RIASA – Rugby Union Academy

The RIASA – Rugby Academy (RIASA-RA) offers student-athletes the best of both worlds: An Accredited American degree while living and playing in a true English Rugby culture, on a year round basis. The RIASA – Rugby Academy may provide an exit route into the elite game at some level, for some students, as they will be continually working and playing with professional coaches and former professional and semi-professional players.


Through playing Rugby Union and close ties with Bingley Bees, a well-developed historical rugby club, we will provide a life changing experience and opportunity for student-athletes as they pursue an accredited American Undergradute Degree program while reaching their optimal playing potential.


 Our Goals:

  • Provide a positive student academic and playing experience. Giving the first Academy style opportunity for playing Rugby Union in the UK while earning an accredited graduate degree at the top Rugby University in the UK.
  • To showcase players and provide possible exit routes within the game not readily available to the North American rugby player.
  • To provide a first class degree program that helps build an unmatched resume for professional life.
  • Provide opportunities to help students grow, athletically, intellectually, culturally and socially, utilizing the vast rich cultural heritage of the UK and the European Continent.

Program Overview:


RIASA – Rugby Union Academy


Why This Program?

  • The RIASA-RA program allows players to fully develop their game on a year round basis while studying for their American degree.
  • RIASA-RU is year round (40+ weeks) – with a focus on development, exposure and opportunity.
  • Play within a true rugby club pyramid system within a three-team structure, with the opportunity to play ‘showcase’ games against professional rugby club academy and development squads. The opportunity to compete with the Leeds Beckett University Rugby Union side is also an option.
  • Live and learn the game at a top Yorkshire rugby club with a long track record of developing professional players who have played in the English Premiership and have England Representative Honors, while earning your Graduate degree.
  • You will live, breath and be focused like a professional club academy rugby player.
  • Non-European Passport holders can play up to National Division Two standard, the fourth tier of English rugby. Players with professional level potential may have the opportunity to move to other European clubs.


Who Should Consider this Program?

The program is open to all student athletes who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree and have a passion for the game of Rugby.

The programe actively seeks players who demonstrate the fundamental, principles play

Go Forward, Contest Possession, Continuity, Support, Pressure

Player Attributes

  • Good ball handling skills
  • Good passing & receiving skills
  • Good body-shapes
  • Change of Speed
  • Confidence and composure in possession
  • Desire to regain possession and work hard
  • Desire to learn
  • Desire to demand the ball
  • Make good decisions
  • To be a positive role model – Professionalism
  • Be adaptable to change
  • Take responsibility

In support of developing the athlete, the programe will:

Develop and enhance the individual players strength and fitness, thus affording them the ability to withstand the physical demands of contact and so that they can perform effectively and with distinction in a game situation.


Bradford and Bingley ‘Bees’ Rugby Club

Based in the small market town of Bingley, just 20 minutes from Leeds, The Bees were formed with the merger of Bingley and Bradford rugby clubs in 1982 and play at the historic Wagon Lane, where the famous Barbarians first became in 1890.

Their honors include North Division 1 champions: 2003-04, National League 3 North champions 2005-06 where they gained promotion into the 3rd tier of English Rugby.

The club regularly field 4 senior teams and the first XV thrives on the vibrancy of the second and third XV teams.  The club has strong foundations for the future with its youth section and is recognized as being the strongest non-professional club in the region.

The club has three rugby pitches, a training area, training gym, changing rooms and a thriving bar and function room which promotes a thriving social setting at the club. The ground has a capacity of 4,000 and is very well supported.


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