Warriors youngsters get chance to impress at Wellington Festival

Warriors have sent a 29-man squad selected from the club’s Developing Players Programme to the Wellington Under-16s Festival at Wellington College in Berkshire this week.

The week-long programme is held annually at the school in Crowthorne and aims to develop both academy players and coaches on and off the field in a variety of areas.

On the field, the academy teams will train and play against each other in a number of matches, challenged with law variations and a theme that has been provided for the players to interpret.

Players have been sent footage with challenges around ball carrying, and during the week they will be encouraged to explore different ways of being effective in both attack and defence.

Off the field, players will also be given education and guidance in the following areas: nutrition, anti-doping and professional sports pressures, such as psychology.

The Wellington Festival is the largest academy festival in English rugby and is seen as a key experience in a players’ development and transitional experience.

As well as match days on Sunday and Thursday – when Warriors will play Newcastle Falcons –  players will also receive specialist advice in their specific position during national coaching day on Tuesday, with England forwards coach Steve Borthwick among the guests.

Players will also be immersed in skill zones and masterclasses throughout the week.

“The purpose of Wellington Festival is to provide a really unique experience where there will a combination of off-field, as well as on-field activity, which we hope will add to a player’s development journey,” said RFU’s head of regional academies Don Barrell.

“We’d like to think this is a unique experience they can’t get anywhere else. So, to live with 14 academies on one site, mix with their peers from around the country and take part in different activities is a great opportunity for them to both learn and reflect.

“The festival is one part of a player’s journey and a really important week in our overall festival programme within the pathway.

“As a player moves through the pathway we’d hope the experiences we provide create some opportunities to learn and support their development. If you look ahead, some of the foundations that we put in place this week will be mentioned during the U18 Six Nations Festival. For us it is the bits in between the games that really add value.”

Warriors Under-16s squad |

Warriors Under-16s squad | Tom Hines (Nunnery Wood School), Fin Thomas (Oldbury Wells School), Ben Rowley (Ellesmere College), Cheick Kone (St Mathias School), Ewan Guy (Bromsgrove School), Bob Bray (Bromsgrove School), Kai Nwangwa (Warwick School), Charlie Hagan (Bishop Of Hereford Bluecoat School), Tom Miles (King Henry VIII Coventry), Elliot Tanner (Warwick School), Vansh Ladwa (Malvern College), Ethan Walton (Arden School), Toby Wilson (Walton HS), Haami Ahmad (Tudor Grange School Solihull), Isaac Wilding (Brine Leas School), Josh Marsden (Kenilworth School), Charlie Sockett (Ludlow School), Bailey Saunders (RSA Academy Birmingham), Tom Bullock (Bromsgrove School), Sam Hayler (Prince Henry’s Evesham), Willem Humphreys (King’s School), Tom Patrick (Warwick School), JJ Williams (Bromsgrove School), Will Llewellyn (Pershore HS), Oliver Hemming (Adams GS), Owen Preston (King’s School), Matt Doughty (King’s School), Matt Moseley (South Bromsgrove HS), Flynn Vries (RGS Worcester).