Hartpury ACE Winning Rugby Team

England Rugby’s men’s under-17s to play ACE league winners Hartpury College at 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, following its success in 2023. 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 on Sunday 28 April 2024 at the Hartpury University Stadium, commencing at 11:15am. The match is open to the public, so staff, students and supporters can enjoy what is expected to be an entertaining match.

The decision to not only train at Hartpury University and Hartpury College, but also to play against the Hartpury College team is testament to the quality of the facilities and ability of the players. Notably, two Hartpury College students are involved in the England side, Kealan Freeman-Price (A-levels) and Taite Fortey (BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport (Rugby)).

The development squad will use Hartpury University and Hartpury College’s state-of-the-art facilities that are renowned for providing 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 Hartpury University Stadium.

Wayne Thompson, Junior Rugby Academy Manager at Hartpury College said: “It’s a real privilege to host this camp at Hartpury University and Hartpury College once again and for our U18 rugby ACE side to be invited to take part. Like last year, this will provide a great opportunity for students to test themselves against their peers within the England pathway, as well as highlighting the strength and depth within our U18 college rugby programme. 

“It’s been another busy academic year for the squad who’ve taken advantage of every opportunity that has come their way. One of the highlights was our involvement at the World Schools Festival in Thailand before Christmas, another good example of the opportunities our students have to develop their skills and experience.”

The international credentials of this year’s ACE-winning side has been a cause for particular celebration, as 12 players have gained international recognition alongside their studies, the most ever in one season for the men’s side:

Alex Bosworth – Wales U18

Louis Callow – Germany U18

Ruben Cummings – Wales U18

Deian Gwynne – Wales U18

Caio James – Wales U18

Ryan Jones – Wales U18

Steff Jac Jones – Wales U18

Evan Minto – Wales U18

Josh Pearce – Wales U18

Evan Rees – Wales U19

Sol Shand – England U18

Elliott Southworth – Scotland U18

Opportunities in sport, both recreational and through the ten sports academies, have contributed to positive outcomes in Hartpury University’s triple Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF 2023) and Hartpury College’s recent Ofsted inspection, in which it retained Outstanding. Students can train and compete in sports including netball, rugby, football, futsal, equine, modern pentathlon, golf, athletics and more.