Super League side Hull FC hails West Cumbria rugby academy for 'unearthing talent'

Hull FC - PA
Hull FC Rugby Club are hosting a match for youngsters in Cumbria to potentially impress their coaches. Credit: PA Images

A rugby academy based in Cumbria has been hailed a success by a Super League side.

The West Cumbria Development Academy, based at the Institute of Sport in Penrith, was set up to unearth the latest talented rugby stars across the region.

The aim of the programme is to increase Rugby League participation across the region, developing their skills in an elite environment, whilst expanding the club's talent pool.

The programme, an extension of the club’s Centre of Excellence, runs from ages U14s to U18s, with regular training sessions and an Elite Rugby League programme for older participants at the Cumbria Institute of Sport in Penrith.

The West Cumbria Development Academy will take on the South Cumbrian Development Programme U16s side later this month.

The match will take place at Penrith Rugby Union Club on Saturday 17 December at 11am.

Hull FC’s Head of Rugby League Development, Lee Crooks, said: “The game gives players across Cumbria a chance to showcase their skills and abilities against each other, while offering the club another opportunity to expand their talent pool through their Regional Academy programme. 

“The match will also be a great opportunity for players and parents to get information about the club’s West Cumbria Development Academy, which will be based at the Cumbria Institute of Sport in Penrith.

“The programme will be a perfect environment to develop and improve the skills to become a Rugby League player, as well as continuing their education.

“The players will be playing in the elite college programme which will challenge their sporting ability, as well as having their own personal development plans.”

He continued: “The aim of the programme is to keep players who we think have the potential to become professional players in West Cumbria for as long as possible, drip feeding them into life in Hull.

“We have already signed Jackson Smith onto our U15s Scholarship programme and he will train with our development squads, coming down to Hull during the holiday periods to train with our scholarship team.

“We believe that this is the best way to create opportunities for players up here and help them fit seamlessly into our academy and professional environment.”

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