Coleg y Cymoedd are encouraging any 16-18 year-old rugby players, boys and girls, who want to join a rugby league academy with a clear pathway to play in Super League, to register their interest now for a course that will start in September 2021.
The Wales Rugby League National Development Academy is now partnered with the Super League club Salford Red Devils, who have promised that if players are good enough, then they will get a chance at the club, which could lead to Super League appearances and international honours.
PRESENTATION: National Development Academy Coleg y Cymoedd
Paul Rowley, the former England international who has previously coached Leigh Centurions and Toronto Wolfpack, was recently appointed as Salford Red Devils’ first Head of Rugby Development, Talent and Pathways.
He says: “We’re going to be employing a coach at Salford who will come down to Coleg y Cymoedd once a month, but for a couple of days each time. Our aim is to produce better players in Wales and provide a pathway for all players to step into, and if you’re good enough, the opportunity at Salford will be there.”
The captain of the Welsh national men’s side, who will be hoping to lead Wales in the World Cup at the end of the season, is Elliot Kear. He’s a current Salford Red Devils Super League player who started playing rugby league at Cardiff Demons before being spotted by Celtic Crusaders.
He says: “When I was a teenager, there was no rugby league education pathway like Coleg y Cymoedd in place in South Wales. We were quite fortunate that we had Celtic Crusaders in Bridgend at the time, but didn’t have an educational pathway. This academy partnership between Coleg y Cymoedd, Wales Rugby League and Salford Red Devils is a great opportunity for all students who are interesting in playing rugby league but also having a career to fall back on. I’m fully supportive of this and hopefully I can come down and do a few training sessions as well.”
The Wales Rugby League National Development Academy at Coleg y Cymoedd is open to open to both boys and girls aged 16-18.
The Academy provides full-time education alongside daily training regimes that are led by Wales Rugby League’s National Development Manager Mark Jones. It allows potential Wales U19 international players to train together every day and play competitive games together on a weekly basis.
The educational part of the academy is as important to players’ development as the rugby league training. With this in mind, the Academy has ensured that the players are provided with the choice of “A” Level, BTEC or vocational qualifications to study whilst at the academy.
Jones says: “We are able to offer travel grants, kit grant and meal grants. We also provide local self-funded accommodation with host families for all players who live too far away to commute daily to the academy. This accommodation will be provided for Monday – Friday but will also be available for weekends if this is necessary for each player. We offer a sponsorship package to all players to help them fund any costs incurred with 100% of all sponsorship obtained, going back to the player.”
If you are interested in attending the Cymoedd Rugby League Academy please take a look at the presentation at National Development Academy Coleg y Cymoedd then complete an online application form HERE and you will then receive a reply outlining what needs to be done next to secure your place.