FOUR Hartpury University and Hartpury College alumni are featured in a new eight-part documentary series released by Netflix that takes viewers behind the scenes of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship.
The Forest institution says their inclusion reflects Hartpury’s “rich heritage” in the Six Nations and comes days after three of the four men have been selected for the 2024 tournament.
“Full Contact” features England’s Ellis Genge (former Sports Science Diploma student), Wales’ Louis Rees-Zammit (former BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport (Rugby) student), and Italy’s Stephen Varney (Cert. HE in BA (Hons) Sports Business Management) and Sebastian Negri (former BA (Hons) Sports Business Management student), providing a glimpse into their remarkable journeys, adversities and achievements on the international stage.
They appear alongside other big names including England’s Owen Farrell, Scot Finn Russell, and Ireland’s Johnny Sexton and Andrew Porter.
The series provides viewers with an inside look at the personal and professional lives of elite rugby players, laying out the “dedication, sacrifice and passion” that has driven them to excel on the field.
Through exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and intimate insights, Hartpury says its portrayal of accomplished professional players is “captivating”.
The players also reveal the difficult choices they have had to make and the issues they’ve dealt with both on and off the pitch.
Hartpury’s presence in the Six Nations looks set to continue in 2024, with Ellis Genge, Stephen Varney and Sebastian Negri all selected for their respective squads once again.
Notably, former BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport (Rugby) student Dafydd Jenkins has also been named as the new Wales captain, becoming the second youngest Wales captain in history.
Current England scrum coach Tom Harrison (a former college and university student) will also be on duty for the tournament.
Louis Rees-Zammit won’t take part in this year’s championship following the announcement that he’ll move to the United States to pursue his NFL dream.
Hartpury University and Hartpury College’s “enviable” presence in rugby is well known, largely thanks to its dual career pathway that enables students to train and compete in an elite environment whilst studying for A-levels, diplomas, degrees and other qualifications.
A total of 10 sports academies provide students with the opportunity to access support, coaching and competitive opportunities as they study.
The integrated programme has been praised by players, coaches and governing bodies from all corners of the sport.
The institution’s relationship with Gloucester Rugby goes from strength to strength too, providing a potential route for those seeking to play from junior level through to the professional ranks.
The lure of Hartpury to so many young rugby players was covered by BBC Investigates last autumn, as it explored why so many Welsh rugby players chose to move across the border for their education and coaching.
Academic and coaching staff working together is something that was recognised in the latest Teaching Excellence Framework, in which Hartpury University was rated triple Gold.
The 2024 Six Nations Championship kicks off on Friday (February 2) with France v Ireland at 8pm, before Italy v England (2.15pm) and Wales v Scotland (4.45pm) on Saturday (February 3).