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Academy Structure

Bristol Bears' Academy aims to provide a stream of players who are able to represent the Club at the highest level of European rugby.

The Academy pathway is set out in three clear sections: the DPP (developing player programme), PDG (player development group) and the Senior Academy.

The Bristol Bears Rugby Academy Developing Player Programme (DPP) identifies and develops players between the ages of 13-16 (year 8 to Year 11).

Based across six centres of the Academy catchment area - stretching from Minehead to Thornbury - the programme ensures players are suitably equipped with the necessary foundations to progress in the game of rugby.

Any queries regarding the DPP programme can be addressed to Gary Townsend, Coach and Player Development Manager, by emailing

The Player Development Group (PDG) is designed to further prepare players for a high- performance rugby environment. Aged between 16-18, players are selected through the demonstration of consistently good work ethic, attitude (on and off the field), tactical awareness and technical ability. The PDG have regular coaching sessions, conditioning and physiotherapy at the Clifton RFC training base serving players from Bristol and South Gloucestershire, and at Bridgwater College for North Somerset and Somerset.

Any queries regarding the PDG programme can be addressed to Mike Hall, Academy Manager, by emailing

The Senior Academy is the final step in development of players who have been identified as having the potential to progress to first team level. Senior Academy players train on a full-time basis alongside the first team and typically feature in the A-League as well as for the first team across all three competitions.