England Rugby Academy Player Education
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It is vital that education is pursued as well as development as a rugby player. Rugby players retire early (normally in their thirties) and only a few ever earn enough not to have to work beyond that. Injuries too can interrupt a rugby career, so it is important to have an alternative career path.
The best rugby players are those who can apply themselves across a number of disciplines. Education targets will be set and must be met by all Academy athletes.
The England Rugby Academy will ensure that all athletes are able to pursue the core programmes. This should, in the majority of cases, involve the player in an equivalent of 15-20 hours of skills training, technical skills development, conditioning, tactical awareness, and ‘active rest’ each week. This will normally be delivered during the day at the optimum times for individual player development.
Working in partnership with local specialist sports colleges, further education colleges and schools can provide the Academy player with flexible educational support that allows him to put rugby first for two to three hours each day whilst still attending lessons/lectures.
A number of universities and further education colleges have also indicated that a similar flexible approach could be applied to students on either degree or HND courses. Players in these groups will benefit from working daily with and alongside the club’s first team squad. This may mean an extension of their degree courses to four or five years, which should be possible with the modular approach to qualifications.