Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club's head coach has high hopes for promoted quartet
Head coach Nick Wakley is excited to see what inroads the first four graduates of Bury St Edmunds’ new elite academy can make on his first XV next season.
The National League 2 South club have announced scrum-halves Jack Bowyer and Tyen Mueller, second row Tom Peacock and inside centre Adam Walker have all been rewarded with Prom-Am (first and second team) development contracts for 2020/21.
The quartet become the first to progress through the club’s ‘elite player development group’ (EPDG), which identifies a small number of players from the junior academy (under-18s) side who have shown potential to progress into the senior set-up.
Having been selected around Christmas time, they are then given personalised programmes and get to train with the first team once a week, as well as playing for the club’s Wolfpack Development XV (seconds).
“As a developmental rugby club, it is important we play our part in developing and challenging our up-and-coming talent, as part of a pathway where we hope to see them playing rugby at the highest level in years to come,” said Wakley.
“We are extremely proud of these players making a step up to senior rugby with BSE RUFC.
“We are also excited about the possibility of those players following in the footsteps of Tommy Waldock, who was another JA (Junior Academy) player who worked his way through our system to make his first XV debut last season.”
Jake Twells was also in the EPDG but is now off to university where he will be part of a very competitive rugby programme at the famed Hartpury College.
Scrum-half Bowyer (right) has been combining playing for Culford School as well as in the Northampton Saints academy. He is described as ‘a very exciting prospect’ who Wakley did not get the chance to blood in senior rugby at the back end of the season like he had intended, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“He is a footballer; his passing is accurate and he can goal kick, so he has a lot of good attributes really but he is just lacking that exposure at senior level,” he said.
“I am expecting big things from Jack this year after a good pre-season, so he will definitely be one to watch for.”
Towering second-row Peacock is said to be ‘unbelievably strong’for a 17-year-old and models his game on Saracens and England idol Maro Itoje.
Walker, who has just turned 18, is a ‘tough tackling’ ‘solidly defensive’ 12.
“He would be a long-term replacement for a Ben Leng sort of mould of a player,” said Wakley.
Meuller, who has South African heritage, is a ‘livewire’ scrum-half but can also play in the back three and is said to have scored some great tries for the Wolfhounds in 2019/20.
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