Coventry Rugby has announced a new partnership with Northamptonshire-based Moulton College.
Moulton has a long track record of having outstanding rugby players come through its rugby fields and classrooms, with the likes of England star Courtney Lawes, several World Rugby Under-20 Championship winners and age group internationals, and many more professional players having spent time at the College.
These include current Coventry Rugby back rower Ben Nutley and Academy players Archie Strath, Louis Beer, Louis James, Joe Brock, Ollie Betteridge and Edd Prowse, who recently signed with the Northampton Saints Senior Academy after impressing during his year at Butts Park Arena.
This new partnership with Coventry Rugby will see the club’s Academy coaches and performance staff work with Moulton students on a daily basis and provide an opportunity for the College’s players into the Cov Under-18 and Development pathways.
The club and College will also work together on educational opportunities for Coventry Rugby senior players while provide an alternative Academy training and coach education base with world class facilities.
Moulton College players have already worn the blue and white hoops during the successful Under-18 season in 2019/20, and Academy Manager Ross Stewart says that he is looking forward to developing this relationship in the future.
“We will be looking to grow the reach of our Academy and development pathway this season, and this partnership with Moulton College is a significant piece in the jigsaw.” He said. “It is a model that we know produces talented players and we are looking forward to adding further value to the programme and enhancing the opportunities for Moulton players through our Academy.
“This is an exciting partnership for us, one that will allow us to combine rugby with academic studies for players all the way from 16 to 23 years of age and we now hope to replicate this model with additional partnerships across the Midlands.”
Director of Rugby Rowland Winter says that College partnerships such as Moulton can be an important step on the development pathway to becoming a professional player.
“We’ve already had a good number of players come from Moulton into our Under-18s and then the Development Academy, and this kind of talent identification and development will be really important as we evolve our squad,” he added.
“The Academy programme is a vital part of our ability to continue to grow and create a strong core of talented and committed players, that will underpin our intention of being successful over a long period of time.
“This is what we want to achieve at Coventry Rugby, and in doing so we will make our links with the broader rugby community even stronger.”
Coventry Rugby Managing Director Nick Johnston says that the partnership with Moulton can become the blueprint for similar partnerships across the region and indeed the Championship clubs as a whole.
“Moulton has a strong reputation for bringing through excellent young players,” he commented, “but more importantly they will be helping us develop a dual pathway which balances rugby with academic development.
“As a club we take personal and professional development seriously, and as we make the next steps forward it will be vital to offer players the opportunity to gain academic qualifications which can help them prepare for a life after rugby, and Moulton has a wide range of courses as well as strong coaching on the field.
“We’ll be looking to use the next year to develop a framework which we can then replicate at similar colleges across the Midlands as a whole.”