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Wasps England Rugby Academy

The Wasps England Rugby Academy is one of 14 similar academies based around the country. The role of the Academy is to identify and develop talented young athletes from the age of 13 to 21 and engage them in an Elite High Performance development programme.

Academy Players Bob Baker and Tom Londsay pick up 1XV game time alongside Academy graduate, Charlie Beech

Academy Players Bob Baker and Tom Londsay pick up 1XV game time alongside Academy graduate, Charlie Beech

Athletes progress through three Academy levels, starting at School of Rugby level then moving onto Elite Player Development Group level and finally Regional Academy level.

The objective of the Academy is to maximize the potential of identified elite rugby players and to enhance their personal, education and vocational development opportunities. The standard will necessarily be high, but our aim is to ensure all our Academy Scholarship Holders (those at Regional Academy level) achieve professional contract status at 18. Currently, our success rate is 90%.

The Elite Player Development Group and Regional Academy are based at Wasps Training Ground in Acton and Henley RFC. Both have outstanding facilities for the delivery of an Elite development programme: weights gyms, physiotherapy rooms, rubber crumb training areas, floodlighting and analysis suites.

At Regional Academy level, our development programme involves strength and conditioning, sports medicine, physiology, psychology and nutrition. The programme is delivered by experts in their areas, mostly full time Wasps staff.

The Academy Programme: Objective

To develop young players to a minimum standard of Premiership level by the age of 21.

Structure

Academy players range from U13 to U21, divided into three working Academy levels. Above these Academy levels is the English National Academy, which acts as a target aspiration for all Wasps Academy players.

Level 1: Schools of Rugby

Age range: U13 to U16

Schools of Rugby (SOR) operate at three centres within Wasps designated county areas of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Middlesex. Each centre works with a squad of up to 25 players and offers excellent development training facilities no further than one hour's travel time from the players' homes.

The SOR programme consists of nine sessions per year administered and delivered by the counties in conjunction with Wasps. Players follow the RFU Core Skills development programme involving contact, handling, game sense and skill training. Lifestyle management and welfare issues are also covered in seminars at each centre.

Players are nominated by their school, club or personal recommendation for an assessment to enter the SOR programme.

Level 2:Elite Player Development Group Squads

Age range: U15 to U18

The Elite Player Development Group (EPDG) operates at two sites, Wasps Training Ground and Henley RFC.

The EPDG programme consists of 20 sessions in summer camp throughout August, followed by two weekly sessions during school term. Further sessions also take place during half terms, Christmas and Easter.

At EPDG level the programme covers the same core development areas as the SORs, but at an intensified level.

Entry into these groups is mainly by progression from the SOR programme.

Level 3: Regional Academy Squad

Age range: U16 to U21

Wasps Regional Academy Squad is based at Wasps Training Ground.

The programme for U16-U18 squad members is delivered partly at their school, and at Wasps Training Ground during holiday periods, in the evenings and weekends. Older Regional Academy Squad members are fully involved in the Wasps 1st XV squad training programme.

Wasps currently have 14 players listed as Regional Academy players.

All players are required to be assessed and ratified by the England RFU Director of Academies before entering the Regional Academy Squad.


Wasps Academy is sponsored by Causeway Technologies