Women's Performance Rugby Union

Our performance programme is led by expert coaching staff who are constantly striving to improve both individual and team performance, underpinned by a wide range of skilled support services.

The Women’s Rugby Programme consists of approx. 120 players that compete over 3 competitions:

  • RFU Tyrrells Premier 15s
  • BUCS Premier North
  • BUCS Midlands 2 A

Our performance teams compete in RFU Tyrrells Women’s Premiership and in BUCS Premier North, the top tier of University rugby whilst the students 2nd team competes in the Midlands 2A .

The rugby programme benefits from formal partnerships with England 7s, and the RFU, which allows us to deliver a High Performance programme to support aspiring and current  internationals.

As a performance squad player you will receive expert coaching, access to our world class facilities, heavily discounted Powerbase gym membership, strength and conditioning training, sports science and sports medicine support. Our Performance Support Team has a vast shared experience of working with coaches and athletes at the very highest level.  Find out more about our support.


A normal training week includes:

  • 1 match (Saturday or Wednesday)
  • 3 team rugby sessions
  • Additional units and skills sessions
  • Video analysis
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Massage and Physiotherapy
Rhys Edwards

Rhys Edwards

Head Coach

Leading the Women’s Rugby Programme is Head Coach Rhys Edwards who is supported by Performance Coach Sarah Hunter. Rhys is a former international Coach (Wales) for both 15s and 7s programme and has coached in the English Championship with Rotherham.

Sarah Hunter

Sarah Hunter

Performance Coach

Sarah Hunter is the current England Number 8 and Captain, who has worked for the RFU in player developement for a number of years prior to this role.

An MBE for Services to Rugby and becoming the 2016 World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year have duly rewarded Sarah Hunter for her skill, dedication, determination and persistence to surpass 100 caps during her 11 years at the top level.

She led from the front as England won the Grand Slam with a 34-7 win over Ireland in the 2017 Six Nations and also was at the forefront as the team reached the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup final.

Notable alumni

Loughborough University has played an integral role in the development of the women’s rugby, with many of the key players having played at Loughborouugh.

Notable alumni include:

  • Sarah Hunter
  • Sarah Bonar
  • Claire Allen
  • Justine Lucas



For our most exceptional performance rugby players, we offer sports scholarships to help with the costs of training and competition.

Prospective students

To apply for a place or find out more information please email Head Coach Rhys Edwards.