Hartlepool Sixth Form College

USA Rugby Scholarship Programme

Welcome to the International Recruitment pages of our website - if you have the talent, aspiration and drive to be part of one of the best programmes of young player development in the UK we would love to hear from you

About the Academy

Hartlepool Sixth Form College Rugby Academy caters for rugby development of talented players aged 16-19 years of age while providing the opportunity to gain educational qualifications or to complete your High School Diploma. The Academy has produced many players into varying levels of professional game in the UK and abroad since its inception and is now regarded as one of the best programmes in colleges in the UK. We are a Rugby Football Union (RFU) accredited college.

The college elite team are currently Association of Colleges Sport (AoC Sport) National Champions 2015-16, Northern Premier League Champions 2015-16 and reached the last 4 colleges in the country in the elite playoffs and elite national cup.

We are confident that if you have aspirations of playing professional rugby our programme can really help you make progress toward your goals. We have a close working relationship with Newcastle Falcons of the Aviva Premiership, many other clubs at Colts (16-18 years of age) and RFU National League Level so we can ensure that your current ability is matched to the correct playing opportunities to maximise your development.

On completion of your programme there are further options to continue your study in the UK within our Higher Education System, or return to the USA to play within the collegiate system. Our partners in the project are Scholarship Connect - who have a vast amount of experience in helping student-athletes pursue their sport and educational opportunities abroad.

Ben Robinson (Director of Student Guidance and Support)

For all applications and enquiries please contact our partner Scholarship Connect

Get in touch

Newcastle Falcons Endorsement

Mark Laycock

Students at Hartlepool Sixth Form College not only get good academic support; they also get a very thorough and individualised rugby programme. Over the past few seasons more and more players from the College have earned call-ups to the Newcastle Falcons Academy and it has now become one of our main feeder establishments. Josh Williams joined our Junior Academy last summer having played well for College, Club and County and has now gone on to represent England Under 18s and signed his first professional contract with us earlier this year

Mark Laycock, Academy Manager at Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club

Academy Programme and Structure

Academy players typically train every day of the week but the area of focus would be on different aspects of player development, including:

  • Skills
  • Speed and Agility
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Analysis and Recovery

The college has two squads of players; the Elite Squad who play in the highest level of competition in colleges in the UK and the Development Team who play in regional leagues and competitions. All rugby in colleges is at under 18/19 level as designated by the RFU.

Our focus is on developing the individual player and you will get all the support required in order to maximise your potential. Many of our students pass through our Elite Scholarship Programme, information about which can be found here.

A typical week in the life of an academy scholar may look like:

09:00-10:30 10:45-11:45 11:50-12:50 13:30-14:30 14:30-15:00
Study Block Study Block Gym Session Rugby Field Based Study Block
09:00-10:30 10:45-11:45 12:30-13:30 13:35-15:05 15:10-15:55
Speed and Skill Session Rugby Field Based Study Block Study Block Study Block
09:00-10:30 10:45-11:45 11:45-12:15 13:00-15:30
Study Block Study Block Study Block Rugby Fixture
09:00-10:30 10:45-11:45 11:50-12:35 13:20-14:50 14:55-15:55 16:00-17:00
Newcastle Falcons Training Newcastle Falcons Training Tutorial Group Study Block Study Block Study Block
09:00-10:30 10:45-11:45 11:50-12:50 13:30-15:00 15:05-16:35
Gym Session Study Block Study Block Study Block Field Session, Speed and Skill

Meet the team

Ben Robinson

Director Of Student Support And Guidance

Ben started in education as a PE teacher and has since held roles as Director of Sport and has been instrumental in developing the Elite Sport at HSFC brand and programme. As the lead for international recruitment from the USA he will be able to answer any questions you have about the programme, the academic credentials of the college and the dedicated team of people who provide support needs to our students. As an international student, you are entitled to the same exceptional package of support that our UK students receive along with the additional support of our international team of staff to help you settle and achieve overseas. Ben will ensure that you are made to feel welcome, are on track to achieve educationally and that you have all the support you need from the rest of the team to flourish in the UK.

Andrew Muxworthy

Director – Scholarship Connect (Recruitment)

Scholarship Connect Logo

Scholarship Connect was set up by Andrew Muxworthy in 2011 after he spent 8 years researching the failures of UK based scholarship providers. Vastly experienced in the key skill areas of talent identification and recruitment, Scholarship Connect also specialise in sports marketing, liaison and student-athlete international placements. They are a leading supplier to the US states of Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Arizona, Texas and California. Scholarship Connect are the initial point of contact for student-athletes wishing to apply to this program. The company screen and online interview prospective student-athletes. They also advise on UK Visa requirements. The company play a continuous role in integrating the International student-athletes to the program. Scholarship Connect network extensively across the USA and Canada on behalf of the program and they are also the point of contact for Agents and Recruiters interested in supplying the program.

For further information on recruitment or Scholarship Connect, please get in touch.

Chris Hyndman

Academy Manager / Head Coach

Former England U18/20 and Northampton Saints Premiership Rugby Player, Chris is Academy Manager and Elite Athlete Mentor. Due to his elite level background Chris knows what it takes to reach the very top in rugby. His ability to motivate and pinpoint areas for improvement with athletes has helped guide many of the college’s alumni to where they are now in their chosen sports. Chris is also the Head Coach of the college’s rugby academy. His coaching philosophy for the academy and his players is that of free flowing rugby where athletes are encouraged to play within a structure but also express themselves and make their own decisions whilst on the pitch and during training.

Johan Olkers

Forwards Coach

Johan grew up in South Africa and played professional rugby for Blue Bulls Rugby Union in Pretoria. He has also played professionally in Ireland as well as holding Head Coach positions in university and professional clubs in both South Africa and England. He has a wealth of experience in coaching forwards play and has spent a lot of time developing his coaching knowledge. Johan holds the prestigious position as forwards coach for Pumas Rugby Union who compete in the Premier Division of the Currie Cup in South Africa. His impact on the academy success has been key in our achievements last season.

Anna Carruthers and Lesley Van Der Werff

International Student Co-Ordinators

Lesley and Anna’s roles are pastoral support and liaison between international students and hosts. They will be able to help you with any Visa issues or applications and are the first point of contact for any issues and questions that you may have. They will provide you with transport from the airport on arrival, introduce you to your host family and monitor your welfare on a weekly basis. They will also ensure you have the chance to visit local and national places of interest to enrich your time in the UK.

You will also have the support of our on-site Sports Scientist and Physiotherapist on a weekly basis.

Pathways and Alumni

Rugby Pathways Josh Williams

Josh came to Hartlepool Sixth Form College in 2014 from Billingham Rugby Club and St Michael’s school; he was fairly new to playing rugby and only started at the age of 14. Josh played some under 16s rugby at County level but has progressed dramatically in his time at Hartlepool Sixth Form College. In his first year he caught the eye of Newcastle Falcons; his second year saw him play A team rugby at Newcastle as well as being picked for the England under 18s squad. Josh has worked hard while at HSFC and has proven that hard work and dedication to a goal always sets you on the right path. Josh’s focus has seen him offered a professional contract with Newcastle Falcons for the 2016-17 season.

The College has provided the solid foundation and expertise for me to achieve my dream of playing professional rugby. I never thought this possible when I started in the academy but the coaches and staff gave me the belief in my ability that I needed and I am extremely grateful for the help and guidance. It’s a great programme, and if you have the chance you should really go for it

Josh Williams

Josh Bragman

Josh was a college Rugby Academy Student who achieved a prestigious scholarship on graduating from the academy at Natal Sharks in South Africa. He represented English Colleges and Newcastle Falcons A team during his time with us and he is now playing professionally in the English RFU National Leagues.

I would like to thank the college for helping me develop so much as a player; it’s an exceptional programme and I would recommend it to any aspiring young athlete

Josh Bragman

Adam Radwan

Adam decided to attend the college from a distance based on his rugby ambitions. Being blessed with blistering pace and athleticism he developed from raw talent into an accomplished rugby player, scoring tries regularly in the RFU National Leagues and leading the college to the National 7’s title. Adam scored the most tries in the entire tournament. He was integrated into the Newcastle Falcons Academy set-up during his second year and represented England at 7’s level. Due to his rapid progress during his time at the college he has been offered a professional contract with Newcastle Falcons to start in the 2017-18 season. Adam has already represented Falcons ‘A’ Team this season.

The guidance and support I received was fantastic. I have loved my time in the academy and I now have the chance to tour the world on the 7s circuit; including visits to Kenya, Dubai and Las Vegas. I can’t wait - although I will be sad to leave such a great college and rugby academy

Adam Radwan

Eldon Myers

Eldon started the Academy in 2011. During his time with the college Eldon represented English Colleges, North of England Under 18s and was identified through Newcastle Falcons scouting to play for their under 18 team.

Having come from a very strong family of rugby players, Eldon was always one of the stand out performers for the college’s squad; he helped the college in the quest to become the North East Representatives at the British Colleges National Championships for the 5th and 6th year running and was always a tremendous athlete. On gaining his entry and successful training as a Royal Navy Marine he was picked to represent the Navy rugby squad, playing twice at the home of English Rugby at Twickenham in front of 80,000 fans, in the annual Army v Navy match.

I always wanted to be in the armed services; the rugby academy development I received not only enhanced my life skills and helped with my application to the Navy, but also gave me memories I will never forget - from playing against the best teams in the country at National Championships to representing England Colleges in Portugal. The coaches are top class.

Eldon Myers

Accommodation and Life at the Academy

International students studying at Hartlepool Sixth Form College have homestay accommodation from a host family. The accommodation is provided for 45 weeks per year and specifically includes:

  • 24 hour support and advice is provided by College support team
  • Half-board accommodation during the week and full-board at weekends
  • Your own room
  • Laundry and cleaning services
  • An opportunity for a unique cultural exchange
  • A chance to make lifelong friendships

All our host families are subject to strict vetting requirements and all accommodation must meet our strict set of standards as governed by law in the UK. The cost is £150 per week and all accommodation is within a walking distance of the college main site.

During the year there will be many opportunities for our Rugby Scholars to visit historical cities such as Durham and London, along with regular attendance at professional rugby matches including Newcastle Falcons, basketball games at Newcastle Eagles and various other sporting fixtures. All international students will be encouraged to fully integrate into the life of a student; the Student Union at college will help you make the most of your time here by providing a purposeful, fulfilling and prosperous experience.