ST DAVID'S College in Llandudno and Rygbi Gogledd Cymru (RGC) have formed a new partnership.

The brand-new 'Rugby Performance Pathway Partnership' is designed to develop home grown rugby talent in North Wales.

This will create another route for aspiring young players and give them further opportunities to gain access to top-level coaching and award-winning education, as well as access to the WRU and their Welsh Exiles programme.

Dan Lycett, head of Sport and PE at St David’s College, said: “This is the first partnership of its kind in North Wales for the Independent School sector. We’re incredibly proud to be working with RGC on this Performance Pathway.

"We will be working closely with the RGC coaches to create individual training plans for the pupils on the pathway, allowing each of them to reach their full potential. We have our own on-site Strength and Conditioning Coach who will work with the pupils as part of their development."

As part of the agreement, RGC will provide coaching support as well as access to their facilities at Parc Eirias.

Josh Leach, RGC Performance Manager, said: “We are delighted to have St David’s College on board as an academic partner. Within our Regional Performance Pathway our aim is to create as many opportunities as possible, for as many young players as possible, to develop their rugby alongside their education.

"Whilst the primary aim for any performance sport pathway is to produce athletes who move on to play at the top level of their sport, the reality is that these opportunities are few and far between, so it is vital that young players are focused on their education and preparing for life outside of sport too.

“With plans to progress their offerings even further in the coming years it is an exciting time to be in partnership with St David’s College. We will be working closely with them to support the growth of their rugby programme and to support the development of RGC Pathway players who are students of the college.”

St David’s College has a strong pedigree for developing young players in line with the RGC Rugby Pathway. Three of the current Sixth Form have recently been selected to play for the under 18’s regional development side with more St David’s pupils narrowly missing out.

Andrew Russell, headmaster at St David’s College, said “I’m so pleased that we’re establishing this Performance Pathway with RGC – Pursuit of prowess at games is part of our ethos, set by our founders, and this feeds directly into that.

“It’s not just about preparing the pupils for what happens on the pitch. We’ve got a keen eye on what happens off the pitch and outside of sport too.

"Elite Sport is a tough world full of massive highs as well as setbacks and disappointments. At St David’s we pride ourselves on our excellent pastoral support and we are perfectly placed to ensure our pupils are ready for anything the world can throw at them."