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."
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
Dan Thomas was a try scorer in the 14-62 defeat at the hands of the Barbarians on Tuesday evening, but told GRTV after the game that he'd really enjoyed taking on the Barbarians and locking horns with Ardie Savea at the breakdown.
After a long, hard battle to return to fitness, Henry Trinder made his long awaited comeback in the second half of the 23-10 win over Zebre on Saturday and admitted he was taken aback by the reception he got from the Kingsholm crowd.
21 year old number eight Lewis Ludlow formed part of a physical back row effort in the 23-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup over Zebre on Saturday. Speaking to GRTV after the game, he spoke of making the most of his chances and being happy to contribute to the Gloucester win.
Gloucester United kick off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Monday evening (kick off 7pm) and have named a side which features lots of first team experience.