Stourbridge RFC is extremely proud to be in partnership with Sandwell College to deliver an education programme (rugby academy) designed to offer aspiring young rugby players a chance to make a career in rugby and sport. Whether they are interested in becoming a professional rugby player, rugby coach, PE teacher or physiotherapist this course can provide a platform for an exciting career within sport.
The Rugby Academy will be delivering a BTEC Level 3 extended Diploma in Sport (equivalent to 3 A-Levels). Alongside the education, each student will be coached and taught by Stourbridge First Team players. Students will have a similar training programme to the Stourbridge First Team with pathways into the rugby club at all levels from the Colts team (16-18 years old) to National League 2 North (First Team - Level 4) and Midlands 1 West (Stourbridge Lions Team - Level 6). Students will have the opportunity to progress onto University to train to become future PE teachers, physiotherapists, sport coaches and strength and conditioning coaches.
To be clear, Stourbridge RFC is not looking to poach any players, but to keep local talent in the Midlands. The students will study and play at Stourbridge RFC through the day and in the evenings will attend their respective club teams’ training sessions and play for their club on a weekend. However, new players to the sport will have a playing pathway into Stourbridge’s rugby teams at all levels.
Meet the team and their success stories
Stourbridge RFC’s recently formed Community Department will be working alongside Sandwell College to deliver the Diploma in Sport. Both of the senior members of the Community Team, Chad Thorne and Daniel Rundle, are First XV players at the Club, have a wealth of experience in Rugby and in delivering coaching programmes. They are ably supported in the Community Department’s activities by a number of up and coming young players who are currently studying at Colleges and Universities.
Chad Thorne - Newly appointed Head of Community at Stourbridge Rugby Club.
Stourbridge boy born and raised, attended Gigmill Primary and Redhill Secondary Schools. Played junior rugby at Stourbridge until U18s, then attended Colston’s Sixth Form on a scholarship to further his rugby development.
From Colston’s Chad signed as a professional for Yorkshire Carnegie. Chad then completed his degree at Hartpury College and signed for various professional and semi-professional teams including Coventry, Rotherham and finally settling at Stourbridge where he currently plays First Team and heads up the Community Rugby Programme.
Daniel Rundle - Sports Lecturer at Sandwell College and Stourbridge First Team player,
Born and raised in South Shields (Newcastle) and moved down to the Midlands to play professional rugby at Coventry RFC. Whilst at Coventry Daniel was selected for Leicester Tigers in the JP Morgan’s 7s.
After this he moved to Stourbridge to play First Team rugby. In his second year at Stourbridge he decided to study at Sandwell College on its Higher Education Programme (HNC and HND in Sports Coaching and Development), finishing the course with Distinctions across the board. From this he gained the opportunity to do his Teacher Training at Sandwell where he currently works.
If you would like any more information about Sandwell College, Stourbridge RFC and their Community Department, please contact Chad Thorne on 07399 335839 or