Skip to main content

BUCS 2015/16 Men's Rugby Champions

University of Exeter part of £220k RFU Partnership

As defending British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Men’s Rugby champions, Exeter have been selected to be one of 15 Universities across the country to work in partnership with the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The University of Exeter will work with the RFU to plan and deliver rugby participation programmes for players in all formats of men’s and women’s rugby. 

The RFU have pledged to invest £220,000 into growing the game within the higher education sector and have worked closely with the Students RFU and BUCS to develop university partnerships. The RFU conducted interviews with Universities to carefully select the partners to be offered a three-year deal. Rugby is one of 9 focus sports at the University of Exeter with a proud sporting reputation for excellence, winning the BUCS title in the 2015/2016 season and awarded The Times and Sunday Good Universities Guide Sports University of the Year 2016.

Mark Saltmarsh, Head of Education and Development at the RFU said: “The 15 selected partner institutions will be leading examples of universities who will provide a high level of commitment and a quality standard of rugby that will help enhance the experience for players of all abilities. Their commitment to this concept has been excellent and we can’t wait to get started with them.

“Our aim is that the new partnerships provide fantastic playing opportunities for students of all levels and abilities and further grow the game in the sector and the numbers of players continuing to play in rugby clubs when they leave.”

The University of Exeter will now work with the RFU to deliver in these 5 key areas:

1 – Partnership Delivery
2 – Participation development. To grow and maintain participation.
3 – Men’s 15-a-side rugby aligned to competition model
4 – Rugby 7’s. Recreational and performance levels linked to England pathway
5 – Women’s Rugby. Providing support for 15-a-side and 7’s.

Universities in the partnership will track and record student involvement in all rugby related activities to enable pathways for players on completing their studies.

Vince Mayne, BUCS CEO, said, “By investing in university rugby with this programme, the RFU has once again demonstrated their commitment to the future of the sport in this country and the pursuit of excellence. BUCS looks forward to working with the RFU to enhance student rugby, providing opportunities for athletes to forge a dual career on and off the pitch.”

The partnerships will also provide additional support for teams competing in the new BUCS national league, with televised games and highlights on BT Sport. The inaugural BUCS Super Rugby League will feature the top 8 rugby playing higher education institutions in the England and Wales. The RFU supported the initiative to raise the profile of the incredible standard of university rugby, progress players to National League standard and establish a pathway to elite and professional rugby.

Keith Fleming, University of Exeter coach said: “The RFU and BUCS working in partnership is definitely helping move the programme forward. The RFU have come in with a raft of support packages for the universities involved which is helpful, and between them we’re going to make steps forward.”

The first round of matches start on Wednesday 5 October with a selection of games being streamed live, Exeter are away to Loughborough in the first televised game.

Alison Davidson, Director of Sport at the University of Exeter said; “BUCS Super Rugby provides a fantastic opportunity for Exeter. As the current champions from last season we know we will be the team in every ones sight.  Our team has been working hard in pre-season and every game is going to be challenging and competitive.  Giving our student athletes the exposure is fantastic to showcase our programme and talented students.

The partnership with the RFU, recognises the strength of our rugby programme and cements our working relationship with the National Governing Body, we look forward to working with them to develop our men’s and women’s programmes and increase the opportunity for more students to take part in rugby at all levels.”

For more information contact Alison Davidson, Director of Sport, University of Exeter or 01392 723595

The University of Exeter has been awarded The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2016, following significant investment and development over the past 10 years. The University has also achieved a Global 100 ranking in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The prestigious rankings, which mean Exeter retains its position as best in the South West, take into account a wide range of factors, including student satisfaction and research excellence. 


Tuesday 20 September 2016

Date: 22 September 2016