THE HOME OF HARTPURY UNIVERSITY RFC
Hartpury University RFC are currently one of the top 24 clubs in England and have been instrumental in furthering the development of talented rugby players studying at Hartpury. Giving Hartpury recruits the perfect opportunity to experience National League rugby as part of their development, the Saturday team have experienced a swift rise through the league system since their formation back in 2004.
Mixing youth with experience, the RFC also has excellent links with Aviva Premiership side Gloucester Rugby, whose training base is located adjacent to the first-team pitch at Hartpury. The close relationship between the two has seen a number of dual-registered players, all of who are current or recently departed Hartpury students, pulling on the red and black Hartpury jersey as well as the Cherry and Whites strip.
The RFC has also produced full internationals for England, Ireland, Wales, and Italy as well as some of the emerging rugby nations, such as Canada, Georgia and Zimbabwe. Offering talented players the chance to experience a professional rugby club atmosphere, we have established an outstanding track record of developing players alongside furthering their education.
Hartpury University can confirm that our opening pre-season fixture will be with the Welsh regional side, the Ospreys on Saturday, September 4, at 2pm.
The fixture will be an echo of the 2019-20 season, when the Red & Blacks travelled to play the Ospreys at The Gnoll, Neath, a match which provided valuable game-time despite ending in a 36-5 defeat.
Although we have no idea which of the Ospreys’ squad will travel to the Alpas Arena, Director of Rugby, Toby Booth, certainly has a wealth of talent at his disposal should he choose to ‘go strong.’
Ignoring the current Lions, Alun Wyn Jones and Adam Beard, the Swansea-based franchise has a squad packed with international talent and which has been by no means weakened by some high levels of signing activity over the past few months.
Justin Tipuric, George North, Tomas Francis, Nicky Smith, Rhys Webb and Dan Lydiate are all familiar names within the squad, as is former Hartpury student Alex Cuthbert who is making the summer move from the Exeter Chiefs.
Other Hartpury old boys to appear regularly for the Ospreys are back row forward Morgan Morris, who had the distinction of winning both the AASE and BUCS competitions in his time in Gloucestershire, and Mat Protheroe, who had to settle for a pair of AASE-winners medals but made a number of appearances for the ‘RFC’ and was part of our 100% promotion out of National 1 in 2016-17, before moving to the Bristol Bears. Prop forward Nicky Thomas also played in the AASE set-up at Hartpury before leaving to start his professional career.
Whoever turns out for the visitors it is sure to be a worthwhile exercise as we build towards the start of the RFU Championship season, two weeks later.
Admission, for adults, is a modest £5 although season ticket holders are reminded that this match will be included within their entitlement. Don’t forget to make sure that you have re-newed your membership of Hartpury RFC before we get to game-day.
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