Tonbridge Juddians RFC

News and Events

Academy and Junior Updates for August

1st August 2020

With the Academy now well underway with our, albeit slightly different, pre-season, Head of Academy Coach Gareth Withers fills us in on his hopes for the Academy and the continuing  pathway the Academy is providing for Tjs to move into senior and hopefully National 1 rugby.

It is great to finally be back throwing a ball around after such a long layoff. The boys have all received personalised feedback as well as individual strength and conditioning programmes to keep them busy over lockdown but there is nothing like getting back together as a group.

We have three very strong age groups in the Academy this season each of which has around 30 players so we are hoping to get four teams out regularly across the course of the season, when it happens.

Despite the extended off-season there has been more good news for TJs and the Academy set up with four past Academy players committing to the 1st XV debut campaign in National 1.

2015 National Cup winner Rory McHugh has resigned and will reach the 50 cap mark with his next 1st XV appearance.

Fellow 2015 champion Alex Reid returns to TJs having made 40 1st XV appearances as an 18-20 year old before moving to university and representing Worcester Warriors A and playing for Yorkshire Carnegie in the Green King IPA Championship.

2017 National Cup winners Bobby Bratton and Ade Lipede both re-join the club having played National 1 (Elthamians) and England 7s rugby respectively.

It's brilliant to see these guys pushing through and playing for the 1st team especially when the club is preparing to compete at such a high level of the RFU pyramid. Over 100 Academy products have played senior rugby for TJs with 17 having played competitive fixtures for the 1st XV. Many others have travelled further afield for university and between them have made hundreds of league appearances at National 3 or higher.

The river of talent continues to flow from the Academy with current U18 Alfie Goater already training with the 1st XV during pre-season and we hope one or two more of his peers will be added to the group in the coming weeks. Alfie is involved in the Saracens set up and has done really well in the first couple of weeks with the 1st XH training 

You can find out more about the above players by watching our You Tube video 

TJs Academy are now back in training at Vizards on Wednesday nights. Anyone wishing to join should contact Gareth Withers or ring him on 07739455783.

Please note that the same pre-training requirements as mentioned in John's piece below also apply so get in touch first before turning up if it's your first time

Juniors update from  John Costello (Junior Chairman)

August has arrived and we will be looking to start junior training this week under very strict and controlled conditions. All players, coaches and families should familiarise themselves with what is expected of them and if in any doubt speak to age group leads

We, like other Clubs, have been doing our due diligence and risk assessing and feel we are there to provide a re start that is as safe as possible for parents / players / ourselves and the Club as a whole - Clubs will differ in their approaches to the RFU and government guidance but we feel we are in a good place to deliver now but do also recognise the multiple moving parts involved as well.

So as planned we are re starting next week U12s/U13s on Tuesday 4th and U14s/U15s on Thursday 6th. Both between 6-7pm at Vizards.

Please note that on Thursday Bidborough CC are also at Vizards but the space is very large and useable for all despite restricitons. 

We will be issuing a Covid Pre training questionnaire to all parents pre sessions and also a training log for the night.

Before each session

  • We will need to know who is attending and place players in bubbles of 5 with a designated age group coach as well to make 6. The bubbles will stay together throughout the hour, changing drills as instructed.
  • Each player/family should receive the Covid questions before training - if you have not then please contact your age group lead/coach
  • You should not attend if you answer Yes to any part of the questionnaire.


At Training

As part of the recording on the night we will need to know who has attended, that they have consented to the questionnaire and which bubble they were in. Bubbles are not fixed so will change week to week.

  • Please be prompt for the 6pm start
  • Social distance at all times away from the training areas including parents in Car park.
  • Please leave post training as safely and quickly as possible.
  • Ideally parents should drop and collect

HOw we all manage and behave these sessions through August is vital to ensure we have as safe a training environment as possible. Guidance will change over the coming weeks and ahead of  the traditional season proper start in September

We are all keen to get started in the right way so we can all gain confidence and demonstrate the discipline needed

And remember attendance is voluntary and if you or your child are displaying any covid symptons or feel unwell then please do not attend.

Stay safe. Stay alert.

© TJRFC 2016
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