U16 FAQs

What does the name Ealing U16 Academy mean for me?

Irrespective of your experience in rugby you are welcome in the Ealing U16 Academy. It is not an exclusive band of players in a single small team. We hope to run a squad of 50+ players and dependant on attendance, we aim to run teams in Hert’s/Midd’x Divisions 2 & 7 and push for promotion from each.


See below for the Emerging Player Group (Ealing Academy U16 EPG player group).


When do we start training?

Sunday morning 09:45 to 12:00 from the 31st of August onwards. Mid-week training is every Wednesday 18:45 to 20:00.


What fixtures do we have?

Please follow the link to the u16s calendar:


Where does the Academy funding come from

Our budget came from the youth pot last year and this year our budget comes from the Academy pot.


What about the coaching structure?

Please follow the link for more info about this year’s coaching set up:


Do we still need to organise fund raising activities?

In short YES!

In recent years Karen Barry and Paul Stewart have been instrumental in organising tours, and with the assistance from handful of others, throughout the year, the age-group put on a few fund-raising events to: a) ease the cost of going on such tours and b) contribute to a target income- required of each age group. The target is always daunting but through the hard work of these ‘event’ organisers we have contributed each year.

The Academy status brings no change on this front. Things like coach or minibus hire might become a ‘norm’ this year. Certainly paying for match referees and after match meals will continue as last year so we will have to organise fund raising activities.


Can a person or Business Sponsor the Age-Group?

In short YES!

Please contact Annie Lyndon (Academy Manager) or John Lacey (Director of Academy) if you would like to specifically sponsor the U16 age-group.


How all encompassing is the Academy?

The Academy now caters for rugby players from ages U16 to U18 and the Senior Academy U19 to U23 players.

The U16 to U18 section is open to all abilities, with the U19 to U23 group (Senior Academy) being specifically for players looking to improve their skills with view to playing semi-professional rugby. The U16 and U18 (A and B sides) play in Hert’s/Midd’x Leagues.

The Senior Academy play fixtures against select opposition such as: Army, Combined Defence Forces, London Scottish, Bedford Blues, Nottingham and more…


What if I want to continue playing at U19 for Ealing RFC but either think it unlikely I will be invited to join the Senior Academy or simply have no wish to play semi-pro rugby?

Every year players leaving the Ealing U18 Academy (not heading on the Senior Academy pathway) are able to join one of the 4 adult rugby sides which Ealing RFC Run. This year again there are a handful of last years U18s who have decided on this pathway and are enjoying pre-season training with the senior Amateur sides.


What is the Ealing Academy U16 Emerging Player Group (EPG)?

The U16 U17 and U18 age groups all nominate 7 or 8 players each year based on close-season discussion between the coaches.

Some of the considerations by the coaching body (Bill Miller; Paul Hoban Dave Frewin Paul Johnson) at the end of the 2013/14 season included:

  • · Whether the player was showing signs of moving to the next level in their rugby.
  • · Whether the player had recently trialled for County, and the outcome of that.
  • · Whether the player had the right attitude in training and in competitive games.
  • · Whether the player was beginning to show signs of being hungry enough, that the coaches could see a future for the player in semi-pro rugby.


The EPG train for an hour each Tuesday with either or both the Academy Director and/or the Head of U18 Academy, together with U16 Lead Coach Paul Johnson. The U16 group are joined on a Wednesday by the players from the U15 EPG.


Being a member of the EPG requires a high level of commitment; both to attend the EPG sessions and take an active part in the age group training and fixtures. A player taking part in neither or aiming to ‘just do enough,’ is not likely to improve his skill-set at the desired rate.

Players may be asked to join or leave the academy during the season- the EPG is a centre of excellence and all members of the Group are expected to improve at the desired rate.


Can I work hard and join the (EPG) during the season?


If a candidate is outstanding during the season the Lead Coach will, on advisement from other coaches, consider the candidate and, if appropriate, approach the Academy Director to have the player join the group.


“I feel I have missed out on County selection… If I work hard can I have a shot at County?”

Each year county invite clubs to nominate players for trial. The timing for this can vary. If you have an outstanding season you put yourself in a good position to be nominated by the coaching body for a trial.

In truly exceptional cases the Lead Coach could make contact with the County Coach and ask that a scout watches the player in a competitive fixture for Ealing U16 Academy- probably in a League Game.


I have a Question: Please email Jerry Woolford on and if it is a commonly asked question we’ll pop it here on the FAQ section.