If you live, breathe and sleep rugby, then we’re the college for you. You can study any of our full time school leaver study programmes in any subject, including sport and A Levels and become a member of our Rugby Academy.

You’ll develop the knowledge and expertise you need for a career or to move on to university or an apprenticeship and and gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst training and playing each week to develop your rugby skills.

What do we offer in our Rugby Academy?

  • 3 Pitch sessions a week (4.5hrs)

  • Strength and Conditioning Programme

  • Team and Individual Video Analysis

  • 1-2-1 and Small Group Skill Sessions

  • Individual Development Plans

  • Access to Physiotherapy

  • Competitive Local and National Fixtures

Roll of Honour

  • Will McCubbin - Scottish Exiles, Northumberland U18’s, Morpeth RFC
  • Matthew Jenkinson - Scottish Exiles, Northumberland U18’s and U20’s, Blaydon RFC, Northumbria Uni 1 stteam
  • Robbie Forbes - England U18’s, Bristol, Gloucester, Hartpury University 1st team, Ryton RFC Durham County U18’s, Northumbria University 1st Team 
  • Larry Mew - Newcastle Falcons Academy, North of England, Northumberland County U18’s and U20’s, Ponteland RFC
  • Elliott Beattie - Newcastle Falcons Academy, Hartpury University, Blaydon RFC, Durham County U18’s and U20’s

Academy Success Story

April Ishida, 17, started playing rugby when she was 11 and is now part of Gateshead College’s Women’s Rugby Academy where she is also studying a BTEC in Sport.

Through the Academy, April trains at the college three times a week, where she has access to world class facilities including an elite level strength and conditioning gym. At the same time, she can continue her studies and combine the demands of her course with developing her rugby skills.

April Ishida April Ishida
“When looking at sixth forms and other colleges in my last year of school, no one else could offer what Gateshead College is able to; I can play the sport I love, whilst working towards a qualification.”​
April Ishida Ryton RUFC, Durham County RFU, DMP Durham Sharks Centre of Excellence, England U18’s

Meet the coach

Phil Wallis

Phil manages the coaching and delivery of our Rugby Academy Programme to Male and Female students.  He is also responsible for recruitment into the Academy.

He has a vast amount of coaching experience, having previously been employed by the Newcastle Falcons and England Rugby.  He started his club coaching journey at West Hartlepool RFC before moving on to Consett RFC.  He then moved onto DMP Durham Sharks and was part of the coaching team that secured their best ever finish in the top tier of the Women’s game the Tyrell’s Premier 15’s.

Phil was also the Lead Coach for DMP Durham Sharks Centre of Excellence for 3 years and oversaw a rise in number of players selected from the Darlington Centre into the England Talent Development Group.

He is also a Lead Coach and Coach Developer within the Durham County DPP Programme where he has seen an increase in player numbers taken into the Newcastle Falcons Junior Academy.

Phil is now an assistant coach at Northumbria University alongside his role at Gateshead College.