Elite Player Development Programme – Rugby

The programme provides aspiring young rugby players, serious about their sport, the opportunity to combine regular training with their academic studies. The programme aims to provide a challenging yet supportive environment where players are encouraged to develop both as rugby players and as young people.

With the emphasis on players becoming leaders we expect all players on the programme to take responsibility for their personal development and have a can do attitude to all aspects of the programme.

The Rugby programme will see all players working toward a common culture where hard work, discipline, honesty, humility and achievement are the core values for all involved.

Players on the programme will have 3 sessions a week in the junior programme which comprises of two Rugby based sessions and one Strength and Conditioning session.

The senior programme players will have 4 sessions a week which comprises of three Rugby based sessions and one Strength and Conditioning session.

The programme is demanding both physically and mentally, your coaches and teachers will have high expectations of you and will push you to achieve your potential. You need to be able to cope with pressure and have good organisation and time management skills.

The Elite Rugby Group is split into two sections:

Juniors (U12-U13)

Woodlands Rugby Junior Player Development Programme Focus on:

  • Unit and Individual Skills used to achieve Team Play
  • Development of Position Specific Skills
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Nutritional/Dietary Advice
  • Extended Development (e.g. Club/DPP)

Seniors (U14-U16)

Woodlands Rugby Senior Player Development Programme Focus on:

  • Development of Functional Roles and problem- solving abilities within Individuals
  • Unit and Team skills
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Nutritional/Dietary Advice
  • Extended Development (e.g. Club/DPP/EPDG)
  • Rugby links to Academic Studies

All players involved in the programme are required to represent the school in our extensive range of fixtures in District, County and National Competitions and also on our Saturday fixture card. We also expect all players to playing for a club to further enhance their development.

We are also proud of the impact that the EPD Rugby players have in the school Rugby programme. The U14 squad were Essex Cup Runners Up the U16 squad reached the Essex Cup semi-final. The U12 squad were unbeaten in all the County waterfall tournaments this season, the U13 squad placed in the top 8 in the county waterfall tournament. The U15 squad reached the 4th round of the NatWest Vase the furthest in the school’s history.

Coaching Team-

The coaching team within the Rugby Programme aim to deliver high quality and innovative sessions which are player centred and have clear purpose and direction to enhance players Rugby development.

Alex Lee

Alex joined the EPD Rugby programme in 2016. Alex combines his role in the programme with his role as Head of Year 9 at Woodlands. Alex is a RFU Level 2 coach and is also currently coaching in the Saracens/Essex U16 DPP programme. During this 2017 season Alex will also be forwards coach for the Middlesex Women’s team in the county championship. Alex played most of his senior club Rugby for Romford and Gidea Park RFC but also played for Woodford RFC. Alex also played at representative level for Essex and during his Rugby League playing career at UWIC represented Welsh Students.

Jon Bonnett

Jon oversees the whole EPD programme but also coaches on the rugby with a focus on the juniors. Jon is a RFU Level 2 coach and is currently coaching Saracens/Essex U15 DPP programme. Jon has played most of his playing career at Basildon RFC and at a representative level for Essex.

Martin Jones
Martin comes with an excellent reputation coaching at a number of clubs including Saracens U21, London Welsh, Barking RFC and Westcliff RFC. Currently, Martin is the Director of Rugby at Southend RFC and Essex Schools Chairman. Martin is a RFU Level 4 coach.

For More Information Please Contact Alex Lee – ale@woodlandsschool.essex.sch.uk


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