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Senior Men's Rugby Union

The leading rugby union college in East Yorkshire for aspiring players.

The Bishop Burton College Men’s Rugby Academy has been involved in BUCS rugby for over a decade and in that time we have come through the regional leagues and are now competing in the Premier Tier of BUCS rugby.

We have had some notable success, winning successive promotions from 2009 until 2015 and then claiming the BUCS Rugby Union trophy in 2016. There have been many individual successes, with a number of former students going on to professional and international rugby honours.

Rugby training

Players are provided with a high-quality programme balanced with their academic commitments.

In a normal week, you will receive:

  • Four on-field sessions, which encompass individual, unit and team skill development
  • Three strength and conditioning sessions
  • Video analysis
  • Team meetings
  • Various additional 1-2-1 sessions to improve your knowledge and performance in the game

Dedicated accommodation for the squad

Our on-site student accommodation is the perfect place to get to know your new teammates. We have dedicated accommodation for our men's rugby players so that you can stay focused on your training and your studies. Our academic and sports facilities are just a stone's throw away and you'll have free access to our gym.

Being a residential student is recommended, but not essential.


Scholarships are also available to help the right candidates to succeed.

Entry requirements

All players must first be accepted as a student on one of University Centre Bishop Burton's courses before being considered for the men's rugby academy.

Meet the coaches

Mike Umaga Head of Rugby Bishop Burton

Mike Umaga

Director of Rugby

Our rugby academies are led by Mike Umaga, our Director of Rugby. Mike is a former professional rugby union and rugby league player who represented Samoa in two World Cups.

With more than 20 years of coaching experience, Mike has a vast knowledge of player development, having coached across junior age groups, national, championship and premiership leagues as well as internationally and is a Level 4 coach.

With Mike's extensive contacts throughout the rugby world, students have been able to explore playing pathways both in the UK and abroad.

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Tony Penn

Forwards Coach

Tony Penn comes with a wealth of playing and coaching experience. He is a former Taranaki, Wellington Hurricanes and New Zealand Maori representative, who played at loose head prop.

Following his playing career, Tony went on to work with his home province, Taranaki, as Forwards Coach whilst also working with the Waikato Chiefs Super Rugby franchise as part of the then Head Coach, Colin Cooper's, skills coaching team.

Partnered with England Rugby

Bishop Burton College is proud to have been selected as a partner by England Rugby. As one of only eight colleges in the UK to be chosen, we act as a flagship college, upholding a safe, inclusive and player-centred approach. Utilising the RFUs Rugby Safe coach and match official training programmes to upskill current players and coaches, we aim to advocate RFU's best practise, providing a safe and enjoyable rugby environment. We have the development of young people through their college journey at the forefront of our rugby programmes, using the sport as a vehicle to shape positive behaviours both on and off the field.

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Apply now

To express your interest in joining our men's rugby academy or to find out more, please contact:

Mike Umaga, Director of Rugby:

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