Oxford Brookes Rugby Union and Oxford Harlequins Announce New Partnership
Brookes Sport, Oxford Brookes University Rugby Club (OBURFC) and Oxford Harlequins Rugby Football Club have announced a new strategic partnership.
This will enhance the provision of Rugby Union and provide talented student athletes with the opportunity to compete at a high level whilst studying at Oxford Brookes University. The partnership will help develop players at all levels of the sport whilst augmenting the student experience.
Initial discussions between each party at the start of the 2019-2020 season sought to increase the pool of players available to Oxford Harlequins whilst providing a select few OBURFC student athletes the chance to play in a competitive league structure on the weekend at a top class award winning facility, having won Facility Development of the Year at the National Rugby Awards 2019.
Kicking on from those early discussions, Brookes Sport, OBURFC and Oxford ‘Quins’ now look to provide mutual on and off field benefits to students who play rugby union.
The partnership will provide an elite performance pathway for talented OBURFC players whilst creating a sustainable talent pool of players excited by the opportunity to play for Quins. At the same time, it will facilitate workforce opportunities for students - providing them with experience relevant to their academic work and future career aspirations. In addition, players and coaches will look to embrace social and civic duties in improving physical and mental wellness within members of the local community.
OBURFC Men’s 1st Team Captain for the 2019-2020 season, George Amphlett, was one of the select few OBURFC players who competed for Oxford Harlequins in the same period.
The partnership will allow members of OBURFC to further their rugby development whilst studying at Oxford Brookes University. Playing at Oxford Harlequins has given me access to modern,knowledgeable and enthusiastic coaches whilst providing high quality physios to meet the needs and requirements of Men’s Rugby.
This announcement will be hugely beneficial for us as players, providing us with all the materials that we require to improve as players and people. Having played at numerous clubs before Oxford Harlequins, it is clear to me that with its top facilities and forward-thinking staff, Oxford Harlequins and OBURFC is the perfect platform for a young player to develop their game.George Amphlett - Men's 1st Team Captain 2019-20
Respective Directors of Rugby at ‘Quins’ and OBURFC were pivotal in establishing the initial relationship over the 2019-2020 season and offer their perspectives on how Rugby Union may look for both clubs moving forward.
We have ambitious plans and aspire to be a club that challenges at the highest level of the National Leagues: a club that matches the status of the city in which we are based. A key pillar in our plans is the formation of strategic partnerships: we have an existing partnership with the RFU, as a host club for one of the few England Rugby 3G pitches, which has created a world class facility at our new ground.
This new partnership with Oxford Brookes is, in my view, the most important that the club has formed: it will in essence provide us with a senior academy that strengthens our playing capability,improve player welfare by facilitating rotation, and will enable resource sharing in coaching, support staff, equipment & kit, to the mutual long term benefit of Oxford Quins and Oxford Brookes.Stuart Wells – Director of Rugby, Oxford Harlequins
This commitment to supporting excellence really is a benchmark moment for all currently involved with OBURFC, and for all prospective student athletes who are looking to combine a performance university sporting experience with first class education.
This work will provide valuable additional resource, support and opportunities for our players so that they can continue to develop as people both on and off the pitch, whether through community engagement projects or transitioning through to Oxford Harlequins Senior teams, the partnership will provide a unique opportunity for any Student Rugby Player considering Oxford Brookes University as an option.Joe Winpenny – Director of Rugby, OBURFC
This exciting announcement between Brookes Sport, OBURFC and Oxford Harlequins will provide a platform with which to establish a significant Rugby Union presence in the city of Oxford.
Whilst the principle objective of this work is to provide a high-level offering to our current and prospective students, we are very mindful of the additional benefits that collaborative working will bring to both the student-athletes themselves, as well as the local community. This is something which Oxford Brookes University values highly, so it is great to work with a like-minded club in the form of Oxford Harlequins."Marcus Boswell - Performance Manager, Oxford Brookes University