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Bears Academy to introduce scholarship programme

Bristol Bears senior Academy is set to enhance its programme ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, the club can reveal.

To ensure that the best homegrown talent remains in the Bears system, we’re delighted to introduce a scholarship programme alongside our existing integrated Academy pathway.

The Integrated Academy squad offers first time professional contracts, with the group training and playing alongside the first team squad.

The scholarship programme will see an additional group of players receive an opportunity to work with the club’s professional staff in order to maximise their potential to become full time professional rugby players.

“This is a really exciting step change in our mindset as an Academy. Over the years, the club has seen some really talented players slip through the net,” said Senior Academy Manager Gethin Watts.

“This scholarship programme gives us additional timewith a group of guys who we know are very talented withan opportunity to hone their skills and test their ability to cope with the demands of the professional environment.

“We are also looking differently at the player welfare perspective too. Although the players will be contracted to the club, we will be working hard to establish a personalised work and study programme also. 

"As well as a daily training environment, we will be working with local employers and colleges to ensure that the players are gaining applied experience in their chosen field of study and interest whilst also playing for their club teams on the weekend.

“This will allow them to develop in a truly holistic way to make sure they will never be left without an alternative career plan.

“All our development opportunities aim to arm the players both physically and mentally with the resilience needed to compete at the levels set by the likes of Steven Luatua and Charles Piutau.

“We’re really excited about the homegrown talent that will be joining both the integrated and new scholarship programmes ahead of the new season.

"The guys selected have shown excellent attitudes and the leadership qualities that our Bears team culture demand. These squads will be publicly confirmed in due course.”