In their fourth year as rugby performance partners, Ospreys and Swansea University (Sport Swansea) have ramped up their commitment to the support and development of young players this season.
The new high-performance partnership extends the commitment of both Ospreys and Swansea University to deliver and extend the rugby provision at the University. The further investment and resources into the rugby programme aims to attract, develop, and retain high quality, young rugby talent. In a first for the partnership, and women’s rugby in Wales, the investment will extend to the women’s rugby programme, offering them the same benefits and opportunities as the men.
The partnership will support players while they manage dual careers and give structure for a smooth player pathway from university rugby into the professional game and on to international rugby.
Strategic Sport Manager for Swansea University, James Mountain explained: “This is a tremendously exciting development for a partnership already in place. Swansea University and the Ospreys have worked incredibly hard to come together and agree on a focused set of principles and key performance indicators that will have a genuine impact on the student experience, career progression and transition into professional rugby environments both during and beyond their time at Swansea University.”
The partnership will help Ospreys deliver Swansea University’s key performance outputs within the Welsh Varsity, British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) programmes, maintaining the high standards and quality deliverables expected from a professional rugby club.
Male and female rugby players will be encouraged to participate in the Swansea University high performance rugby programme, and will receive highly valued technical, tactical, psychological and physiological support throughout their time at university, giving them the support and opportunity to make the transition into professional and semi-professional programmes.
Outlining what the new partnership means for students, Hugh Gustafson, Swansea University’s Rugby Performance Manager, explained: “The new partnership will ensure students demonstrating individual skills and abilities are provided with a clear pathway towards playing at the highest level. However, it isn't simply the identification of a player but the wraparound service that ensures a holistic approach to the development of the individual - both sporting and academic.
“Players in the programme will be treated just like full time professional athletes, fully supported and able to work for a world class degree alongside their rugby commitments.”
Ospreys Rugby General Manager, Dan Griffiths, added: “Every player will be given the opportunity to reach their full potential in an environment specifically created to support and encourage students to excel in both academic and sporting performance.”