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  • Writer's pictureDan Lock


Updated: Aug 15, 2022

England Rugby recently put out an article about the new pathway for girls in Rugby which we have shared below:

A new England Rugby Girls Developing Player Programme has been launched for U16s, enabling more girls than ever to have access to pathway training and playing opportunities while playing for clubs and schools nationwide.

The programme will complement existing club and school rugby and support the rapid growth of the women’s and girls’ game. It will focus on core skills and physical development. Positional, athletic and core rugby skills will be the programme’s foundation, providing a platform of success for all individuals, no matter their eventual playing position or context.


Said Head of Performance Pathways and Programmes, Don Barrell: “This programme will be an integral part of the structure that supports Red Roses of the future and provides a single pathway from players in the community through to the top end of the game. I can’t wait to see what players and talent we will uncover.”

The England Rugby Player Pathway prepares players to excel in a world-leading future England team. This programme will be delivered by the Constituent Body (CB) in which an U16 girl lives, goes to school, or plays rugby. Following graduation at the end of the players’ U16 year, most will continue to play for their local club, some may be asked to attend Centre of Excellence training, while others may be asked to attend the CB U18 programme.


Raising the standards of coaching to also raise the standard of player across the game will be a focus, with a new partnership between the RFU and UK Coaching supporting coaches working in the pathway. This partnership will provide coaches identified through Regional Academy Coach Development Officers, Centres of Excellence leads and Girls CB England Rugby Developing Player Programme to benefit from the co-developed RFU/UK Coaching online support platform

Phil Kearns, Coach Development Manager said: “This programme will give players increased opportunities to develop and coaches opportunities to support individual players to be successful in the pathway. Our partnership with UK Coaching will allow pathway coaches to both develop their coaching practice and ensure an outstanding and enjoyable experience for the young players involved.”

Mark Gannon, CEO UK Coaching commented “With an increase in appetite for digital learning, we are seeing more coaches taking the initiative to meet their own learning needs. The co-branded dashboard brings expertise from UK Coaching and the RFU into one place for the coaches to access on-line. The result: a tailored, guided learning experience for RFU pathway coaches which supports them to improve their own practice and the player experience”.

Constitutent Bodies around the country will be seeking nominations of girls training and playing in the U16 age group from their clubs and schools for the England Rugby Girls Developing Player Programme, which will kick off at the start of the new season.

For more information on player development please see the England Rugby Development Framework.

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