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 (England Rugby) 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 £35million Team Bath Sports Training Village.
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, 2018-19 and 2019-20 teams have gone 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 have all represented Bath Rugby at first-team level, with Beck Cutting and Austin Hay featuring for Worcester Warriors and London Irish respectively. Britton, Davis, Jack Davies and Tom Doughty have all signed senior Academy contracts with Bath Rugby, while graduates Craig Duncan, Will Flinn, Scott Russell and Wil Partington 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 £35million 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.
- Nathan Catt (Forwards Assistant Coach, Men’s 1st XV) – Current Bath Rugby player who joined our coaching team during the 2019-20 season.
- Greg Bazell (Men’s 2nd XV Coach).
- Stephen Barber (Men’s 3rd XV Coach).
- Ben Gillow (Men’s 4th XV 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)
- Zack Henry (Rouen Normandy, USON Nevers, Leicester Tigers)
- 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)
- Sydney Gregson – (England 7s contracted player)
- Paul Altier – (Hong Kong 15s international)
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.
2020-21 academic year
All rugby activities – coaching, training, competition and recreational – will be subject to prevailing Government and sport-specific guidelines.