Sam Warburton presents current Whitchurch High School rugby captain Rory Harries with a WRU School of Rugby plaque.
British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton returned to his old school, Whitchurch High torecognise the school's inclusion into the WRU School of Rugby accreditation scheme.
The initiative, launched by Wales scrum half Lloyd Williams at Cowbridge Comprehensive in the spring, rewards schools that show a commitment to the development of rugby by providing more playing and coaching opportunities through running teams and fulfilling a high number of fixtures, providing an opportunity for as many players as possible to achieve their potential and enjoy the game of rugby. The schools have also demonstrated a commitment to delivering rugby leadership qualifications as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate where possible, and importantly they support the provision of rugby opportunities within the wider community and at its feeder primary schools.
WRU National Development Manager Jason Lewis said, "Schools fulfil a vital role in introducing young people to rugby and nurturing talent and we are keen to support teachers in their work. We understand that workloads for teachers are increasing so we want to support teachers in innovative ways to deliver rugby.
"Whitchurch High School has long demonstrated significant commitment to rugby union, generating multiple teams in each of the lower year groups and at senior level through a hard working teaching staff which includes contributions from a number of teachers engaged in subjects other than physical education. The school has helped to produce international players such as Sam Warburton but they also offer children of all abilities an opportunity to play, with all their rugby sessions inclusive and open to pupils of every level."
As part of the accreditation, Whitchurch High School has employed David Williams in a post initially grant funded for a year, to coordinate rugby within the school and manage the school based Rugby Development Programme in liaison with the WRU Performance Development staff within the Cardiff Blues Academy. This will make it easier for players with potential to reach the highest possible standards in skill and conditioning levels.
Whitchurch High School is now one of 22 'WRU Schools of Rugby' with schools showing various levels of commitment towards their rugby provision.
Lewis added, "The accredited schools are being recognised for the high level of participation levels they are generating within their school and the wider community through the school teams themselves and the involvement of their most senior players who are being trained with leadership and coaching skills and putting these into practice within feeder primary schools and junior clubs in their area."
Huw Jones-Williams, Head Teacher, Whitchurch High School said: "We are delighted that Whitchurch High School's sustained contribution to schools' rugby has been recognised by this award and once again very grateful to Sam for giving so generously of his valuable time to support his former school. We are very proud of the achievements of all our students and the dedication and expertise of our staff in supporting and developing them. We look forward to further developing our rugby provision at the school and in our primary partner schools with the support of the WRU."
Sam Warburton said, "It was while at Whitchurch High School that I became a keen rugby player and decided I wanted to do everything I could to reach the highest possible standards in the sport. It is thanks in large part to my rugby teachers at the school such as Steve Williams and Gwyn Morris that I developed such a love of the game. I played with my mates for the school team and later, having joined the WRU Blues academy, my teachers also made it possible for me to pursue my rugby career by accommodating my timetable so that I could fulfil both my rugby commitments and my academic studies."
The WRU is currently in the process of distributing teaching resources to all primary and secondary schools in Wales to assist with curricular and extra-curricular school delivery of rugby union. The application process to become a WRU School of Rugby will re-open in November.
WRU Schools of Rugby
Dyffryn School (Port Talbot)
Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr
Newport High School
Lewis School Pengam
Ysgol Dyffryn Aman/Amman Valley School
Ysgol Gyfun Maes Yr Yrfa
YGG Bro Myrddin
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event