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 (performance, development, Freshers and socials), 7s, Touch and Rugby League. 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 rugby students and staff to enjoy the experience of being:
- Better educated
- Better athletes
- Better at rugby
- Better people
Our men’s 1st XV, sponsored by Bath Building Society, compete in the BUCS Super Rugby league featuring only the top 10 rugby-playing universities in England and Wales. We have reached the semi-finals of the BUCS Rugby Championships knock-out competition for three years and our vision is to be consistently in the top four nationwide.
A host of players have represented England U19, U20 and England Students, as well as Wales and Scotland U20, while students have also been selected to wear the Blue, Black and White of Bath Rugby in the Premiership, Premiership Cup, Premiership Shield and Premiership 7s.
Jack Kenningham helped Harlequins win the 2020-21 Premiership title while studying at the University of Bath and Will Britton, Miles Reid, Jack Davies, Levi Davis, Tom Doughty, Kieran Verdin, Darren Atkins, Max Ojomoh, Arthur Cordwell, Will Butt and Orlando Bailey have all represented Bath Rugby at first-team level during the past five years, with Beck Cutting featuring for Worcester Warriors and Will Flinn for Gloucester Rugby. Gwilym Bradley and Rhys Davies have both gone from BUCS Super Rugby to compete for Cardiff Blues and Ospreys respectively in the United Rugby Championship (formerly PRO14), while Britton, Davis, Davies, Craig Duncan, Flinn, Scott Russell and Wil Partington have all signed for Championship clubs.
Bath Rugby’s Tom Doughty, a former University of Bath student and Team Bath BUCS Super Rugby captain, provides an insight into combining study and rugby:
The women’s 1st XV, also sponsored by Bath Building Society, has strong links with Bath Rugby Ladies, who are looking to apply to become an Allianz Premier 15s club in the coming seasons. Among the current women’s rugby players at the University are GB and England 7s international Grace Crompton, England U20 captain Jenny Hesketh and international team-mates China Kills and Gabriella Nigrelli.
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, some up to 24.
We field Rugby Union teams in 15s and 7s competitions (BUCS, County Cups and Bath Combination Cup), and have a Rugby League programme. 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.
Click here to see a full list of our teams.
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;
- Spacious and extensively-stocked Team Bath Gym & Fitness Centre split across three zones;
- Six dedicated rugby pitches and a 3G training pitch;
- 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. He is supported by a range of experienced coaches from outside the University and developing student coaches within it.
Following in famous footsteps
Some of our celebrated rugby alumni include:
- Steve Borthwick (Bath Rugby, Saracens, England – Captain and Coach, Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby)
- Luke Charteris (Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons – Captain, USA Perpignan, Racing Metro, Wales, Bath Rugby – player and coach)
- Freddie Clarke (GB Student Sevens, London Scottish, Gloucester)
- Tom Dunn (London Scottish, Bath Rugby, England)
- Zack Henry (Rouen Normandy, USON Nevers, Leicester Tigers)
- Darren Atkins (Bath Rugby)
- Tom Doughty (Bath Rugby)
- Will Britton (Gloucester Rugby)
- Miles Reid (Bath Rugby)
- Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors, England U20)
- Jack Kenningham (England Students, Harlequins)
- 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, Wasps)
- Sydney Gregson (England 7s contracted player, Saracens)
- Paul Altier (Hong Kong 15s international)
- Hugo Stiles (Hong Kong 7s)
- Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby, Edinburgh, Worcester, Scotland)
- James Hudson (Bath Rugby, London Irish, Newcastle Falcons – Captain, Gloucester Rugby)
Other notable alumni working in rugby include:
- Craig Lilley (Bath Rugby Academy Manager)
- James Molyneux (Head of Analysis for London Irish)
- Scott Hobson (Head of Rugby at Bryanston School)
Study with us
The University of Bath is a campus university in a city that loves its rugby. We offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in engineering, humanities, management, science and social science, and are ranked top 10 in the QS World University Rankings 2022 for sports-related subjects. Click here to see what courses are available
Head of Rugby: Aaron James – A.James@bath.ac.uk
Click here to fill in an ‘expression of interest’ form to receive more information about the student rugby programme.
To book rugby training facilities, email Clare Pell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.