Aspiring players get guidance from stars

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ASPIRING rugby players at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, near York, were treated to a motivational session with a trio of inspiring former players.

Henry Paul, QE’s Rugby Programmes Manager, his brother, Robbie Hunter-Paul, the chief executive of Rugby League side Bradford Bulls and Bulls’ managing director Steve Ferres took part in the talk to students on the Collegiate’s Elite Pathway course.

The programme is designed to attract some of rugby’s best young players to the school at Thorpe Underwood. It combines pre-season training and testing, specialist coaching, access to the best pitches and facilities as well as regular talks by top players and coaches.

Henry Paul said: “I mentioned to my brother, Robbie, that we would love him to come along and talk to our young lads about sports performance, leadership skills and staying motivated in the sport.

“Not only did he agree but he bought the managing director of his club with him! It has been a great start to our series of guests and it is really vital that our students get an insight, through first hand experience, into the demands that playing at the top level of a sport brings.”

Henry Paul runs the Collegiate’s series of programmes designed to reinforce QE’s credentials as a top class rugby school. He is joined at the school by similar directors of courses in basketball, hockey and netball. His background is as a dual code rugby league and rugby union international, representing New Zealand in league and England in union.

His brother, Robbie Hunter-Paul is a former New Zealand rugby league player and became CEO of Bradford Bulls after retiring as a player in 2011. Steve Ferres is the current managing director of Bradford Bulls, having been boss at Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Hunslet.