Somerset Girls Rugby

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Women and girls rugby in Somerset

Women’s rugby at representative & development level is managed by Senior Rugby. Girl’s representative & development rugby at under 15 & U 18 level (the two recognised representative groups) are managed by age grade rugby.

Our community rugby section supports all other club rugby.


2019 – 20 Girls Pathway Information

Girls Future Playing Programme (Please follow this link)

U18s Centres of Excellence Framework (Please follow this link)

FAQ’s (09/02/2018)

Why have you moved the CB girls programme to later in the year?
The pathway will align to the principles of the Age Grade Rugby by providing clubs, schools and colleges with a longer dedicated training and playing window. This will help to create and reinforce the social and team bonds that are so important in retaining players in team sports and will allow players more opportunity to play, be developed and gain confidence in their current environment prior to any nomination. Moving the window for the CB programme also supports coaches, managers and teachers in identifying and nominating players suitable for further pathway activity by leaving selection until later in the year.

How does the CB programme feed into the Centres of Excellence?
Each CB will be supported to establish one x U15 and one x U18 squad drawing players from school, college and club rugby (they may also wish to identify talented athletes from other sports). A specific training and playing programme, incorporating sevens, will take place during February and March where players identified, as being appropriate for the Centres of Excellence programme are nominated to attend assessment sessions. Please note that CB selection will not commence until January of each season.

Will 17 and 18 year olds playing in TP15s or Championship Competitions be available for CB selection?
It is worth remembering that the CB and Centres of Excellence programmes are primarily about development and the emphasis will be on nurturing a player’s attainment of skills, game understanding (principles of play) and athleticism. A 17/18 year old playing regularly in the TP15s & Championship Competition has already demonstrated they are performing at a consistently high level and as such, a player of this calibre is unlikely to play CB Rugby.

Will Talent Development Group players be available for CB selection?
In most cases Talent Development Group players will be available for CB selection. The CB programme is part of the nomination process for the Centres of Excellence programme each year and will assist in highlighting those players that are eligible for selection so allowing another training and playing opportunity for these players within the pathway is an essential element.

What is the link between the Centres of Excellence and Tyrells Premier 15s?
The new pathway will provide a progression from club & school and CB Rugby into Centres of Excellence and will see the most talented players feed into England age grade programmes and Tyrells Premiership competition. The Tyrells Premier 15s Club will be responsible for the delivery of the Centre of Excellence programme working closely with the RFU Professional Rugby Department to ensure an appropriate programme is in place.

Where are the Centres of Excellence centres going to be sited?
The Centres of Excellence are likely to be situated at the Tyrells Premier 15s Club clubs. In some circumstances (pitch access, facilities, geographic challenges etc.), this may mean they are delivered at other local facilities.

Who is responsible for the Centres of Excellence?
Oversight of the Centre of Excellence programmes will fall under the remit of the Women’s Performance Management Group, which also has the oversight of the Tyrells Premier 15s programme. Each Centre of Excellence will be established and monitored through the RFU Professional Rugby Department and carried out locally through the Performance Pathway Officers and nationally through the Player Development Manager.

Oversight of the CB Pathway will fall under the remit of Player Development Sub Committee

I am concerned that the players will no longer play with their friends at their club, school or college and move to one of the Tyrrells Premiership 15’s clubs.
Tyrells Premier 15s clubs cannot organise under 15s or 18s rugby teams. The Centres of Excellence programme is not a playing programme it is a development programme and as such, the training sessions cannot take place on the same day as club competition ensuring that players will be available to play in their normal place of activity.

8 – 10 hours contact time is a lot and will have an impact on their availability to train and play at their club, school or college?
Evidence would suggest that for players identified with the traits of elite performers regular contact time plays a vital role in maximising their development. A similar model is already used in the male game, Player Development Group in the Regional Academies, where one session per week is seen as the optimum without taking them out of their regular playing environment. The programme will adopt an integrated approach to physical development within “rugby” sessions that also focuses on body management and movement literacy patterns, and where appropriate position specific training. The Centres of Excellence programme will also be mindful of particularly busy educational months and will recognise that not all players will be able to attend all sessions.

Why are there no under 15 Centres of Excellence?
The Centre of Excellence programme will involve circa 300 girls at U18 in year one with an ambition to introduce the same programme for circa 300 girls at U15 level once the U18 programme is established.

Key RFU Contacts Player Pathway Officers

Alan Hubbleday
    1. Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset
    2. Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset and Wilts, Oxfordshire

Performance Pathway Officer (Women)

Amy Turner
Harlequins, Wasps, Richmond, Bristol, Saracens

James Cooper
Darlington Mowden Park, Firwood Waterloo, Loughborough, Worcester, Hartpury Gloucester

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