Scrum down for some rugby, girls

Kicking off: Myerscough aims to attract elite female rugby players to its new academy
Kicking off: Myerscough aims to attract elite female rugby players to its new academy

The first girls’ rugby academy in the North of England will open at Myerscough College next month.

The Myerscough Girls’ Rugby Academy will be based at the college’s campus and will offer talented players, aged 16 and over, the opportunity to live and train as professional athletes while studying towards qualifications, possibly leading to a career in professional rugby union.

The academy will offer the chance to study towards a number of qualifications from BTEC Level 3 to degree level, while living and training like elite women rugby players.

It will also offer a limited number of places on the RFU Achieving Academic and Sporting Excellence (AASE) scheme.

The AASE scheme is already run by the college for boys in partnership with Sale Sharks Rugby. It is aimed at 16-year-old rugby players who are technically sound, tactically good, physically fit and display a willingness to learn and a commitment to succeed.

The AASE scheme is designed to develop technical skills, tactical knowledge and physical conditioning, plus all-round knowledge of the game and what it takes to become an elite women’s rugby player.

Spurred on by the success achieved by the England women’s rugby team, who are currently ranked number one in the unofficial world rankings, women’s rugby in this country has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years. Participation in the game is at an all-time high with over 14,000 women and girls registered.

For Steve Gough, head of rugby and Sale Sharks AASE manager at Myerscough, the success of women’s rugby at the elite end means there has never been a better time to strengthen the women’s game, particularly at under 19 level.

He said: “Creating a girls academy at Myerscough College has been an ambition of mine for some years.

“The international success of the England women’s team, especially in recent years, has driven awareness of women’s rugby and ultimately is increasing the quality of players coming through the system. With this in mind, 2013 seems like the perfect time to launch the girls’ academy here at Myerscough.

“Our aim is no different to the boys’ academy. We want to improve skills, knowledge and understanding of the game and create an environment that helps players develop into better athletes, whilst providing them with an education to enable them to one day develop a career in professional rugby union”

Myerscough College is holding a taster day to show what the new girls’ rugby academy can offer at the campus on Wednesday, February 20, between 9.30am and 3pm.

For further information, or to book your place, contact Steve Gough on: 07747 777963 or