Sale Sharks Academy Mission

Our Aim

Here at Sale Sharks we pride ourselves as being one of the best academy pathways and programmes in the business and our mission is to


  • Maximise the player production process for Sale Sharks and England in order to support the continued business strategies of the club
  • Provide the best pathway and Academy program in England to improve the transition into the professional and community game


  • A holistic Player Development Model comprising of 4 key areas, skill, physical wellbeing, mental health and education.
  • An Academy Coaching Model to enhance delivery throughout the pathway & to ensure the best possible Talent Development Environment.

Cultural Principles – Challenge and support  Develop the person – Embrace opportunities – Growth Mindset

Developing our people

There are three main focuses for the player’s development: – Rugby, Education & Life Skills:

Rugby Development

Holistic, Integrated and Systematic Programme: Schedule inclusive of rugby, S&C, player education and parent education allowing a balance across the programme from 15-18 years old and planned at appropriate points of the season (preparation phase, recovery phase, competition phase etc.)

Long-Term Aims and Methods: The schedule builds on the proposed outcomes of the DPP to support longitudinal development from ages 13-18. This includes a layered curriculum across the rugby, S&C, mental skills, life skills & education strands. This is evidenced through proposed transitions between the programmes at ages 14-15 and 16-17.

Wide-Ranging Coherent Messages and Support: The schedule will additionally reflect the 4C’s of the player development model. This will focus mainly on control, confidence, commitment and challenge. These messages will allow coherence through all staff in contact with players (coaches, S&C, education officer and physio) providing a focus on these areas in their delivery & help inform selection, progression & retention decisions.

Individualised and Ongoing Development; A layered curriculum is evidenced by each area of the curriculum to support progressive development. The schedule supports individualised learning in a scheduled regular review as well as the curriculum for each area supporting the balance between individual player development and team preparation.

Emphasize Appropriate Development NOT Early Success: Player environment around the schedule is based on development as opposed to prioritising success. This is through the application of the 4C’s, the limited positional specific elements to the curriculum and the balance between practices to competition. This is finally achieved by the schedule considering the age-grade playing calendar/county programme/school/club programme to ensure player development is at the centre of good practice.

Education Development

We provide ongoing educational advice & support with continuity from SDG to Senior Academy.

Fully comprehensive education partner links providing potential scholarship opportunities for bespoke FE & HE learning, combined apprenticeship schemes & vocational opportunities with effective use of the Apprenticeship Levy.

A scheduled & collaborative process driven by the Education Manager, the RPA & Academy staff.

Life Skills

Holistic development of the individual to grow the whole person in readiness for life & employment beyond rugby. Better people make better players.

A scheduled programme of workshops, vocational opportunities, charitable events & community engagement.

Senior Academy players are engaged in a voluntary contract to deliver position-specific coaching to their peers and younger players throughout the pathway.

A scheduled & collaborative process driven by the Education Manager, the RPA & Academy staff.

Performance Parents

Working closely with parents of young people within the Academy system is vital to creating better players and better people, a philosophy fundamental to the core values of the club’s Academy. To help engage with the parents of players at all age groups (from DPP to Junior Academy) the Academy has devised a series of parent workshops. These take place at various points during the season with content that is specific, sequential and relevant to each of the age groups:

A curriculum of support workshops for parents throughout the pathway to educate & promote their involvement in the player development process. To include information on nutrition, recovery, skill development, goal setting, concussion, psychology, mental toughness, self-organisation and educational options.


Click here to download the Academy Strategic Plan

Click here to download the Club Safeguarding Adults Policy

Click here to download the Club Safeguarding Children Policy

Click here to download the Club Equality Policy

Click here to download the Club Volunteer Policy

Click here to download the GDPR Policy

Click here to download the Data Breach Policy