From education to employment

Coventry College rugby player set for chance to represent England

A rising rugby star from Coventry will train with some of the best young talent in the country for the chance to represent England at an international tournament.

Jamal Gask-Clarke, a 17 year old student on the Coventry College Education Programme in partnership with Wasps Academy, has been invited to take part in the England 7s Academy Talent Identification Camp 2019.

The England 7s Academy was created in 2015 and has since seen a number of players advance into the senior squad where they have featured regularly on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Jamal, from Eastern Green, will be hoping to join that list starting with a two day trial this month.

He said: “This is a great opportunity for me to test myself alongside some of the best young players in the country and move a step closer towards becoming a professional rugby player.

“The Education Programme has opened up so many doors for me, from training with the Wasps Junior Academy Squad, to taking part in international tournaments and meeting professional players.

“This is another chance to develop my skills and I am proud to have the support of the academy behind me in doing this.”

Jamal will spend two days this month being put through his paces by England 7s Academy coaches at the Lensbury Club in Teddington.

The England 7s Academy was established to develop players who aren’t under professional Academy contracts to become either world class 7s players or to achieve XVs professional contracts. 

The core England 7s Academy are professional players who train full-time at The Lensbury Club alongside the Senior England 7s squad, and compete in both domestic and intentional tournaments throughout the year.

Pete Glackin, Head of Rugby at Coventry College, said: “Jamal is a real success story for our Education Programme and this is another positive step forward for him.

“He has a fantastic attitude towards working hard on his game, he has developed his technical skills and we feel he’s going to have a great future in the sport.

“We have created a really strong team spirit here and everyone is backing Jamal to do well.”

The Coventry College programme, which was launched last year, allows budding players to combine their sporting development with academic studies at the college’s RFU-accredited Henley Campus, preparing them for a career either as a player, or in their chosen industry.

It incorporates weekly training sessions including strength and conditioning, game analysis, fitness testing, physio support and competitive fixtures through the season, including international tournaments.

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