WORCESTER Jaguars’ club president Stuart Hood is aiming to grow rugby league in the city as the club announce an academy partnership with Christopher Whitehead school.

As of September 2021 Jaguars Rugby League will launch the ground-breaking new Rugby League Development Academy at Christopher Whitehead Sixth Form in Worcester. which his has been developed to allow 16 to 18-year-old learners to combine their academic studies and professional rugby coaching at the college.

Before now the academy was set-up at Dyson Perrins in Malvern but due to their sixth form college being closed last year, the club have had to move and now they look forward to opening at Christopher Whiteheads at the start of the next school term.

“We are an RFL (Rugby Football League) accredited academy,” added Hood.

“It’s split into two, 12 to 15-year-olds involved in the England talent pathway which is non-educational.

“The academy at Christopher Whiteheads is level 3, they study in mornings and get RFL standard coaching in afternoons, it’s a complete academy.

“We will take on about 20-25 players, it’s all about player development and we focus on giving the best player development and with a smaller number it’s better for those players.”

The overall aim for the club is to further increase the growing popularity of league in the city and club president Hood reveals the big ambitions the club have set themselves.

The club have only existed for four years and currently play in tier five of the league pyramid, two below the professional game, but have their sights set on a swift rise to the top.

“We are currently in a seven year plan that is largely on track,” he said.

“The aim is to play in tier 4 next year, for about four years before trying to get into league 1 and going professional in 2024.

“We are set to go along way and we will achieve that. We are getting good responses from everyone we deal with, still bringing in good deals with sponsorship.

“Our main sponsor is Joma sports and they are now looking to get more involved with us as they share our vision.

“Theplan here has always been to build a club up from local people. We have no northern influencing, we are all local to the region and we have formed juniors, youth and an academy.

“So now we have 57 first team players, most anywhere in the midlands, with academy players coming through into the first team.

“We will transform the city in terms of rugby league.”