Boys' Elite Rugby Programme

Trial expression of interest form here:

Thumbnail H. BicknellAoC U18’s Premiership Champions 2024

AoC Sport Men’s Rugby Premier League B Winners 2024

We offer the perfect environment for talented and aspirational rugby players to combine their rugby development with a continued education. The Henley College Rugby Programme operates with National 2 East club and 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, your academic programme comes first. Students are expected to stay on top of their studies, with the rugby staff providing pastoral and holistic 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 students have gone on to university at some of the top universities in the country such as Brunel, Bath, Loughborough, Cardiff Met, Nottingham Trent, Swansea and Exeter.


We continue to work hard to develop the all-round performance programme to take your rugby to the next level. The level of support offered at The Henley College is designed to mirror a professional rugby 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 person and player. The rugby programme is integrated into students’ timetables. There are as a minimum 8 direct hours designated to the rugby programme throughout the week, plus Wednesday match days. This includes: 

  • Performance Coaching – we provide professional coaching which develops players technical and tactical skills through training and playing against Tier 1 opposition.
  • Video analysis – we employ a full time dedicated sports analyst who provides detailed feedback of match days and one to one individual reviews with players. Training is also recorded and uploaded onto our video software which players get access to.
  • Strength & Conditioning – we provide a structured training programme to the students in order to help maximise their physical development and prepare them for the physical demands of rugby.
  • Physiotherapy – we provide full time support through bookable prehab, rehab and treatment programmes on an individual basis, to maximise the players recovery and playing opportunities.
  • Sports Psychology – we have access to sport psychologists who can help players cope better with not only the demands of their sport but also in managing their busy lives.
  • Sports Nutrition & Supplements – we provide guidance, workshops and have access to specialists who can help educate players around nutrition for performance.
  • Mentorship programme (Under development) – each student will be provided with a staff member at their induction who can support and guide them through their college journey.
  • Lifestyle and Pastoral Support – we provide the necessary support for players to be able to balance their sporting and academic commitments.


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, Scotland and Exeter), Tom Willis (England u20 and Wasps), Jack Willis (England,  Toulouse and Wasps), Aaron O’Sullivan (Ireland u20 and Leinster) and Will Simonds (Wasps)

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. 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. Our squad compete at a very high level and applicants are expected to be capable of playing to at least County Standard, however, this is not definitive. The programme is comprised of two groups of about 40 players which is selected and reviewed termly based on the students current stage of development.


“Henley College has been a great experience for me, both on and off the rugby pitch, where I’ve been given amazing opportunities and made some great memories.” – Seb James, Leaver 2024.
“The playing & training environment at the Henley College Rugby programme is of a very high professional standard with clear, concise measurable development plans established for the students/players throughout the year. There is also excellent strength & conditioning, rehabilitation and allied healthcare services available all year round. I would thoroughly recommend this programme for parents who want their child to develop within the sport of Rugby Union.” - TK Watkins, Year 1 parent 2024.


If you would like more information regarding the programme or are interested in our sponsorship packages, please email Josh Barlow at

How to find Henley Hawks Rugby Club