The University of Strathclyde has teamed up with Glasgow Warriors to promote the growth of its rugby programme and establish itself as a prominent institution for the sport for male and female athletes.
The initial one-year, innovative and pioneering partnership will see the two organisations explore opportunities to work together on a strategic programme of activity to maximise not only on-the-field success, but also to impact on the student experience, student recruitment and international reputation and profile.
As part of the partnership, Gary Strain has joined Scottish Rugby as a Resource Coach working with Glasgow Age Grade and Academy players and will also assume the role as Director of Rugby at University of Strathclyde.
There he will encourage participation in the University rugby teams and offer support and guidance in coaching and development, whilst providing continuity in the recruitment of talented student rugby players.
Strain, who played at loose-head for clubs such as Glasgow Warriors, Newcastle Falcons and Glasgow Hawks, has also represented Scotland U18, U19 and U20.
Neil Brown, Head of Strathclyde Sport at the University of Strathclyde, said: “This partnership is part of an exciting journey we’re embarking on to establish Strathclyde as a centre of excellence in rugby, aligning sporting opportunity with academic attainment.
“By working with Glasgow Warriors we will have positive impact on the student experience and student recruitment and further cements our reputation for sport following the opening of our state-of-the-art Strathclyde Sport facility.
“Strathclyde has a strong reputation of playing a part in the development of successful rugby players whilst at the institution with the likes of current Glasgow Warrior player James Malcom who is currently undertaking his Mechanical Engineering whilst playing at the highest level.”
Nathan Bombrys, Managing Director for Glasgow Warriors, said: “We’re looking forward to working closely with Strathclyde University for the next 12 months, but we hope even longer as we forge a relationship and help support them in a number of key areas.
“There are some very exciting opportunities ahead, which include supporting their rugby programme through Gary Strain’s involvement. We’re also going to explore opportunities for their students to learn in collaboration with our business through work place experience or research opportunities within the performance and commercial departments of the club.
The University of Strathclyde is one of Scotland’s largest universities and we’re looking forward to enhancing its excellent reputation in sport through this exciting new partnership.”
Glasgow Warriors compete in the top tier European competition, the Heineken Champions Cup and in the Guinness PRO14, which features clubs from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Italy and South Africa.
The Warriors boast a large number of international players and are the only Scottish team to have won a major trophy in rugby union’s professional era, when they won the PRO12 in 2015.