The pioneering partnership between the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow Warriors has been extended for three years until 2022.
The announcement follows the success of the initial one-year collaboration announced in December 2018, that has seen the University and the club 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.
The programme is headed up by Director of Rugby Gary Strain. The former Glasgow Warriors, Newcastle Falcons and Scotland U20s Prop works collaboratively with the University and the Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy, which aims aims to accelerate the development of the nation’s most promising young players.
This year, three members of the University’s Performance Sport Scholar Programme and Men’s First XV side were named as members of the central Academy. Rufus McLean (Stage 3) plus Trystan Andrews and George Breese (both Stage 2).
Since partnering with the Warriors the University has made Rugby Union a Gold FOCUSport, meaning students now receive an enhanced support package from Strathclyde Sport.
As well as an increase in funding, this support package also includes weekly squad-based strength and conditioning sessions and performance lifestyle education workshops.
Last season, the University’s men’s teams all finished fifth in their respective League sections, while the women’s first XV finished third in the Scottish Division 2A League
The University has already enjoyed rugby success with Mechanical Engineering graduate James Malcolm, who combined studying for his MEng degree with a rugby career with Glasgow Warriors. Malcolm currently plays for London Scottish in the English Championship.
Neil Brown, Head of Strathclyde Sport at the University of Strathclyde, said:
We are delighted to announce the extension of the partnership which aims to make Strathclyde a centre of excellence in rugby and offer sporting opportunity along with academia.
“Teaming up with Glasgow Warriors is just one of the ways we are creating pathways to sport and it’s gratifying to see all the teams benefit from the new training regimes.”
Glasgow Warriors Managing Director Nathan Bombrys said: “We are pleased to extend our innovative partnership with University of Strathclyde, which provides educational opportunities outside of rugby for our players, as well as enhancing the rugby experience for students at the university.
“The University of Strathclyde is able to call on the expertise of our rugby coaches and support staff to enhance their rugby programme, and we are able to tap into this outstanding University to support the academic aspirations of our current and up-and-coming players.
“We look forward to a truly engaging partnership over the next three years.”
University of Strathclyde Director of Rugby Gary Strain said: “The partnership and the rugby programme gives students the opportunity to train more like elite athletes, with much more professional sessions.
“Our new Strathclyde Sport facility has a fantastic gym with top quality strength and conditioning coaches who work hand in hand with me, so it lets the students improve as athletes.
“There’s now a team of three coaches under me for the men’s section and a head coach for the women, with 140 students in total and the eventual goal is to be the number one University in Scotland for rugby.
“There is a great culture of making friends and team sports is proven to have great benefits for health and mental wellbeing. Being a member of the team also hopefully makes university more of an enjoyable experience.”