Nico captained the men's 1st team during time at university.

League alumni break into professional ranks

Alumnus Nico Flanaghan (PGCE in Secondary Education, 2012) is the most recent addition to the list of University of Exeter players who have been selected to play Rugby League at a semi-professional level.

The centre, who spent four years playing for the University of Exeter Rugby League first team, has been selected to play for the University of Gloucester All Golds, and will be competing in Championship One this season. The selection follows an already impressive career for Nico who has captained the University of Exeter Men’s first team and the South of England rugby league Squad, competed for England Students (2011 and 2012) and trained with the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats last summer. 

He commented “I am very excited about being selected for the Championship One squad and look forward to playing for a new team where we are starting a new journey. I hope to have a successful first season where the squad gels, sticks together on and off the pitch, have unity and are competitive in all matches.”

Nico’s progression represents part of a flood of talent that has been passing through the University of Exeter in recent years. In 2010, Andrew Auld (Exercise and Sports Sciences, 2011) played as a reserve for the Harlequins in the Super League.  Luke Evans (2012) signed a contract with new club Oxford RLFC last year and has since moved to the city ahead of the season’s commencement this March. Former first team player and Club Chairman Tom Williams (2012) has also become professionally involved in the sport having joined the Hemel Stags RLFC as commercial manager.  Finally, Matt Cuss (2010) now works as community coach at London Skolars RLFC having previously been head coach to the University Rugby League Club.

The future is promising too. Current First Team captain Hugo Frazer was contracted to the Wakefield Wildcats, alongside Nico, last summer and commented “Training and playing with the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats was an extremely rewarding and unique experience. Spending the summer as part of a professional Rugby League outfit provided a great insight into the lifestyle of the modern day sporting professional and into the sport of Rugby League itself.”

Assistant Director of Sport (Performance and competitions) Nick Beasant is thrilled with the success of the University of Exeter Rugby League programme, which is one of the University of Exeter’s 10 focus sports.

He said “The University of Exeter is fast becoming a hotbed of talent for young Rugby League players and these recent selections are testament to our excellent partnership with Leeds Rhinos and our own commitment to encouraging players to progress into the professional leagues. I wish Nico and Luke the best of luck and look forward to this season with great anticipation.”

Date: 6 February 2013