Rugby students put Newcastle Falcons through their paces

Athletics Academy coach Matt Wood and strength & conditioning specialist Martin Nugent were working with the players to develop their speed, strength and overall fitness, which is all essential training that any athlete must incorporate into their sport specific programme. The students were on hand to monitor their progress throughout the session and gain first hand experience of what a training session for professional rugby player involves.

New head rugby coach Liam Gumbrill is working to grow the rugby development centre, he explained: “Our rugby programme is for 16-19 year olds, and it is an add-on course. It includes around two hours of rugby per day, plus games, and you do that alongside any course at Gateshead College.

A lot of students come here to do rugby studies, which is a BTEC sports programme equivalent to three A-Levels, with some going on to secure places at Northumbria University and Leeds Met from here. The additional extensive strength and conditioning support they get with Martin and Matt Wood means that the students get the absolute best set-up and expertise.

Newcastle Falcons’ first-team squad coming here was a big endorsement of our infrastructure, and something great for our students to have the opportunity to see a top professional team.’’

Marc Cook, 17, was among the rugby studies students involved in the session, he explained: “It’s a qualification which will help me get to University, but also allows me to work on my rugby. It is a win-win situation. We cover a whole range of things including sports injury, sports massage, psychology, coaching young kids, anatomy and a load of other elements. There is the academic stuff which challenges you in one way, then the rugby side along with that. I would love to have a career in rugby, and if it isn’t as a player then this course gives me the tools to look at other areas within the game or even at other sports.’’

If you’re interested in finding out more about the programme contact Liam directly by emailing liam.gumbrill@gateshead.ac.uk, or call 07939 232 777.