Players will be given access to all Performance Programme services, in addition to sports speific training detailed 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.
- 3 x weights sessions a week with UKSCA acredited S&C coaches in the Athlete Development Centre (ADC)
- Weekly team and individual video analysis
- 3 x rugby specific sessions per week at the Sports Park
- Weekly Wednesday BUCS matches with the 1st team playing in BUCS Super Rugby league
- Saturday side recently promoted to South West Premier League
- Annual varsity match held at Sandy Park
- Links with Exeter Chiefs via coaching and athlete development opportunities
Women's rugby: approximately 24 players are selected annually for our programme.
- 2 x rugby specific sessions per week at the Sports Park
- Up to 3 x S&C sessions per week including recovery with UKSCA acredited S&C coaches in the Athlete Development Centre (ADC)
- Regular unit specific sessions
- Team meetings and video analysis
- Individual and team analysis and review
- Weekly Wednesday BUCS matches with the 1st team playing in BUCS Premier South
- Mentoring for our aspiring student-coaches
- Links with Bristol Bears women playing in the Tyrell's Premiership 15s
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, 2018 and 2019. He lead the Men's first team to BUCS Gold in 2016 and runners-up in 2017. Since the inception of BUCS Super League Rugby, in 2018, Keith has led the 1st XV to back to back titles in 2018 and 2019. He has also coached the Rugby sevens side to BUCS Gold in 2009.
Poppy Leitch - Head of Women's Rugby
Poppy is a current Bristol Bears player who has also represented England at senior international level. Having just completed her PGCE here at the University, she is a Level 2 Rugby Coach and now takes over from Jo Yapp as our Head of Women's Rugby.
On top of her exploits as a player, Poppy has coached Exeter College Academy as well as in other high performance environments and will use this experience to build on the team that went through the 18/19 season undefeated, winning the league, sevens tournament and the championship final at Twickenham.
Having represented England at U20s level and played for Bristol Bears Women in the Tyrell’s Premiership 15s throughout her time at University, Clara recently made her senior England debut at Twickenham. She has won 3 BUCS 15S Championship Golds at Twickenham and also represented English Universities in 7s while completing a PhD in marine biology.
"Selection for summer tour has just topped off an amazing few months since victory at Twickenham! Making my debut last weekend against the Barbarians was a really special day and now I'm looking forward to going on tour, learning lots and hopefully getting my first cap."
BSc Biological Sciences (2012-2015)
MSc by Research Biological Sciences (2015-2017)
Phd Marine Biology (2017-present)
"The sport scholarship has helped me massively this year. The mentoring sessions have helped me set goals and manage my time effectively allowing me to develop as a student athlete"
BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences (2016-present)
Sam graduated from BA Business Economics in 2017, combing this with being training full-time with Exeter Chiefs. He captained the University team to BUCS Championship success in 2016 and graduated with a First Class degree.
BSC Business Economics (2014-2017)
“With the help of University rugby I have progressed a great deal, securing the starting 9 shirt with Bristol from November onwards and gaining my first full international cap in November”
England Women's Seniors
MSc Sport and Health Sciences (2017-present)
Former Sports Scholar Amber Reed was part of the England Women’s Rugby World Cup squad who were crowned champions in 2014. England dominated the tournament and Amber, who had captained the University of Exeter Women’s Rugby Club to British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) National Championship victory the year before, helped England claim the title for the first time in two decades. Unsurprisingly, it is Amber‘s proudest sporting achievement to date. ‘It was an incredible experience and one I am very humbled to have been part of’ she says.
England Women's Seniors
BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences (2010-2013)
Part of Exeter Chiefs having come through their academy set up Richard is currently studying for a BSc in Exercise and Sport Sciences and plays for the University of Exeter 1st team in the BUCS Super Rugby league. He made his England U20 debut against Wales in the 2019 Six Nations and has been selected for England U20s to compete in the U20 World Cup in Argentina.
BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences (2018-present)
Alongside playing for the 1st XV at the University, Hollie also plays for Bristol Bears and the England U20's. She helped the University team to the hugely successful 2018/19 which included winning three titles undefeated.
BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences (2017-present)
Having grown up in Exeter, Jack came through the ranks to make his debut for Exeter Chiefs in 2016 and went onto appear for the England Senior side in 2017 on England's tour of Argentina. He is brother to fellow England U20's and Chiefs player, Sam Maunder.