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About the Programme 

The programme provides aspiring young rugby players, serious about their sport, the opportunity to combine regular training with their academic studies. The programme aims to provide a challenging yet supportive environment where players are encouraged to develop both as rugby players and as young people. 

The EPD Rugby programme allows some of our aspiring Rugby players to experience high level sessions that challenge pupils' decision making and game management. Pupils in the programme will have exits towards high level Rugby sixth forms & colleges to ensure there is a pathway beyond post-16. Those on the programme play an integral role on our Saturday Rugby programme in terms of leading our other pupils on our extensive block of fixtures. This also allows some of our pupils to represent the school in some of our prestigious festivals, such as Rosslyn Park National Sevens, Queen Elizabeth Sevens, Continental Tyres National Cup & the School Sports National Cup, as well as being successful within the district & county competitions.  

The Rugby programme will see all players working toward a common culture where hard work, discipline, honesty, humility and achievement are the core values for all involved. The programme is demanding both physically and mentally, your coaches and teachers will have high expectations of you and will push you to achieve your potential. You need to be able to cope with pressure and have good organisation and time management skills. 

What is involved? 

Juniors (U12-U13)

Woodlands Rugby Junior Player Development Programme Focus on: 

  • Unit and Individual Skills used to achieve Team Play 

  • Development of Position Specific Skills 

  • Strength and Conditioning 

  • Extended Development (e.g. Club/DPP) 

Seniors (U14-U16)

Woodlands Rugby Senior Player Development Programme Focus on: 

  • Development of Functional Roles and problem- solving abilities within Individuals 

  • Unit and Team skills 

  • Strength and Conditioning 

  • Nutritional/Dietary Advice 

  • Extended Development (e.g. Club/DPP/EPDG) 

Successes from the programme 

U14 Essex Cup Winners (2022-23) 

U13 Essex Sevens Plate Winners (2022-23) 

U16 Ipswich Sevens Plate Winners (2022-23) 

U13 Essex Sevens Winners (2021-22) 

U15 Ipswich Sevens Plate Winners (2021-22) 

U13 Rosslyn Park Group Winners (2021-22) 

U16 QEB Sevens Plate Winners (2021-22) 

U15 Essex Sevens Winners (2021-22) 

District Champions – All Age Groups (2022-23) 

Meet the coaches 

Joe Heavey 

Joe Heavey currently coaches & plays for Basildon RFC 1st XV and currently leads the Rugby Programme at Woodlands School. Joe also captained Brentwood Eels first team and represented East of England in Rugby league for U23’s & men's.  

Calum Brackett 

Calum joined the EPD rugby programme in 2020. Calum is an RFU Level 2 Coach who is currently completing his level 3 qualification. Calum is involved with both the boys and girls. He leads the girls program at the school. 

Calum has experience playing national league rugby with Rochford RFC and is currently the Head coach of Rochford RFC Academy. 

For More Information, Please Contact Mr Heavey –