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Bangor University: Season Success

Bangor University: Season Success 28 Mar 2022

As far as successful seasons go, Bangor University Rugby teams have completed it in style, and from an RGC perspective a season where the partnership has seen great results both on and off the field. 
Both Bangor University’s 1st XV Male and Female teams won their British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) leagues. With player and management efforts helping to raise the profile of rugby within the university and across North Wales. 
One of RGCs most capped players and the University’s Hub Officer and Head Coach Joe Simpson is rightly full of praise of everyone involved  
“It has been a fantastic season and one that this group of players can be very proud of.  We knew this was always going to be a tough one as we had made some significant changes last year. 
Firstly, recruiting a number of players from RGC Junior Academy and U18s added so much strength and depth to the team, with those players getting a balanced training programme between RGC and the University. 
Secondly, we enhanced the rugby programme for non-RGC Academy players to include three early morning weights and skills sessions a week on top of the two team training sessions. This saw those players really kick on through the season.
Thirdly, by separating the men's 1st XV and 2nd XV training sessions we have seen improved attendance and performance in the 2nd XV, they too having a successful season.

The lads have been superb in the way they have bought into this season's programme and embraced the opportunity to train regularly whilst balancing their studies. Both academy and non-academy students have had to find the balance to be able to perform as they have done every week. 
All of this had a huge impact on how we started the campaign and the squad worked hard in the very short few weeks we had together before we played our first competitive game. 
The league we are in is tricky, everyone is capable of getting a result on the day and if you drop points anywhere that can really put the pressure on. So we knew we had to target 45 points to have a chance of promotion. 
I am sure if you have seen the results, they certainly speak for themselves. We have blown teams away and more importantly been proud to keep clean sheets or to reduce teams to just a penalty for their efforts. Each week the players kept their focus and achieved the set goals for the week. 
Not only have the players been superb this year in the way they have conducted themselves, much of this year's success has come from the support of having Sam Rogers on board as assistant coach. Sam bringing his experience of being a Bangor University graduate and playing full time with RGC has helped raise standards on and off the field. We also brought in former university BUCS admin Glyn Parry as Team Manager. We have been fortunate enough to have had sports science 3rd year Dev Juneja lead on the gym sessions. These sessions have had an obvious impact on performance and helped improve team morale. A big thank you to the 2nd Team Captain and Coach for their commitment in running the 2nd team this year. Finally a big thank you to Phil Mather who has been medic for all home and away games this year". 
The University's Women’s 1st XV have also topped their league and Joe is delighted to see the commitment of the players come to fruition. 
“To win the league in the fashion we have is something this group of players will remember long after graduating from Bangor and I am sure will be spoken about in years to come.  
We have spoken many times this year about the need to beat everyone because it’s a tough old league to win, but it was a big challenge for everyone involved and the players embraced that, and it has shown in the performances they have put together each week! 
Next season will be a big step up, but an exciting challenge as we are retaining a large number of the current group.
It’s been a great year to coach the players and I must not forget to say a big thank you to assistant coach Siwan for her efforts with the team too! 
I for one am proud to have been able to work with so many talented players, students and volunteers this year with a drive to improve and passion to do so well. I look forward to seeing what can be achieved in the next few years." 
The partnership with the University is something RGC Performance Manager Josh Leach has seen develop over the years and is looking forward to it progressing  
“We have been in a wide-ranging partnership with Bangor University for a number of years, with the University providing higher education and scholarship opportunities to players from RGC Academy, Premiership programmes, and also collaborating on multiple research projects. This year both parties agreed to invest heavily in the University rugby programme, with a view to enhancing the training programme, achieving promotion, and driving the team through to the top tiers of the BUCS leagues over the next few years. 
The BUCS league is now seen to be one of the best rugby development platforms in the UK for players wanting to progress to the higher levels of the game, and with continued success, Bangor University will offer the highest level of university competition and training for RGC Academy players, North & Mid Wales club players, Welsh Exile players, and any other player who chooses to study at Bangor University. 
This season 11 RGC Premiership and Academy players, plus 4 former RGC Pathway players have been studying at the University, with 9 receiving scholarships and additional athlete support. Collectively they have racked up 97 appearances for the University team, and helped the team score a total of 514 points over 9 games, including 83 tries, whilst only conceding 8.” 

Iona Williams, Sport Development Manager, Bangor University said: “The University have invested in the rugby programme for a number of years and now seeing the reward. Joe Simpson, Rugby Hub Officer and Coach, and all the players have worked hard all year and deserve the success". 

Next year will see another influx of RGC Academy players who will be looking to add further strength and depth to the squad as they take on the challenge of gaining promotion into Division 1.  
Any ambitious rugby players who wish to continue their rugby development alongside their academic or vocational studies should contact Joe Simpson for further details (