Teenagers with a passion for rugby union are being invited to apply to join a new training and education centre in Cumbria.

The Cumbria Institute of Sport has joined forces with Cumbria Rugby Union to provide a new centre for rugby and learning.

The institute already provides similar opportunities in football and rugby league and is now moving into union through a new partnership.

The education centre, based at Newton Rigg near Penrith, will work with those aged 16 to 19, supported by Cumbria RU.

It will also provide coach development days for clubs in the area.

Darren Edmondson, from Cumbria Institute of Sport, said: “We are delighted to launch our new partnership as a development and education centre with Cumbria Rugby Union.

“Similar to what we do with football and rugby league, we’re trying to enhance players in the county, to give them a good education that’s university equivalent when they finish, the opportunity and to train and play like a professional, like a full-time scholar.

“That includes professional coaching, strength and conditioning work, and it’s all aligned with what Cumbria Rugby Union want from it.”

It is the third major partnership confirmed by the institute, who are already linked with Morecambe FC in football and Hull FC in rugby league.

As well as rugby coaching, students will study a Level 3 BTec course in sports development and coaching.

Edmondson added: “We will be following Cumbria Rugby Union’s structure.

“They’ve got an Under-17 development squad, and hopefully some of them will come to the college and be able to improve day-in, day-out.

“Hopefully it gives some of the smaller clubs’ lads the chance to be part of it, and they’ll go back to their Under-18s or first team stronger, fitter, better, or they go onto bigger and better things.

“There hasn’t been anything like this set up in the county before.

"Liam Nicholls, who’s in charge of RU for the county, was part of the initial talks, we’ve all agreed, and we’re going to do some coach development days with some teams as well.

“We feel it can be a good partnership both for players and clubs as well.”

Edmondson said recruitment is now open for rugby union students as well as those in football and rugby league.

“We wish all the learners the best for GCSE results day [today], and we are open to new applicants – we’re recruiting all the time,” he added.

For more information, visit the Cumbria Institute of Sport website HERE