The only way to become the best is to learn from the best.
Bond University Rugby Club’s quest for constant improvement is taking them on a European tour with the first stop the English midlands and Loughborough, the United Kingdom’s premier sports university.
The 14-day tour will see the Bull Sharks play a series of matches against top European rugby universities, take in a Bond University Alumni event in London, visit professional Paris based club Racing 92 and engage with the Wallabies at their Rugby World Cup training base in Saint Etienne.
Loughborough University has been crowned British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) champions for 41 consecutive years.
In addition to some fact-finding sessions with Loughborough’s high performance and sports based academic teams, the two university rugby powerhouses will meet on the rugby pitch where the men will play 15s and the women 7s.
The Bull Sharks can justifiably claim to be Australia’s premier university rugby program. Our women have won every available trophy over a dominant two-year period that has seen them win back-to-back Queensland Premier Rugby titles, the inaugural Australian Women’s Club Championships plus the National University 7s and Queensland State 7s titles.
The men also showed great improvement in 2023 by winning the QPR minor premiership while former student Rhian Stowers was the Alec Evans medalist as the competition’s best and fairest.
The women are Loughborough‘s flagship rugby side. The Lightning play in the Premier 15s, the top tier in the UK and can boast England Red Roses captain Sarah Hunter as one of their star players.
Bond University of Sport Director Mike Collins said some of the best sport and exercise science staff he had worked with over his professional playing career in Super Rugby and in the UK and as an administrator in CEO positions had come from Loughborough.
“I am eager to develop a relationship with Loughborough University for several reasons, they produce outstanding sport and exercise scientists and they lead the way in regards to elite student-athlete performance and results, especially in the female space.
“And it is no secret that at Bond University we are being recognised for developing elite female athletes, particularly within our rugby, swimming and AFL programs.
“This is a great opportunity to expose our athletes to the Loughborough University system.’’
Bond Director of Rugby Luca Liussi said the club was proud to be able to expose players across all grades to the very best rugby programs in Europe. And he was excited at the opportunity an overseas tour provided to build on the culture that already exists within the club.
“We are taking a group of young men and women to two rugby mad countries, during one of the world’s largest sporting events, the Rugby World Cup,” he said.
“We are offering our people an experience which they will never forget, and one which will help them develop as footballers and grow as people.
“I believe Bond University Rugby Club has led by example in Australia, in building equality and respect in our rugby programs and the daily training environment and facilities we provide our players.”