Global talent agency throws weight behind Hartpury College Men’s Under-18 Rugby team


The YMU Group, a global talent agency that manages a roster of rugby players, presenters and creators, has been unveiled as sponsor of the Hartpury College Men’s Under-18 Rugby team.

With over 25 years of experience, YMU is a world-renowned agency that manages more than 50 current internationals, former legends of the game, presenters, and commentators hosting national coverage of the sport. They represent and support a number of Hartpury Alumni such as Jonny May, Jake Poledri, Lewis Ludlow, Calum Braley and Toby Venner. They also recently took on current Gloucester-Hartpury player and 2022 Women’s World Rugby Player of the Year Zoe Aldcroft.

The company will receive a range of marketing opportunities including branding on the team’s match kit, adverts in the online programmes for their various tours and branding around Hartpury.

The team are currently on a tour of South Africa, visiting Kearsney College to play in the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival. In December, the team is also heading to Phuket in Thailand to take part in a global tournament to compete with some of the best schools in the world. These two tours involve a lot of costs, and sponsorship from partners such as YMU greatly help with the expense of the tours and costs needed to travel internationally.

Daren O’Leary, Lead Agent at YMU and a former professional rugby player said: “We at YMU are delighted and excited to support Hartpury College with their upcoming tour in South Africa. We have long been admirers of the elite rugby programme that Wayne Thompson and his team at Hartpury have put together. Their success is reflected in both an impressively full trophy cabinet and an astonishing number of alumni who make up some of the best players in the world, a number of which we’re very proud to represent.”

James Forrester, Head of Sponsorship at Hartpury said: “Partnerships like this open a range of opportunities for our students within our sports academies and teams, and we’re so very grateful to YMU for their sponsorship of our Hartpury College Men’s Rugby Under-18s team.

“YMU are synonymous with rugby and care greatly about the future of our sport, demonstrated in this sponsorship of some of our youngest rugby players who have their careers ahead of them. This partnership enables us to continue to support our athletes and ensure they have the very best foundation for wherever their talent takes them both on and off the pitch. The partnership helps our players be supported as they grow into the types of successful athlete that YMU represent.”

YMU will give a talk to players and their parents on the benefits of working with a qualified agent as well as providing tips on life as a professional player.

Hartpury University and Hartpury College has a great record for success in the sporting arena as well as academically. Over 250 international athletes have been produced over the past 15 years, and 97% of sports graduates in employment, further study, or other purposeful activity (Graduate Outcomes 2022).

Hartpury has invested over £10 million into its world-class Sports Academy facilities in recent years.

Sports students and those training with our 10 competitive sports academies benefit from access to human performance and biomechanics laboratories, a sports therapy and rehabilitation suite, gyms, multi-sports halls, a performance analysis suite, grass and 3G pitches, a nutrition kitchen, and driving range.

Picture: Daren O’Leary, Tim Stevenson, Mason Watkin (captain), Max Knight, Sonny Greenman, Wayne Thompson