Agriculture student reaps Gloucester Rugby contract

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 12 August 2020 7:39

Agriculture student reaps Gloucester Rugby contract

An agricultural student from Gloucestershire is reaping the rewards for his sporting talents – with a contract to play for Gloucester Rugby. 

Arthur Clark will not be giving up his studies at Hartpury College to focus entirely on his sporting dreams just yet, he will stay on to complete the final year of his Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture. 

For its part, Hartpury is using the situation – one it is far from unfamiliar with – to highlight how it tailors academic and training timetables to support student athletes as a TASS Dual Career Accredited Site.

Pictured: Arthur Clark in action. Photo by Lauren Couchman, LNC Images

It proudly claims to be one of the only colleges in the UK that allows students to combine agriculture studies with a rugby academy, and is equally proud of its “extensive range of modern farming and sports facilities”. 

It is one of only a few colleges in the UK that offer the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture qualification with a work placement for its students.  

Trevor Hicks, head of agriculture at Hartpury College, said: “Over the past few years we have seen an increasing number of college students applying to study at Hartpury who want to pursue a career in agriculture whilst continuing their ambitions to play rugby at the highest level.  

“Arthur is currently in his second year of his diploma, completing a 10-month placement on a sheep farm in the Cotswolds in preparation for his third and final year this September.  

“We’re delighted that we’ve been able to support Arthur through the flexible nature of our agricultural provision, which has enabled him to balance both his academic studies and farm duties alongside his rugby development with Hartpury U18 Rugby Academy and Gloucester U18 Academy.”  

Arthur, a second-row forward, became an integral member of the Hartpury AASE team during his second year at the college, earning him an England U18 call-up, and ultimately a place in the Gloucester Rugby Academy. 

Wayne Thompson, manager of the Junior Rugby Academy at Hartpury, said: “We’re really pleased that Arthur will continue his final year of academic study alongside his rugby commitments, whilst transitioning into Hartpury’s senior programme in order to further his development.  

“Having extensive access to our rugby programme alongside his agriculture diploma has enabled Arthur to make significant improvements in both his physical and technical development over the past two years.”  

Agriculture students at Hartpury benefit from one 400-hectare commercial farming business across five rural sites that supplies Muller, Sainsbury’s and Glencore.   

Home to cows, calves, sheep and arable land, facilities at Hartpury include the new £2 million Agri-Tech Centre featuring the latest precision farming technologies, a dairy bull-beef rearing unit, a 296-cubicle dairy unit and a ShearwellTe Pari Racewell HD3 Sheep Handler.   

Rugby students at Hartpury, training base of Gloucester Rugby’s senior players, also have access to a range of world class-facilities.  

The new £8.8 million Sports Academy includes a biomechanics laboratory featuring the few high-resolution digital mirrors in the UK, a rehabilitation suite featuring an anti-gravity treadmill, and a human performance laboratory with an altitude chamber, and a sports hall.