this course is also geared up to provide students with a platform from which they are able to go on and enjoy their rugby at any level.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the 2023/24 course then applying for a place in this September’s student intake should contact: Gordon Ross, Coventry Rugby Head of Academy Pathway and Talent Development, Email: gross@coventryrugby.co.uk

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Eabn 8 hours ago
Open-minded Schmidt takes hands-on approach to Australia challenge

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