Upper Sixth pupils, Tom Seabrook and Ed Bogue, have been offered professional contracts with Gloucester Rugby Club. Furthermore, old boy Lloyd Evans last week signed a new contract with Gloucester as part of their 1st XV squad for next season. Given the small number of contracts awarded to academy players each season, it is outstanding that two of the coveted places have been presented to two boys from the same school.
1st XV Captain, Tom Seabrook, has been a regular in the Gloucester Rugby’s U18 Academy Premiership league fixtures for the last two seasons. These performances were rewarded with exposure to Gloucester’s Aviva Premiership ‘A’ League Programme. Tom also played representative rugby, being selected for England U18s five times against France, Wales and Ireland, and twice against Scotland, scoring tries in two matches.
Commenting on his time at Dean Close, Tom said: “School rugby for me has been the highlight of my two years at Dean Close. An excellent coaching team that provides individual support on and off the field and a group of lads so willing to learn, made being captain all the more easy.”
Ed Bogue entered the Gloucester Rugby U18 Academy League programme in December 2016 and became a fixture in the rest of the Gloucester campaign, being selected three times for Gloucester United, starting against Exeter Braves. Ed said: “The support system available at Dean Close to balance school work and maximise your rugby potential is faultless. Dean Close have given me many opportunities with the strong relationship with Gloucester Rugby Academy and over the past two years I have seen significant improvements in my performance”.
In recent years Dean Close has developed a strong reputation in schoolboy rugby. Director of Sport Greg Baber-Williams commented: “As a School we are absolutely delighted that Tom, Ed and Lloyd are achieving such high levels of success, and their commitment to achieve those goals should not go unmentioned. High levels of personal sacrifice and exteremely hard work have ensured that the boys have made the most of the opportunities whilst with us at Dean Close. The schools ethos fundamentally focuses on the individual and this is echoed through the sports programme. I have been delighted with the relationship between ourselves and Gloucester Rugby Club and as we embark on the third year as official partners I am certain that we provide an outstanding framework for those seeking to excell in the game of rugby union. Our rugby programme which is under the direction of ex Gloucester player and Academy manager, Andrew Stanley, has gone from strength to strength.”
This year alone Dean Close boasts over 40 boys in the Developing Player Programme at Gloucester Rugby Academy and was well represented in the U16 programme with all 11 players progressing into the U17 pre-season programme this year. Senior Gloucester Academy coach Richard Whiffin had these comments to make on behalf of the academy in light of the success of the Dean Close boys.
“Lloyd, Ed and Tom have all been fully committed to their ambition to get to the next stage of their rugby careers and they fully deserve all of the success that they have recently gained. They all have good attitudes and a desire to continue to improve in every area. Dean Close School has been a vital part in their triumphs and I have been delighted by how well they support the boys and ensured that they have all of the access that they need to not only the academy programme but also their own high level medical and strength and conditioning provision. The school partnership has been a resounding success from our perspective and I know that the boys feel very well supported outside of rugby both academically and socially.”
Director of Sport – Greg Baber-Williams, Ed Bogue, Tom Seabrook and Driector of Rugby – Andrew Stanley