Proud Partner Sponsors of the Bristol Rugby Academy

Mike Hall Highlights 11th October 2016


We would like to thank Mike Hall for another fantastic update on the lads progress in the Academy. At a well attended event Mike’s highlights were:


For Mike to see Ben Glynn, Mitch Eadie and Joe Joyce on the pitch at Twickenham against Quins was amazing. Mike believes that Joe took the whole of Southmead with him!


Mike has known these guys since they were 13 and will continue to strive to produce players that can keep us in the top flight.


Mike then went onto talk about other Academies and said Munster and Leinster have had up to 13 from their Academy in the 1st team and Quins pack is nearly entirely made up players from the Academy. Mike’s initial target form Bristol Academy is to achieve 25-30% of the match day squad.


Mike then outlined the significant changes that had happened in Bristol’s favour recently:


The 2016-2024 agreement has restored Bristol’s catchment area and offers a significant opportunity for the Academy to acquire some great young talent. See the RFU website for more details of the new area.


Exeter Chiefs are the main threat in South and Bath in North but we have centers and a great infrastructure around that mean that the lads will never be more than 30 minutes from each one. Gary Townsend is working on headmasters to advise our area.


In summary, we are in a really strong position moving forward.


Bristol University are looking to break into the top 8 of the Uni league and this will be a huge benefit to the Academy.


Mike said that we can identify and work with lads from 13, however, it is very hard to spot talent up to 18. An example is Joe launchbury who was released by Quins at 18 then take on by Wasps having gone to a lower league club.


Mike then introduced the new boys. He said that the older lads help the new boys settle in and make them feel like a Bristolian:


Billy Searle – Fly Half

Bristol watched him 4-5 times at Plymouth last year and approached him. He’s doing really well and should feature against Cardiff on Friday night.


Alec Carey is a Prop from the North East who everyone struggles to understand! He can play on both sides. He has been unlucky to pick up a back injury but will be back in 3 weeks.


James Newey – Inside Centre

Jon Goodridge was his rugby master and recommended him. He has played for Ireland U18's and is a kicker who can play at 10 and 12.


Sam Jeffries – Lock or 6

Mark Irish recruited him and he could play in the Premiership this season. He is a huge and physical player with a good engine. He is also an intelligent lineout caller.

Sam should get a chance v Bath next week.


Ollie Dawe - Loose head prop

Was at Plymouth and Exeter Academy and is a tough and uncompromising player!


Jack Capon – Back Row

He went to Exeter University and the club is supporting him.


John Hawkins and Elias caves were sent to Christchurch, NZ in summer.


Andy Uren is dual registered with Hartpury College and will play against Cardiff.


Callum Sheedy high grade hamstring injury and has been to Germany to sort it out but should be back in 4 weeks.


Auguy Slowik is playing well.


Nick Carpenter has a shoulder injury.


Mike will send fixtures to the Trust to advertise and will also get Tom Tainton to do more to publicize the games.


5 of the lads live together in a house provided the club and have been getting cooking lessons from the head chef at Ashton Gate. They confiscated the knives!



Quiz Night – Final Round! Tuesday 26th April 2016, Bristol Sports Bar, Ashton Gate, 7.30pm start


The final quiz of the season will take place at the Sports Bar at Ashton Gate on Tuesday 26th April, starting at 7.30pm. We have invited all of the Combination Clubs to take part in this quiz to see how they fare against each other in the brains department!


This will also include a team of Bristol Players and one from the Management. ‘Tiny’ George Campbell will be our genial host once again so please come along and join us for what promises to be another highly amusing evening.


Teams of 4 to 6 persons are invited to take part and it costs £5 per person to enter. You will be able to register your team on the night but if you would like to advise your attendance simply email me at


UPDATE - Online Petition to the RFU to re-instate Automatic Promotion to the AVIVA Premiership


I can confirm that I have received a response to our 350 signature petition from the RFU Chief Executive, Ian Ritchie. In it Ian shares our frustrations, however, he points out that the play-off system is the result of a three way agreement between the RFU, the Championship Clubs and Premiership Rugby. For it to be changed all three bodies would need to agree and there isn’t enough time for this to happen before the end of the season. However, he did undertake to continue to review the situation. As predicted this means that we will, once again, have to go through the pain of the play-offs but hopefully can come out on top this time!


Chairman’s Review - December 2015


Dear Trust Member


Firstly I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year. I would also like to thank you for your continued support as we continue to support promising young Bristol Players.


So far this season we have continued our Partner Sponsorship of the Academy as Bristol bid to attract and develop the best local talent to grace the Gate. In return for this we continue to be the player sponsor of Callum Sheedy, who has shown his skills in the British and Irish Cup fixtures.


Once again this season’s application process for the Carol Humphreys Memorial Bursary has been a challenging one. In all we had 14 compelling submissions from the lads and after very careful consideration we have decided to award the bursary to two recipients, each getting £500! The lucky young men are Tomi Adegbite, an U16 Back Rower from Bristol Brunel Academy and Charlie Brabham who is another Back Rower from Churchill Academy. More details are available in Mike Hall’s update below.


I will provide an update on Tomi and Charlie’s reaction to getting their awards in the next newsletter when I present them with the big cheques at the London Welsh game on 27th December! In the meantime, on behalf of us all I would like to congratulate Tomi and Charlie on their fine achievements and wihs last years recipient, Alex Walder, the best of luck for his future career. We hope that you enjoy the enclosed card which was printed compliments of Taylor Brothers Printing. Thanks guys.


Seasons Greetings and C’Mon BRIS!


Andrew Humphreys – Chairman


Academy Update


The BRIS Trust Carol Humphreys Annual Performance Bursary has been split into two for 2016 with both recipients receiving £500. The bursary is to contribute towards the players travel, kit, food and other expenses incurred whilst being part of the Bristol Rugby Academy Player Development Group.


Recipient 1 is Tomi Adegbite from Bristol Brunel Academy. Tomi is an U16 back row player who is a powerful ball carrier and dynamic tackler. He has a tireless work rate on the field and is developing into a very able leader. A late comer to the game, Tomi has shown a real desire to improve himself and sets excellent standards in training.


Recipient 2 is Charlie Brabham from Churchill Academy. Charlie is a hard-nosed aggressive back row forward. Although he is currently in the U16 age group, he has already made his debut for Bristol Academy U18’s in the recent victory versus Clifton College 1st XV. Charlie has shown himself to be a great competitor and is developing into a good leader.


2015 recipient Alex Walder has made good progress throughout the year. After being overlooked for the South West U16 team, he made a somewhat surprise appearance for the North of England divisional team at the BMW International Festival at Wellington College Berkshire in April, where he acquitted himself extremely well. He continues to develop into a very capable rugby player equally comfortable at 10, 12 or 15. Injury has curtailed his involvement in the first round of Academy U18’s games, however he made a very good debut for the U18’s in their victory versus Clifton College 1st XV and the coaches look forward to welcoming him back post Xmas.


2015 has seen major restructuring of the Bristol Rugby Academy programmes, with 4 new centres being opened across the city. Numbers have increased from 175 to 400 in the Developing Player Programme (U13’s to U16’s). The Player Development Group (U16 to U18) has also seen a large increase in numbers, with more players having access to quality coaching on a twice weekly basis. The continued support of the BRIS Trust in assisting the Academy to develop the next generation of players is greatly appreciated by all coaches, players and parents involved.


Bristol Schools Rugby Update


This season is the first season that Bristol Schools works in partnership with Bristol Rugby Academy in delivering the County programme.


Fielding 2 squads in the 4 match programme, training sessions have been running at Clifton RFC, Filton and St Bedes School. We will see 46 boys involved in the matches and through the U16 Development Player Programme (DPP) there will be opportunities for boys to join these squads from the DPP centres across the City.


This new structure allows more players than in previous years to have the benefit of experiencing representative rugby, building on the excellent work that is happening in all age groups through the DPP centres – more young players receiving high level coaching.


The U16s have played one warm up game against the Boys Club of Wales that they won 28 – 8 and go into their first county game on the 13th December against Somerset at Filton in a positive mind set (KO – 13.00 and 14.45). This is then followed with matches against Devon on the 17th January at Filton, (KO 13.00 and 14.45), and away to Cornwall on the 24th January and Gloucestershire on the 31st January. On the trip to Cornwall the boys will be travelling down for the weekend and basing themselves at Newquay for the match on Sunday. On the Saturday the 46 boys will be going out on a coasteering activity as a team building activity.