"To develop self reliant decision makers, to be independent thinkers and good people both on and off the field. Tailoring our approach to take account of individual needs whilst fostering a culture of enjoyment and self improvement. Through the DPP and EPDG to help maximise the potential of rugby players in Bristol at whatever level they may play."
The Bristol England Rugby Academy is one of the leading elite rugby academies in the UK. The RFU academy programme was initiated in 2001 with 14 licenses being granted nationwide. The Bristol Academy services players from in and around the City of Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas.
The objective of the Academy is to enhance the rugby performance of identified elite rugby players and help them in their personal, educational and social development.
Components of performance such as strength & conditioning, sports medicine, psychology and nutrition form an integral part of the holistic support programme. The Academy players are supported by specialists in each field and are given individually tailored development plans to help map out and monitor their professional development.
The Bristol Rugby Academy has a comprehensive talent identification and development pathway for players from ages of 13 to 24 yrs old.
Highly talented players can enter the pathway at any point, although it is intended for players to enter the program as early as possible.
The pathway starts with the U13 Developing Players Programme (DPP). The aim of the DPP is to provide a high quality player development experience, encouraging lifelong participation in the game and enabling those with talent to be clearly identified .
Club coaches & school teachers are asked to recommend those players they feel have the potential to develop their rugby further to the programme at U13's. Numbers are large at U13's & U14's (100+), narrowing down to less numbers at U15's (approx 35).
Players who make good progress in the U13's & U14's DPP, and show the required attributes in attitude, are invited to attend the Elite Player Development Group at U15's. The Elite Player Development Group (EPDG) is aimed at those players identified as having future professional player potential.
The EPDG Silver Group (U15's & U16's) and EPDG Gold Group (U17's & U18's) train twice weekly at the clubs training centre, undertaking a mixture of technical, tactical, physical, psychological and lifestyle development activities.
Post 18, players who show the potential to become a full time professional are invited to join the Full Time Bristol England Academy. These players train on a daily basis and are integrated into the First Team Squad at Bristol Rugby.