Boys' Elite Rugby Programme

The Henley College Rugby Brochure 2022

We offer the perfect environment for talented and aspirational rugby players to combine their rugby development with a continued education. The Henley College Rugby Academy operates in close partnership with Ealing Trailfinders as a satellite Elite Player Programme (EPP) and with our local partner, Henley Hawks Rugby Club. You will have the opportunity to compete at the highest level of college sport whilst completing your studies in a variety of engaging BTEC, A Level or Foundation courses.


Whilst the rugby programme requires a high level of commitment, the academic programme comes first. Students are encouraged to stay on top of their studies, with the rugby staff providing pastoral support in helping the students to manage their time effectively. The College has a diverse academic offer to suit the needs of the student, including 32 different A Levels and a wide range of BTEC and vocational courses.

Overall, there was a 97% A Level pass rate in 2019, with 21 subjects achieving a 100% pass rate. Many of our A Level rugby students study Physical Education, with 55.2% of students on this course achieving A*-B in 2019. The Henley College now offers an articulated pathway to Brunel University, where you can apply for a full-time rugby scholarship programme in partnership with the Trailfinders Academy. Other recent destinations for our rugby students include Bath, Loughborough, Nottingham Trent, Swansea and Exeter.


We have worked hard to develop the perfect all-round performance package to take your rugby to the next level. The level of support offered at The Henley College is designed to mirror a professional rugby club environment. Being on the programme, you will have regular access to a range of professional services created to develop and improve you as an all-round player. The rugby programme is integrated into students’ timetables. There are 8 direct hours, plus Wednesday match days, designated to rugby throughout the week. This includes: 


Through our partnership with the Ealing Trailfinders, Henley College rugby players have an articulated pathway to Brunel University, where the Trailfinders offer a full-time rugby scholarship programme run by over 20 full-time staff. Brunel Rugby Union field four teams and have BUCS fixtures weekly. On a Trailfinders scholarship at Brunel, you will have the opportunity to train with the first team at Ealing Trailfinders, giving you immediate exposure to international standard players to help your development. You may also be invited to attend full pre-season training with the club. Other recent university destinations our rugby players have progressed onto include Exeter, Loughborough, Cardiff, Nottingham Trent and Cardiff Met who all compete in BUCS Super Rugby.

Connor Eastgate - Henley College 2014/16, Wasps Senior Academy, Scotland U20

Over the last decade we have seen a growing number of players go on to the professional game upon completion of their studies at university. We continue to see alumni flourish in the professional game and some of our most notable and recent alumni including; Alec Hepburn (England and Exeter) , Tom Willis (England u20 and Wasps), Jack Willis (Wasps) Aaron O’Sullivan (Ireland u20 and Leinster) and Will Simonds (Wasps)

Previous students have been accepted at universities such as Bath, Loughborough, Warwick and Leeds where they have continued their academic studies and rugby careers. Others have moved onto full-time apprenticeships or work-based training. 



Places on the programme will be offered based on prior experience, your rugby CV and performance in trials. Academically, applicants to Henley College will be required to meet certain criteria depending on the course you are applying for. If you have not achieved these prerequisites, there may be other options available to you. Our squad compete at a very high level and applicants are expected to be capable of playing to at least County Standard. The Group is comprised of the top 30 players within the College's Elite Sports sector, while the next best 30 players will form the Development Group.

Girls Elite Rugby Programme

From September 2021 we will launch our Girls Elite Rugby Programme, which will be open to girls playing at County level, or at centre of excellence groups in year 11 who want to progress on to England Under 18s and Under 20s. The programme will provide girls in years 12 and 13 the same opportunities as our Boys Elite Rugby Programme, with focus on performance coaching, Strengthening, Conditioning, Medical Support and Video analysis. 

Find out more here > Girls' Elite Rugby Programme

After studying the Girls Elite Programme, there is the potential to move on to the Ealing Trailfinder’s Academy Programme at Brunel University, or further opportunities including transitioning to the Henley Hawks Women’s team who play at championship level.  


“I am extremely excited to be leading the Rugby programme at the Henley College where we aim to create an environment to best prepare and support our students for a prosperous future in Rugby and beyond. Our real focus is not only developing quality players but better people too.

The established partnership with Ealing Trailfinders will enable us to attract the most talented students across the country, where they will benefit from the expert coaches, facilities and pastoral care the club will provide. It has been great to see the boys already training with the Ealing Academy with a view of going into Brunel as part of their Academy programme. This will be an exciting development over the next few years seeing our lads at their academy. The boys have had a fantastic pre-season where we have built some good foundations ready to kick on throughout the year. We look forward to seeing the boys play their first game under the Henley & Ealing banner.

We are already seeing interest from players for 2021/22 so if there are any aspirational players wanting to join the Henley & Ealing programme then please do get in touch”.


A chance for prospective students looking to enrol for 2022, to train with the team, meet the coaches and hear more about the programme.

Dates TBC - If you're interested in attending please email Tom Redfern at


If you would like more information regarding the programme, please email the Rugby Head Coach, Tom Redfern at

How to find Henley Hawks Rugby Club >

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