Following positive negotiation with colleagues at French Universities and the RFU, the postponed England Students international fixture will go ahead on a yet to be confirmed date 22-24th April 2022.


The fixture is still being funded by SRFU reserves and funding is for this fixture only. Read more on the future beyond this season here


The England Students’ information below lays out the eligibility criteria and nomination process for any player wishing to be nominated for England Students and a link to the online nomination form.

The nomination needs to be completed by a qualified coach from the player’s academic institution. Please note - players cannot nominate themselves.

The closing date for nominations is 5pm Friday 25th February 2022.

If you have any queries, please contact

Team Management

Darren Fearn - Head Coach

Mark Matzopoulos - Assistant Coach

Paul Baty – Team Manager

Andrew Kennedy - Assistant Manager

Ralph Smith -Team Doctor

Stephen Rowell- Physiotherapist

Any queries should be directed to

Nomination Process

  • The nomination form should be completed by a qualified coach (or the institutions Student Union, if no coach is appointed) from the player’s university or college.
  • By completing the nomination form the coach is confirming that any nominated player meets the selection criteria.
  • The nominations period will close on Friday 25th February 2022. Any nominations received after this date will not be considered, unless in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the England Students Coaching Team.

Nomination form:

Eligibility & Selection

To be eligible for selection, all players being nominated need to meet the following criteria:

  • Is English qualified (either through birth or family heritage from parents/grandparents or residency. Proof of heritage is required)
  • Players will not be eligible for England Students’ if they have represented another international side in 15’s or 7’s within the previous 36 months. This is immaterial of whether representing that side changes your English Qualified Players status. I.e. Full representation that would no longer qualify you to play for England.
  • Players must be enrolled at an accredited Higher Education or Further Education institution. Players need to be studying in Higher Education degree programme for at least half time of a Level 4 (Higher National Certificates) or above. This represents a minimum of 60 credits. Players in Further Education need to be studying on a recognised qualification for the equivalent of 0.5 FTE.
  • Represents their Institution in either/or a combination of BUCS, College, RFU competitions, NAMS leagues or friendly games. This is for a minimum of 5 matches in the current season.
  • Proof of representation may be requested from the Institution’s "Athletic Union", Student Sport governing organisation or appropriate College contact. Exceptional circumstances may be considered on their individual merits e.g. injury.
  • Are over 18 years old on Sept 1 of the current playing season and not over 26 years of age.
  • Has their nomination verified by their Coach or Institution official confirming all information is correct.
  • Meets the nomination deadlines and timings.
  • Player footage may be requested by the England Students Coaching Team.

Players should also exhibit the following personal qualities:

  • Demonstrates good “people skills” exhibiting behaviour within the RFU Core Values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline, Sportsmanship. Both on and off the field.
  • Exhibits rugby playing performances of a high and consistent standard
  • Is physically, technically, tactically and mentally capable of playing a minimum of Level 3 or above in the respective country their University/College is affiliated.
  • Focuses on his improving their individual positional and team rugby skills
  • Communicates effectively
  • Meets the minimum Fitness and Conditioning standards set by the England Students Coaches
  • Professionally manages their nutrition, medical, injuries and general body management
  • Is free of any known conflicting events on the dates set out for England Students training and matches 18th – 24th April inclusive.

Purpose & Principles


To be the pinnacle of rugby in Higher Education, by providing the opportunity to play at the highest level. Thereby offering a parallel performance rugby pathway and alongside a higher education degree.


An England Students’ team has an important role to play in enriching the student rugby experience, recognising the quality of student rugby, and offering an alternative pathway for players in higher education and late developers. The aim at each stage of this system is to develop the players, coaches, analysts and support staff who become part of this process.