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Bristol Bears Academy and Bears Women are delighted to announce the development of an exciting new partnership with Richard Huish College, aimed at further enhancing the rugby development provision in Taunton and West Somerset.

The partnership aims to provide enhanced pathway opportunities for male and female rugby players in the southern region of the Bears Academy catchment area and includes ambitious plans for the development of the college’s current facility.

In addition, the Richard Huish programme, led by Director of Rugby Chris Heal will be fully aligned with the Bears programme, structure and vision.

Senior Academy Manager, Gethin Watts said: “These are very exciting times for the Bears and with the support of Richard Huish College we will further develop the talent ID and rugby development programme in the South Somerset region.

“Taunton and the wider area is full of talent and these latest development are an important strategic move in the Bears’ ambition of delivering on their promise of developing more homegrown talent.

“Alignment throughout our partner school, college and university network is critical for our future success. The ability to share knowledge and resources while also providing legitimate opportunities for the players to maximise their talents is a critical to achieving the club vision.”

Bristol Bears Women CEO Heidi Chapman-Mercer said: “Our new partnership with Richard Huish College will further strengthen our current player pathway across the South West.

“We’re focused on providing the best opportunity for talented girls across the region to transition from grassroots rugby to the Allianz Premier 15s and we firmly believe Richard Huish will add great value to our pathway.”

John Abbott, Chief Executive Officer of Richard Huish Education Group, said: “We are hugely excited about the growing links between Huish and Bristol Bears. Their ambitions for the young people of Somerset and their desire to provide the very best opportunities for them chimes very closely to the Vision and Values of Richard Huish.

“We have been very impressed in all of our dealings with colleagues from Bristol Bears, not just with their professionalism but also with their holistic approach to the development and education of players. Again, a key tenet of the educational philosophy at Huish.”

For more information please contact Chris Heal, Director of Rugby – chrishe@richuish.ac.uk

Joe Irons, Chris Heal, Costa Galatalis

Bristol Bears Academy players Joe Irons (left) and Costa Galatalis (right), with Director of Rugby, Chris Heal, centre.