Worcester Warriors will launch six new Regional Academy Centres later this year where the most talented rugby players in the Midlands will have access to some of the finest training environments in the country.
The Centres, which are all set to open this autumn, will be based at Broadstreet Rugby Club, Hereford Cathedral School, Luctonians Rugby Club, Telford College of Arts and Technology, Warwick School and a Birmingham location to be announced at a future date. They will run alongside the club’s current Centre at Sixways.
Youngsters between the ages of 13 and 18 will receive up to seven hours of contact time every week under the guidance of the club’s experienced Academy coaches.
With the appointment of Director of Rugby Dean Ryan in May 2013, Warriors recognised that, to achieve long-term success, the club would need to re-engage its Academy Programme and roll it out across the entire West Midlands, one of the most prolific areas for the current generation of rugby players.
Since the arrival of High Performance Director Nick Johnston in December 2013, the club has been building relationships with schools, colleges, universities and rugby clubs across the region and have pin-pointed the six Centres as ideal destinations to develop the Academy Programme.
The Regional Academy Centres will run alongside the club’s Development Player Pathway Programmes, which were set-up in the autumn of 2013, and its age-grade development squads.
Warriors’ Interim Chief Executive Anthony Glossop said: “I believe the introduction of these Regional Academy Centres will be transformational for the club as they will allow us to take our brand into new areas to unearth the next generation of Warriors first-team players and supporters.
“We are ambitious to project the club into the heart of these communities and engage with people to grow our fanbase and commercial opportunities in these regions.”
Dean Ryan, who has handed first-team debuts to seven current Academy players this season, said: “The future success of this club will be determined by ensuring we develop our own young players who display the right attributes and motivations to play for Worcester Warriors.
“We have placed a huge focus on building relationships and finding the right locations to launch these Centres to allow us to work with the best young players across the region.
“We will work with players to aid their all-round personal development to ensure they maximise their potential.”