The Gower College Swansea Rugby Academy is proud to have an established partnership with the Ospreys, who work with us closely to develop players at an under-18 level through the provision of high quality training and regular fixtures. This valuable partnership lends itself to all aspects of the rugby training programme, meaning you’ll benefit from the support and expertise no matter what your current level of ability.
“The College has an excellent reputation for rugby and helped me to develop, with both 1st and 2nd team rugby available. The environment at the College is excellent and provided a really high level of competition. They were a really good bunch of boys involved in the squad at the time and it was nice to develop in a winning environment. The coaching staff at the College were very approachable and helpful, which made my time there an enjoyable one.”
Justin Tipuric, British Lions, Wales and Ospreys.
“The extra training provided in the Rugby Academy has helped me to improve my strength and fitness a lot over the last two years. This has helped me to play for the College in the big games against top quality opposition. Had I not been seen playing in these games for the College I wouldn’t have been picked to play at a higher level for the Ospreys and Wales.”
Rory Thornton, Wales Under 18s
Rugby Academy students have access to elite-level training facilities within Swansea University Sports Village. The College Sports Centre has recently opened a purpose-built power room to cover all aspects of strength and conditioning for rugby academy students.
The Rugby training itself is delivered by Welsh Rugby Union qualified coaches and Ospreys coaching staff, who will provide you with a minimum of six hours of coaching and fitness instruction per week.
All sessions delivered at the Academy follow the Ospreys Rugby ‘Six Pillars of Player Development’, where players learn about all aspects of playing professional rugby: Technical; Tactical; Physical; Nutritional; Psychological and Holistic Preparation.
Focus on coaches…
Dan Cluroe, Head of Rugby
Bio: 10 years’ experience coaching for the Rugby Academy and is a WRU Level 3 coach. Played for Staffordshire, Worcestershire and The North Midlands. Also Head Coach of Loughor RFC.
Steven Jones, Forwards Coach, WRU hub Officer
Bio: Level 3 Coach with 5 Welsh Caps and 180 Appearances for Newport Gwent Dragons. Also Head Coach of Bridgend RFC.
James Mark Jones, Head of Strength and Conditioning
Bio: S&C Coach at Ospreys Rugby, Fitness Coach at Swansea RFC and Neath RFC.
Greg Morgan, Advisor to College Coaches
Bio: Amlin Challenge Cup and WRU Premiership Referee.
Gower College Swansea’s Rugby Academy provides opportunities for players to compete both at an elite level and a recreational level. Wednesday is typically fixture day across the College, when all Academies get an opportunity to play as part of a team.
The Rugby Academy elite team plays within the WRU Colleges League. Each home game is played at St Helens rugby ground, with some games even shown live on S4C and Scrum V. Elite players also compete in the British Colleges Regional League, BCS Midlands League (winners in 2011/12), Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s and the Welsh Colleges 10s. Players are also given opportunities to participate in elite level invitational tournaments and regular overseas tours.
Recreational players participate in competitions like the BCS Knockout Cup U19s, Urdd 7s and the WRU Midweek League – playing against local schools and colleges. So even if you don’t wish to play rugby to a career level, you still have the opportunity to represent the College.
The Rugby Academy believes that the players themselves are the key to promoting the sport to younger people, and so you will often get the chance to visit local schools to practice coaching skills and teach rugby to children of school age – so that they might be encouraged to develop their own rugby talents.
Passing on your knowledge
As part of the Ospreys partnership, players within the Academy are encouraged to develop their skills as coaches. There are many incentives for players who display skill and enthusiasm in this area, including increased recognition by the Ospreys and the opportunity to coach with them to gain additional qualifications and employment.