'The programme will play a highly significant role in developing young players and will form an integral and vitally important part in current development structures', said Gary Little, Gloucester Rugby Community Manager. 'Young players learn the basics of the game at school or in club rugby and if successful will be selected to play at District or County representative level. The challenge for those with potential is to reach and develop into Academy based players'.
John Darlaston, Chairman of the Gloucestershire Rugby Football Union, added, 'the County Rugby Football Union see this initiative as an important part of the broader youth rugby development programme in Gloucestershire. This programme will contribute to producing more young players with the ability to move up the ranks of representative rugby at County, Divisional and National levels and into the Premiership game. The GRFU development programmes place an emphasis on development of the game in the schools and community not just at the elite level. The aim is to raise the standard of rugby in general as well as providing the opportunity for young players to represent their District and County sides'.
In recent weeks player nominations have been sought from schools and clubs and those nominated will take part in player assessments sessions at venues across the County during the October half-term. On completion of the assessments players that have been successful will be notified and invited to participate in the Junior Talent Development Programme. The programme will consist of 6 specially designed practical and theoretical sessions/workshops throughout the season.
This is the first step on the player development pathway, on completion of the course players who have demonstrated the potential may be selected to enter the Elite Player Development Centre (EPDC) within the Gloucester Rugby Academy.
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