Developing Players

Selecting Players

Devon School of Rugby (SoR) selects talented players in the age groups Under 13, 14, 15 & 16 to receive monthly coaching in core skills, conditioning, diet, positional and personal development.

Each age group have between 15 -25 boys that are deemed to have the potential to progress to representative and professional standard. Players in the programme must be unrivalled in their own way and Target No1 al the core skills and their playing position.

Rob Taverner & Charlie Guppy manage and administer the program for the Devon RFU. Exeter Chiefs Academy work closely with the SoR and the most talented SoR U16’s players will progress to the Exeter Chiefs Academy Elite Player Development Group (EPDG).

With the extra training that this involves, no player must lose sight of the importance of school work. Time will have to be spent developing personal fitness, core and positional skills but never at the expense of academic achievement. It is vital that you learn to manage your time effectively. Not only is this important for your academic and rugby development, if you learn this skill early, it will be invaluable in the world of work.

The SoR Managers are here to help if you have any questions or problems.

Targeting No. 1 means planning, preparing and training to be the best player you can be. You have to aim to be a difference-maker in whatever side you play, and this is precisely what selectors are looking for. That may be through a great tackle, leadership, a dynamic break without losing possession, aggression at the breakdown, an appetite for action, a turn over ball – all raw skills that can change a game! The aim of the Devon School of Rugby is to give you every opportunity to progress as you Target No. 1.

Rob Gibson, Academy manager for Exeter Chiefs, has devised a skills program to cover all the skills required by a player to thrive in the professional modern rugby environment.

Training will be split into themes that relate to different playing positions but are skills every player will need to master to become a top player.


Skills of a Centre (12/13)

•Players will be able to carry the ball to a defender and pass accurately off both hands.

•Players will be able to pass long and accurately off the either hand.

•Players will be able to reload into position. Competent in stepping in as first receiver.

• Players will be able to draw and pass to beat defenders in 2 on 1 & 3 on 1 situations.

Skills of an Openside Flanker (7)

•Players will be able to present positive ball using a variety of techniques suitable for the situation and age relative.

•Players will be taught how to turn the opposition over and when to counter ruck.

•Players will learn the fight through, slam down, spider, and also to understand Law and the role of the Tackled player, and how referee will control it.

Skills of a No 8

•Players will all develop a variety of tackle techniques and learn the correct time to use them.

•Players will all understand defensive systems, concentrating on spacing and line speed principles.

•Players will be able to carry the ball through contact and dominate the contact zone.

Skills of Scrum Half (9)

•Player will be able to pass the ball from the base of the ruck accurately. All players will understand the need for tempo, 3 second ball and deliver of left and right hand.

•Players will be able to off load pre tackle.

•Players will be able to off load post tackle.

Skills of Fullback

•Players will all be able to beat a player one on one.

•Players will be able to compete under a high ball.

•Players will be confident to initiate counter attack principles.

•Players will be develop a variety kicking skills.

The skills of a Lock Forward (4/5)

•Players will be graded in their ability to clean out rucks efficiently and remove bodies. Real focus on accuracy and effectiveness at the clean-out.

•Players will be able to catch Kick Offs.

•Players will understand key roles in a maul.


NB Club and School coaches please contact Rob or Charlie if you feel there are other players that deserve to be invited to one of our sessions – we have an open door policy at all times for players to be recommended to DPP.