Harlequins Rugby Women’s pathway officer Brian Holland visited Collyer’s last week to see the women’s team in action and run a coaching session with the players.
Holland also toured the excellent rugby facilities and met up with the management and coaching set-up at the Ofsted outstanding sixth form college.
Collyer’s head of sports academy, John Burroughs explained: “The aim is to develop women’s rugby at Collyer’s, within a programme that has gone from strength to strength since Glenn Jones took over as head of rugby in 2017.
“We now have around 15 women training and playing on a weekly basis, from complete beginners, to top players like Ellen Oliver, who is now part of the Harlequins development programme.
“Collyer’s are keen to establish a relationship with Harlequins in order to grow the programme further, and we have already identified some exciting initiatives that are in the pipeline.”
Collyer’s have also this week announced that their new women’s coach is Tyrone Matthews, who is working with the college in partnership with the Sussex RFU.
Matthews is a well-known elite rugby coach and the college are delighted to secure his services for the coming season.
It is an exciting time for rugby at Collyer’s, as this exciting news follows hot on the heels of Collyer’s men’s rugby success in the final of the AOC Sport National Rugby Union Cup at the end of last season.
Deputy principal Steve Martell said: “Under the leadership of Glenn Jones, who is regarded as one of the leading rugby coaches in the country, we are now attracting some talented women’s rugby players from across the region to our academy programme, as it’s a great chance to combine a full sixth form learning programme with a professional focus on sport. The squad has bags of potential and the players really impressed Brian, Tyrone and Glenn.”
Head of faculty for business, sport and science, James Gordon, said: “We have also established close links with Horsham RFU as well as other clubs with women’s programmes to ensure pathways are in place to continue and develop their rugby.”
Burroughs added: “The idea of our sport academies in rugby, basketball, football and netball is to help provide our players with quality coaching and establish pathways to elite level sport. Our women’s rugby programme is an area we are keen to develop this year.
Gordon added: “It was an amazing experience for our players to have these leading coaches at Collyer’s today. Huge thanks to Brian Holland, Tyrone Matthews and Glenn Jones for their time, expertise and enthusiasm!”