School pupils are having a ball as rugby fever soars

Wellfield High School's rugby academy
Wellfield High School's rugby academy
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Rugby fever may be sweeping the nation but youngsters from one Leyland school are getting tips from some of the country’s top rugby players as part of a new scheme.

Pupils from Wellfield High will be working with Sale Sharks and the RFU as part of their Rugby Academy – which kicked off at the start of the Rugby World Cup last week.

To mark the launch pupils were asked by the Sports Trust to design and produce welcome cards for the Italian Rugby World Cup squad for their arrival in England.

Headteacher Piers Tolson is a rugby coach in his spare time and is keen to get pupils involved in the sport.

The programme will see pupils have access to year round rugby coaching, enrichment and reward activities, specialist coaching master classes and watching professional games all with the expectation of commitment to school work, good attendance, punctuality and conduct in school.

Mr Tolson said: “The Wellfield Rugby Academy has being set up to help develop our pupils’ sporting interests, build up their physical and leadership skills and nurture the ethos of rugby throughout the school.

”He added:“We have already developed relationships with the RFU as a Coach Education Centre and as a community partner with Sale Sharks. Next though we want to further build links with our local Leyland Warriors and also Preston Grasshoppers and Chorley RUFC so that as player develop they have a pathway to a local rugby club.

He added: “We have already been involved in a number of events including organising an RFU Festival of Rugby for primary schools across Leyland. We also hosted an RFU coaching course.”