What is the academy?

The academy is the eldest section of the Tunbridge Wells youth club, providing a bridge from youth rugby to the senior game. It comprises the U16s, U17s and U18s of both the boys and girls section.

More details here Academy

What does being part of the academy entail?

The academy aims to bring a really high standard of rugby coaching as well a much more rounded approach to development – fitness, S&C, nutrition, plus lots more. Apparently there’s more to life than rugby – who knew!

Players can expect regular contact time during the season, twice/week training as well a few special sessions.

The academy is led by our Head Coach Simon who previously has great success on and off the field at the Blackheath academy. Simon is currently assistant director of rugby at Epsom college, prior to which he had a great career himself playing for London Welsh, Worcester Warriors and Blackheath. Simon knows Tunbridge wells RFC well, and is a former head coach of our first team and even has kids in the minis section.

Our aim is to make the academy awesome, a real step up from the youth setup. We are investing in coaches, and Simon will be joined from time to time by the titans coaching the 1s, and other specialist coaches.

Is the academy selective?

No, the academy is open to any player, irrespective of gender or ability. Where we have numbers to do so, we will operate multiple teams, one a As/Bs basis. However, we will continue to ensure that all players (irrespective of ability) play equal amounts of competitive rugby.

How do I join?

Sign Up At Twrfc.Com/Spond.

Make Contact With Academy Manager, Martin Croker At Academy@twrfc.com

You are welcome to give it a go for a couple of weeks to decide it its for you.

Is there an age limit to joining the academy?

The academy is open to players in the U16-U18 age grades. For boys this is those in school years 11-13, and for girls this is those in school years 10-14

When does the academy train?

The academy will be training on Wednesday evenings fThe timing of this is still to be confirmed),
and on Sunday morning 10:30-12:15.

How Do you manage the clashes with School Rugby

We are conscious that (particularly in the autumn term), some players will have not only club rugby but also schools rugby, and that players need to recover. Typically mid-week will be a light contact session to focus on other skills.

We’ve tried pretty hard to avoid fixture conflicts, in planning out the schedule for the academy we have already considered the fixture schedule from local schools. The RFU also publish a season calendar with some weekends designated for club-competitions and other for school-competition, we have respected this in our scheduling (schools do not always do so).

Where conflicts do occur – we will take it on a case by case basis, and only encourage players to prioritise club above school when it’s a club weekend, and the match is material to the competition we entered. We recognize that asking this puts the players in an awkward position.

When does the academy season run to/from?

The academy season runs from September to May in accordance with the RFU age grade calendar.
Pre-season training will start in July, to ensure players are adequately prepared for the season.

Are there any routines or training schedules my son should be completing outside of specific academy training or match days?

Do the academy player receive a personal training and development plan?

Does the academy advise on nutrition or are there nutrition expectations for the players?

When does the academy play matches?

How many academy teams are there?

How are match day squads picked?

Will my son be able to try new playing positions in the academy?

Who is the academy lead coach?

Simon Whatling & Tammy

Who are the other professional coaches?

What is the role of the age grade head coach/other age grade coaches once the academy starts?

Somebody had to collect the cones in!

Who is in charge of academy administration?

Are there specific medical staff or resources available in the academy?

What kit does the academy wear?

How does the academy communicate with parents?

Will a fixture and training schedule for the season be published?

Who do I contact if I want to discuss any area of my son’s academy journey?

What feedback on my son’s development can I expect from the coaches?

Are there additional costs associated with being part of the academy?

No, the academy included in your membership, We seek to cover the (not inconsiderable) costs of the academy through sponsorship.

Is there an academy code of conduct my son should be aware of when joining and representing the academy?

Yes – but it’s not written yet

How do I as a parent continue to be part of my child’s rugby journey once in the academy?

Are there any non rugby academy events for the players or parents?

Does the academy go tour?

What about clustering?

What competitions are you entering ?

What about clashes with school rugby ?

Are the boys and girls together ?

When can I play adult rugby ?