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  • Writer's pictureDan Lock

RFU Midlands Rugby Academy update

Academy Update

The RFU has taken on a new England Regional Academy structure to support pathway players in the Midlands following Worcester Warriors and Wasps rugby clubs entering administration, the programme will be jointly supported by Premiership Rugby. Click here to listen a brief video update from Don Barrell, Head of Performance Pathways and Programmes.


The RFU has created 14 new roles that will provide a pathway programme and two coaching teams in the Midlands Central and Midlands West, all roles are being filled by former Worcester and Wasps employees.


Matt Williams has been appointed as RFU Midlands Rugby Academy Programme Lead he will be supported by Alan Hubbleday who is Coach Development Officer, Dan Hunter is taking on the role of Analyst and Eliza Ullersperger has been appointed Operations Lead.


Coaches appointed to the Midlands Central are Ashley Johnson and Alex Davies and appointed Midlands West coaches are John Goodridge and Chris Morgan.

The DPP will be led by Dan Lyne in Midlands West and by Alex Burns in Midlands Central.


Strength & Conditioning and Physiotherapy roles will be appointed in the coming days.


The Developing Player Pathway (DPP) and Player Development Group (PDG) programme for Under 18s will commence training sessions w/c 14 November and players will participate in the Academy Leagues which next take place in January.

Don Barrell, Head of Performance Pathways and Programmes at the RFU said; “We are delighted to have set up this replacement academy programme so quickly to provide reassurance for developing players in the Midlands. We recognise it has been an exceptionally difficult time for players, staff and supporters of both clubs and we thank parents, schools and clubs for keeping academy players motivated. I’m sure players will welcome the continued contact with some familiar club names, and we are thrilled that they will be supported by this exceptionally talented team. The community and pathway game is really important to future England rugby teams and we look forward to seeing this talent flourish.”


The RFU Midlands academy team joins the Yorkshire academy in being centrally managed by the RFU and supported by PRL while both organisations jointly fund the remaining Premiership Rugby Academy programmes.


Christian Day, Head of Player Affairs at The RPA said: “It is extremely positive to see the pathway for developing players in the Midlands re-established as quickly as possible. At a time of intense challenges for Rugby Union in England this will offer the best possible opportunity for young talent in this region to develop and thrive. The development of young players is vital for the success of English Rugby Union and is a cornerstone of the RPA’s mission to make England the best rugby playing environment in the World.”


Staff from the re-formed Midlands Academy will be contacting players in the coming weeks in the meantime, enquiries regarding the RFU Midlands Academy programme can be sent to ElizaUllersperger@RFU.com

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