England Rugby’s men’s under-17s squad arrive at Hartpury for four-day training camp


England Rugby’s men’s under-17 squad have arrived at Hartpury University and Hartpury College for a special four-day development camp. The camp will culminate in the England squad training alongside Hartpury College’s under-18 ACE league-winning team ahead of a special 15 v 15 training fixture at the Alpas Arena on Sunday 30 April 2023, commencing at 11:15am.

The England squad will engage in a number of training and practice sessions alongside the Hartpury College team. This will provide an ideal opportunity for both sides to explore their boundaries and improve on the pitch.

One Hartpury College student is engaged with the England squad. Solomon Shand (pictured, far left), a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport (Rugby) is a back row forward who is also part of Gloucester Academy.

The development squad will use Hartpury’s state-of-the-art facilities that provide an elite environment for athletes to train and develop their skills. More than £10 million has been invested in the sports facilities at Hartpury and the players will have access to a new £250,000 sports performance gym, performance analysis suite, human performance and biomechanics laboratories, pitches and the Alpas Arena. They’ll also dine at Graze - a modern learning environment with social study spaces, a restaurant and cafe serving Costa Coffee that opened to students in September 2022, just months after Hartpury was named 3rd in the UK for Facilities at the WhatUni Awards.

Jonathan Pendlebury, England Under-18 Head Coach said: “It’s great to have Hartpury as a base for our four-day development camp. Having access to their high-performance facilities alongside combined training with their college team provides our pathway players with a great development opportunity over this period.”

Wayne Thompson, Junior Rugby Academy Manager at Hartpury said: “It’s a privilege to host this camp at Hartpury and for our U18 rugby ACE side to be invited to take part. Not only is it a great opportunity for our students to test themselves against their peers within the England Pathway, but it also emphasises the credibility and strength of our U18 college rugby programme.”

Earlier this month, the YMU Group was unveiled as sponsor of the Hartpury College Men’s Under-18 Rugby team. The global talent agency is world-renowned and manages the profile or more than 50 current international players.

This year, Hartpury is celebrating its 75th anniversary, reflecting on nearly eight decades of education in its specialist areas. Sport has become a key specialism of the institution and success in both men’s and women’s rugby has seen former students pick up prestigious titles such as World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year (2021) as well as making frequent appearances in Six Nations tournaments and being selected for Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

Today, a total of 10 competitive sports academies are well established, providing students with the chance to train and compete in sports including netball, rugby, football, futsal, equine, modern pentathlon, golf, athletics and more. Student athletes train within an elite sporting environment while studying A-levelsdiplomas and degrees as they progress along the well-trodden and much-celebrated Dual Career pathway that’s produced 250 international athletes over the past 15 years and results in high graduate employability among sport students of 97% (Graduate Outcomes 2022).