As we approach the start of the season the Academy is already pushing hard to develop the next group of aspiring young players.
After a successful Open Trial the boys have been back in the harness since mid June, improving their core skills and game sense along with lots of conditioning.
We have expanded our network of partner clubs over the summer as we look to progress our higher performing players up the RFU League structure. We are very lucky to be able to work closely with clubs who have a shared passion for young player development.
We continue our association with Henley Hawks and London Irish Wild Geese at National League 2 South (Level 4). No8 Marcus Lowe, will play with Henley again this season, having picked up their Player of the Year award last season. He will be joined by Hooker Chris Joyce who steps up a level after an impressive 17/18 season with Hertford.
Wild Geese will welcome three players new to the Academy, winger Josh Amadi joins us from the University of Birmingham after a very successful time with Hampton School. Hooker Josh Brown also joins us from UoB and Richmond U21. Back Row Arby Keheli completes the players with Geese, formerly with Blackheath Arby has had a fantastic preseason after impressing at trial.
Hertford continue to offer opportunities at London Premier (Level 5). Full back Lewis Steadman will stay again this year, we hope he can break into the 1st XV having had an injury affected time last year. Hooker Matt Hodson will be hoping to push his way into the reckoning given Joycey’s absence. Centre Michael Rugely will move from Cinderford to Highfields having completed his studies at Hartpury College.
We are pleased to announce new partnerships with Bracknell RFC and Tring Rugby. Both clubs play at Level 5, in South West Premier and London Premier respectively.
Scrum Half Conor Segre links up with Bracknell after a highly successful 7s season that saw him compete in the internationally famous Hong Kong competition with the Jamaican National squad. Conor had an unlucky 15s season with injury last year and is looking to turn a great preseason into League success.
Tring will continue to work with Ben Hogan, a product of their Youth structure who joined us over the summer. Ben has impressed all the coaches in his short time with us and we expect big things from the versatile half back.
We also say goodbye to two players who have been big influencers in the Academy but have moved out of our age range. Prop Zaki Chamnaoui leaves the Academy to join Old Albanians. Zaki joined us 4 years ago and has played with our Men’s Section, Harrow, Henley and Wild Geese during his time with the club. Centre Luca Townshend also leaves us to join CS Rugby 1863, Luca joined from University of West London and played with the Men’s section and Henley while with us. We wish both lads all the very best for their futures and look forward to bumping into them at the club and on our travels.
It looks set to be a really exciting season for all involved in the Acadmey. There will be plenty of opportunities to see the guys in action in Green and White. Keep an eye out here and on our Twitter and Instagram feeds.