Five graduates from Gloucestershire university sign for RFU Championship club
Five rugby players have become the latest graduates from to sign for its RFU Championship club Hartpury University RFC.
Will Crane, Tom Everard, Harry Wilson, Jack Johnson and Ervin Muric are all former members of the Hartpury University squads that have won the past three BUCS Rugby Championship finals at Twickenham.
The quintet is the latest group of graduates to have been developed through the highly successful rugby pathway at Hartpury – a RFU University Partner – that allows students to play for Hartpury College, then Hartpury University and potentially Hartpury University RFC, alongside their academic studies.
John Barnes, director of Rugby at Hartpury, said: “As a specialist institution, a really important part of what we do is to provide our students with the benefits of our dual career pathway, allowing them to play high-level sport with access to outstanding facilities and specialist coaches, alongside their academic studies.
“The success of players like Will, Tom, Harry, Jack and Ervin in graduating with a degree and being offered an opportunity to play Championship rugby underlines the continuing success of the pathway that we have in place here.”
The RFU Championship is just one level below the Premiership – the highest division in the club game in England – meaning Hartpury University RFC is among the top 24 clubs in the country.
As a Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) Dual Career Accredited Site, Hartpury supports student athletes to reach their potential in education alongside achieving success in their sport.
Messrs Crane, Everard and Wilson studied a BA (Hons) sports business management degree, Mr Johnson studied a foundation degree in sport performance and Mr Muric studied a BSc (Hons) sport and exercise nutrition.
More than 200 Hartpury alumni have played international rugby or signed professional contracts around the world in the past decade, including England’s Jonny May, Wales’ Ross Moriarty and Italy’s Sebastian Negri.
As the only student-led side in the Championships, Hartpury University RFC’s squad for upcoming season also include current undergraduate Robbie Smith and graduates Jamie Forrester, Will Safe, Rob Fuller and Max Clementson.
Hartpury describes itself, with good reason, as one of the world’s leading sports education institutions.
Its new £8.8 million Sports Academy includes a biomechanics laboratory, a rehabilitation suite featuring an anti-gravity treadmill, and a human performance laboratory with an altitude chamber, and a sports hall.