Hartpury to host academy for new Olympic sport

Gloucestershire’s Hartpury College is helping in the search for the next generation of players to take part in the Olympics’ newest sport – rugby sevens.


The renowned rugby college will host a talent development day, run by Ultimate Rugby 7s (UR7s), on  February 17th, 2014, aimed at boys aged 13 to 18 looking to improve their core skills in the shorter format of the game.

Those attending the development day will also be treated to an appearance from one of a number of current Aviva Premiership or French Top 14 players.

The boys will have the opportunity to receive tips and coaching from one of James Haskell, Tom Croft, Alex Cuthbert, Tom Varndell, Christian Wade or Jamie Roberts, who all played international sevens early in their careers.

Hartpury’s Director of Elite Sport, and former England and Bath Rugby captain, Phil de Glanville, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for players to experience the fast-paced nature of sevens rugby. We’re delighted to be able to host a day aimed at furthering players’ development with the future of the game in mind now that sevens is an Olympic sport.

“We have an excellent rugby tradition here and our facilities will enable Ultimate Rugby 7s to provide those attending with the highest level of coaching.”

The UR7s academy will be led by some of the best coaches and players in the UK. Wales Sevens star Richie Pugh will  act as head coach supported by former England Sevens’ Simon Hunt and Wales Sevens’ Rhodri McAtee.

Each of the academies will have four full-time coaches with international sevens backgrounds, who will be supported by players currently plying their trade on the World Sevens Series.

Hartpury’s rugby pedigree is well documented with more than 100 internationals produced in the last 10 years. Hartpury’s Under-18s are current and four-time AASE champions; with the University side also four-time champions of the British Universities and Colleges Sport competition. With Hartpury RFC also playing to a national league standard, the college provides the ideal base for aspiring players to come and improve their skills.

With the potential Olympians of Rio 2016 and beyond coming from the current schoolboy generation, the academy aims to help students not only develop as rugby players but also take advice from international coaches on what is required if they have ambitions to further their rugby sevens after school.

Hartpury College is one of the UK’s leading land-based and sports colleges. The campus covers more than 360 hectares and is located near to Gloucester and Cheltenham. The college is one of the world’s largest equine education facilities and regularly wins national university titles in rugby and football.

The cost of the Academy is £50 per student in both age groups. For application forms, information about how to pay and to confirm your place, please go to www.ur7s.com/academy and select ‘locations’.