The Rugby Football Union has teamed up with Hartpury College to deliver its groundbreaking national education programme for coaches who will help recruit, retain and develop players at all ages and levels of the game.
The RFU has established a coaching development model to put in place a world-leading coaching system in place across England that is aligned to the government's UK Coaching Framework.
Rugby union is at the forefront of coaching development in the UK and has been appointed a trailblazer sport for coaching.
Hartpury, in Gloucestershire, will now be a national centre for coaches taking the RFU Level 3 award as well as the development of the trainers and coach educators who deliver the RFU's programmes who will be accredited as Certificated Tutors in Sport.
Around 120 coaches take the RFU Level 3 award annually and this year they include the likes of recent and current professional players like Lawrence Dallaglio and Mike Catt.
Critical to developing coaches is the quality of the coach educators who work with 17,000 coaches and teachers each year.
In January, the RFU implemented its trailblazing licence scheme for coach educators which will ensure high quality part-time staff are deployed to support the development of rugby coaches across England.
Hartpury will provide the RFU with the environment and support required to deliver a first rate training experience to the thousands of coaches and the national delivery workforce.
RFU Community Rugby Director Andrew Scoular said:
"This new agreement provides access to Hartpury's outstanding facilities and technical support for our coaching department, which will help us achieve our aim of having a world-leading coaching system."
"Our existing partnership has seen the College support the delivery of coach education for the RFU and Community Rugby within the South West for a number of years."
"Their commitment to providing a quality product is evident from the consistent positive feedback received from our coaches and we look forward to this agreement strengthening our working relationship further."
The facilities on the Hartpury campus include five full-sized rugby pitches, a floodlit rubber crumb pitch, rugby-specific conditioning room for strength and power training, a fitness suite, a scrummage pit and sled, a performance analysis suite and hot and cold baths for 'contrast recovery' sessions.
Hartpury has established a world class reputation for developing rugby players and its facilities are utilised by students, players and Gloucester RFC as well as the RFU.
Their men's team completed a hat-trick of BUCS Championship titles by beating UWIC 49-30 in the final at Twickenham this week.
Hartpury College Principal Malcolm Wharton said:
"This agreement demonstrates Hartpury's commitment to supporting a national educational coaching programme and further strengthens our successful relationship with the RFU."
"The outstanding rugby and educational environment we have developed will ensure an outstanding training experience is delivered to the thousands of coaches we look forward to welcoming onto campus over the coming years."
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.