Project Description

Performance Rugby Courses

Rugby at Clifton College has gone from strength to strength over recent years, and is now recognised as one of the strongest rugby playing schools in the South West. With former Bristol Rugby captain, and current Director of Rugby at Clifton College, Matt Salter, leading the courses, these programmes are the perfect preparation for the season ahead and mid-season training sessions.

These courses will give attendees the opportunity to live and train like professional players, eating well and testing their fitness against other attendees, whilst learning new skills and developing their teamplay.

We do not run these courses every holiday, please view our online booking system to see what courses we are offering during the upcoming Holiday Club.

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Boys Rugby sports courses available

Course specifics

The aim of these courses is to improve the player in four aspects: technical, physical, mental, tactical:

Technically, the courses will aim to improve the player’s generic skills, such as tackling & passing, but also the course will provide specialist positional technical coaching, provided through course-based coaches and guest coaches with specific skill sets focused on the players needs.

Physically, the players (depending on age) will be tested and measured against Premiership Academy fitness criteria. They will be educated on the use of strength and conditioning to improve their rugby ability going forward.

Tactically, the players will be taken through game understanding sessions on the field and in the classroom. They will be set tasks of preparing their own groups to tactically outwit the opposition. They will be shown how video analysis has become part of the modern game and set homework on analysing matches using the skills they have learnt.

Mentally, they will be put in situations where their concentration is tested, and asked to perform their core skills under external pressures. This area is probably the least coached in the game, but is where players can make the most gains. The players will undertake goal setting long and short term, and leave the course having discussed specific key performance indicators and goals for the forthcoming season.

The courses will take on a unique structure, based around a pre-season camp of a professional club, culminating at the end of the week in a conditioned game that parents are invited to attend and view the improvement the players have made.

Coach Profiles

Leading the course will be Matt Salter, current Director of Rugby at Clifton College, and former Bristol Rugby captain. He will be assisted by other current rugby coaches within the Upper School, along with a team of Junior Coaches. Between them they have a great deal of experience both playing and coaching, and will look to bring these experiences in to the courses.

We look to have guest coaches attending each course to offer their experiences and take training sessions, availability permitting. In previous years, we have had guest coaches Ryan Jones, Dave Lemi, Mark Regan, Freddie Burns & Josh Lewsey attend during the programme to coach and offer guidance to the players. They hosted question and answer sessions and talked about their many experiences from their unique rugby careers.

We look to confirm guest coaches for each course a little nearer the time, but please see below for some of our coach profiles:

  • Matt SalterPlayed professional rugby 10 years with Bristol Rugby and captain for 4 years.
  • Captain of 2004/5 ‘Guinness Premiership Dream Team’
  • Assistant Academy Manger at Bristol Rugby RFU Academy
  • Bristol Rugby forwards coach 2009/10
  • Level 3 RFU Coach
  • Currently Head Coach of Bristol University rugby & Sports Performance Manage
  • Head Coach of Clifton Rugby
  • Head Coach of Gloucestershire Rugby

Rob Higgitt, Assistant Head Coach

  • Played professional rugby for 12 years with Bristol, Scarlets and Worcester Warriors.
  • Currently embarking on RFC Level 4 coaching qualification
  • Back Coach at Bristol University
  • Assistant coach at Thornbury RFC

 Ryan Jones

  • 131 appearances for Ospreys
  • one of a small group of Welsh players to have won three Grand Slams
  • 3 British & Irish Lions appearances
  • Wales most capped captain having led the team on 33 occasions
  • Dave Lemi2nd highest Premiership try scorer for the 2005-06 season; and top scorer in the 2006-07 season
  • 39 caps for Samoa
  • his skills and leadership made him one of the best ever 7s players for his country. As well as representing the 7s side, he has played for the senior 15-a-side team, representing his nation at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups
  • Andrew Petts, Fitness CoachFormer Head Conditioner of Bristol Premiership Academy and now Senior Strength and Conditioning Coach with Bristol Rugby 1st XV
  • Andrew graduated from UWIC with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Health. He is also a certified by the NSCA

These courses will offer a totally unique experience that will improve the individual as a rugby player and a person. The courses will prepare the players for the season ahead, and give them all an outstanding head start in helping them to achieve their rugby goals.

The scene will be set early on day 1 when all players will be briefed on the make-up of the course, and its outcomes and goals. The players will be encouraged to work within their teams to improve as individuals but also to create their own team ethos and culture and to positively embrace the team environment.

During our 5 day summer course, all attendees will be taken to a professional rugby club during the week (club training schedule depending) to view how it is done at the top level, and will be encouraged to make comparisons on what they are doing on the course in relation to what they have seen.

As the course builds, the programme will turn from coach-led to player-led, with the responsibility for rugby decision making becoming the players responsibility, and ultimately empowering them to think for themselves.

Course information

  • course tailored towards the enjoyment & improvement of each individual player
  • train like a professional, with the course taking the form of a premiership clubs pre-season camp
  • coaching and Q&A with current professional rugby players (availability permitting)
  • team and individual specialist coaching, including short term and long term goal setting with the longevity to improve the player
  • off-field skills development through leadership activities, rugby analysis, & team building
  • half day visit to professional clubs pre-season training (club training schedule depending) during summer course
  • coaching taking place at the New Fields pitches on Canynge Road

Kit requirements

Clothing for the course should include full rugby kit, tracksuit, boots and trainers. Shin-pads and mouthguards are ESSENTIAL. Warm wet-weather gear should also be brought along. There is no need for players to bring any valuables for this course, although a mobile phone may be brought and left with staff during the day.

Meal arrangements

A variety of hot lunch choices will be available in our dining halls, please inform us of any special dietary requirements in advance. Players should bring water bottles to fill up during the day.

At Clifton College, we recognise as a priority our responsibility to ensure the safety and well being of all participants on this course.

Rugby courses


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