The complete rugby programme
The University of Bath Rugby programme caters for all abilities, from the national BUCS Super Rugby league to recreational rugby. We strive to provide student rugby players with an environment and culture where they can progress towards their sporting and educational goals, establish lasting friendships and enjoy the experience.
Thanks to our thriving partnerships with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Bath Rugby, our high-performance programme provides a recognised pathway to national club teams and, for some, professional and international opportunities.
More than 300 men and women are part of our overall rugby programme, which encompasses 15s, 7s, Touch, League, Social and Freshers teams. Students also have access to world-class coaching, facilities and support services in the £30million Sports Training Village.
- Top-flight: We are one of only ten Universities competing in BUCS Super Rugby
- Compete: There’s a team suited to you, from recreational to performance
- Train: Progress using some of the country’s leading sport facilities
- Excel: Follow in footsteps of big rugby names who have studied and played here
Maximise your potential on and off pitch
The University of Bath’s performance rugby programme allows players to maximise their potential while continuing their academic studies. Our mission is for students to be:
- Better players
- Better educated
- Better people
Our men’s 1st XV compete in the BUCS Super Rugby league featuring only the top ten rugby-playing universities in England and Wales. The 2018-19 season saw us win 12 of our 18 matches on the way to a best-ever third-placed finish. We also reached the semi-finals of the BUCS Rugby Championships knock-out competition for the third year running and our vision is to win the title within five years.
Members of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 teams went on to represent England at U20, U18 and Students level, while students have also been selected to wear the Blue, Black and White of Bath Rugby in the Premiership, Anglo-Welsh Cup, Premiership 7s and A League. Will Britton, Miles Reid and Levi Davis also represented Bath Rugby in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2017-18, with Beck Cutting and Austin Hay featuring for Worcester Warriors and London Irish respectively. Britton, Davis, Jack Davies and Tom Doughty all signed senior Academy contracts with Bath Rugby in 2018, while graduates Craig Duncan, Will Flinn and Scott Russell have signed for Championship clubs.
A team for everyone
From performance level to casual touch rugby, our programme offers a diverse range of opportunities for rugby players of any standard to get involved with students offered the opportunity to play at least 12 matches per season.
We field Rugby Union teams in 15s and 7s competitions, and have a thriving Rugby League set-up who play in BUCS Premier South. Our Touch Rugby programme is also one of the best in the country, winning titles at home and abroad while consistently producing players of international standard.
World-class facilities and support
The University’s £30million Sports Training Village contains all the components necessary to support rugby squads – all on one campus.
Our facilities include:
- A high-performance gym offered exclusively to athletes on our elite programmes
- Six dedicated rugby pitches
- A Physiotherapy and Sport Science Centre dedicated to supporting athletes
The coaching team is led by Head of Rugby Aaron James, a former Premiership Rugby player with Wasps who has also coached Bath Rugby Academy, England Students and Great Britain 7s Students. Our other coaches include:
- Mark Lilley (Forwards Head Coach / Bath Rugby Academy Pathway coach) – Former Bath Rugby, Bristol Rugby and London Scottish player.
- Louis Messer (Backs Head coach / Bath Rugby Academy Pathway coach) – Former Bath Rugby player and Cardiff Metropolitan senior coach.
- Chris Lilley (Coach, Men’s 1st XV and 2nd XV) – Bath Rugby Academy coach.
- Jack Howden (Men’s 3rd XV Coach) – Bath Rugby Community Development Rugby Coach and Academy Elite Player Development Group Manager.
- Greg Bazell (Men’s 4th XV Coach).
- Kim Oliver (Women’s Coach) – Former England Women’s International, Bath Rugby Community Coach.
Following in famous footsteps
Our celebrated rugby alumni include:
- Steve Borthwick (Bath Rugby, Saracens, England – Captain)
- Luke Charteris (Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons – Captain, USA Perpignan, Racing Metro, Wales, Bath Rugby)
- Freddie Clarke (GB Sevens, London Scottish)
- Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, London Scottish, England)
- Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby, Edinburgh, Worcester, Scotland)
- James Hudson (Bath Rugby, London Irish, Newcastle Falcons – Captain, Gloucester Rugby)
- Natasha Hunt (England Women’s Rugby World Cup winner, Rio 2016 Olympian in 7s, Lichfield)
- Izzy Noel-Smith (England Women’s Rugby World Cup finalist, Bristol)
- Amy Wilson-Hardy (England Women’s Rugby World Cup finalist, Rio 2016 Olympian in 7s, Bristol)
Head of Rugby: Aaron James
To book the grass pitches or Sulis Club pitches please email Sarah Stone on S.A.Stone@bath.ac.uk or call her on 01225 383690.