Nottingham Rugby partnership goes from strength to strength

Nottingham Trent University is continuing to develop its special relationship with their partners at Nottingham Rugby. Both organisations are working closely to provide exciting new opportunities in rugby and sport as a whole.

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Partnership aims to help Rugby Union get into Premier A tier of BUCS

Nottingham Trent University is continuing to develop its special relationship with their partners at Nottingham Rugby. Both organisations are working closely to provide exciting new opportunities in rugby and sport as a whole.

One person who knows more about this than anyone is Nottingham Rugby's forwards coach Neil Fowkes, who divides his time between working at the University in the head of rugby role and his full-time position down at The Bay, Nottingham Rugby's home ground.

Fowkes talked about this unique collaboration and the benefits it can bring to both parties, saying: "We have a wide-ranging partnership with opportunities for the Nottingham Rugby players to come and coach at the University and gain their qualifications while furthering themselves.

"On the flip-side of that, the University students benefit from the experiences of professional rugby players and coaches that have been involved at Nottingham Rugby. We also then look at our top performers in the University squad and help them to access the club and become a part of the full-time squad."

Names such as Alex Smit and Ben Brownlie have progressed into the Championship club's first team on this path, while promising, younger faces such as Callum Hall and George Trimmer are now training with the squad on a regular basis.

Another player to cross over to the Green and Whites is flanker Josh Poullet. At just 21 years old, Josh has just completed a degree in Sport and Exercise Science at NTU and signed a one-year contact with Nottingham. He aims to continue his training programme and his studies with a MRes (Master of Research) in Sports Science, which begins in the autumn.

Poullet spent his student years at NTU playing with the University side, and made his Nottingham debut in a visit to Stirling in the British and Irish Cup in December 2013. Despite a number of injury setbacks last season, the youngster is still very eager to earn his place in the squad at Lady Bay during this campaign.

"Hopefully, I can be regularly selected for the match-day-22 and get my first league start. I would then hope to get some starts in the British and Irish Cup and progress from there."

He was also keen to praise the partnership between the two organisations, adding: "It's a huge step for the University as it brings the better players here and it's a great experience to work with Neil. Obviously, it will help Nottingham's future too. Lads who played well last year in the NTU team may now get their shot at a bit of Championship game-time and that can only be good for them."

The recent re-introduction of Nottingham Rugby's academy will also have a big impact on NTU students. "Players that perhaps aren't quite at the level to join Nottingham's first team can now have access to the academy through the trial process and they'll continue to play the fixtures alongside their university programme," Fowkes says.

The successful deal between NTU and Nottingham Rugby is now moving into its third year and continues to grow, helping more players and coaches to progress.

Nottingham Rugby are currently training hard ahead of their preseason fixtures and will play their first game against international opposition when they face Tonga on Friday 28 August at Lady Bay.

NTU is sure to be there cheering on their scholars, will you?

For more information on all Nottingham Rugby's upcoming fixtures visit their website.

Nottingham Rugby partnership goes from strength to strength

Published on 13 August 2015
  • Category: Sport

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