Players will be given access to all the services included in the High Programme Programme for all athletes, in addition to specific benefits and training listed below.

Men's rugby: the Performance Programme is available to a selected group of 30 top-end athletes, including scholars, playing at first team level.

  • Three weights sessions a week with strength and conditioning coaches in our Performance Training Facility (PTF)
  • Weekly team and individual video analysis
  • Three rugby sessions per week

Women's rugby: approximately 24 players are selected annually for our programme

  • Two rugby specific sessions per week
  • Two strength and conditioning sessions
  • Regular unit specific sessions
  • Team meetings and video analysis
  • Individual and team analysis and review
  • Mentoring for our aspiring student-coaches

Coach and athlete profiles

Keith Fleming - Director of Rugby

Having coached at the University on a part time basis since 2008, Keith became full time Director of Rugby in 2010. His previous experience has seen him coach players of all ages and abilities, from children’s tag rugby to Aviva Premiership side Exeter Chiefs, where he is the Match Day Manager and Honorary Education Officer.

Keith is a UKCC Level 3 qualified coach as well as an RFU coach educator and assessor. Since joining the University, he has led the men’s first team to the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championship semi finals in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018. He lead the Men's first team to BUCS Gold in 2016 and runners-up in 2017. He has also coached the Rugby sevens side to BUCS Gold in 2009.

Jo Yapp - Head of Women's Rugby

A former England international player and squad captain, gaining 70 caps for her country, Jo works closely with the RFU to ensure that all female players follow the appropriate pathway to play and develop. Alongside her role as Performance Coach at the University, Jo is the current England U20s women's head coach with the RFU and has acted as Talent Transfer 7s coach, England Development 7s squad coach and under 18 Talent ID group coach.

A UKCC level 3 qualified coach, Jo’s role in the Sports Office sees her coach, manage, mentor and develop the women’s rugby programme. Since joining in 2010 she has led the side to the BUCS Championship Gold in 2013 and 2018, runner-up in 2011 and semi final in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.