Rugby League


19 Mar 2020

Rugby League Development Academies Launched

Rugby League Development Academies Launched

The Rugby Football League have launched the Development Academy accreditation in the 2019-20 academic year. The Development Academy programme is a formalised link between a Professional Club, or Foundation with a College or Sixth Form provider.

The partnerships are in place to offer a dual career programme for 16-19 year olds to pursue their preferred academic course of study alongside an enhanced Rugby League programme. These programmes give players a chance of progressing into the professional game but more importantly they allow young people the opportunity to prepare for a career, whether that be progressing to University or seeking work straight from their College course.

Phil Jones, National Players Development Manager at the RFL, said ‘When we reviewed the previous programme we felt that it was really important that we recognised the academic needs of young people within Colleges and Sixth Forms alongside Rugby League, rather than having to choose between a course of study and a rugby programme. We feel through the accreditation of the first five partnerships that we have got the process and expectations in line with the needs of the learners.’

Adam Hughes, Education Manager at the RFL, continued ‘It is fantastic to have been able to accredit the first wave of Development Academies, having the option to be a Men’s, Women’s or a Dual (Both Men’s and Women’s) programme has added a new dynamic to the programme and reflects the growth of the Women’s game in line with Women’s Super League and a reinvigorated programme to the men. To get some big Super League clubs looking at developing an alternative pathway has been really exciting to see and a special mention must be given to Warrington Wolves and Priestley College as the first accredited Dual Academy and Cronton College and the first Women’s Development Academy’

  • The full list of Development Academies can be found below.
  • Cronton College and Widnes Vikings – Womens Development Academy
  • Priestley College and Warrington Wolves Foundation – Dual Development Academy
  • Archbishop Sentamu Sixth Form, Hull College and Hull KR – Men’s Development Academy
  • Bishop Burton College, Hull FC Foundation College and Hull FC – Men’s Development Academy
  • Leeds City College and Leeds Rhinos Foundation – Men’s Development Academy

There are more Development Academies to be accredited in the coming weeks and months. If you are keen to become a Development Academy, please contact or