The AASE scheme – Achieving Academic and Sporting Excellence - is targeted at talented Year 12 and Year 13 students who have the aspirations and potential to play at the elite end of the game. The AASE scheme is a three-tiered framework supporting the boys in both their rugby and academic development, consequently giving them the opportunity to combine rugby training on a daily basis at London Irish with academic study in sixth form at our education partner St Paul's Catholic College in Sunbury (Middlesex).

St Paul's Catholic College has an excellent academic track record and has A level options to accommodate a full range of interests and academic abilities. It was praised in its last OFSTED report for its ‘excellent leadership’ and was described as the ‘fastest improving school in the area’. 

  • GCSEs – 83% A-C
  • A Level – 63% A-B
  • Ofsted rating GOOD
  • 25 ex AASE players currently playing professional rugby in England
  • 75% of last season’s AASE graduates achieved either a professional rugby contract or gained a place at University.
  • 12 hours per week of rugby education alongside a bespoke Education programme

The rugby component of the combined development process will be delivered on site at the London Irish training ground and will be led by AASE Head Coach Richard Pryor and James Lightfoot-Brown who broke into the London Irish Academy through the AASE scheme and has since been an integral part of the Club's coaching set up.

All apprentices receive a skills development program that is worked out to their individual needs and will also include a competition program which will consist of RFU AASE league games, academy games, junior club games and representative games where appropriate. In addition to this apprentices will also receive a personalised strength and conditioning programme and will have access to a full time physio.

The scheme is a fantastic opportunity for young talented rugby players to really develop their potential in a professional environment alongside like-minded players whilst continuing their academic education.

Join us for our open day at Hazelwood on 1st November from 6.30-8.30pm. If you require more information please email [email protected]

If you wish to apply, or want any further information on the AASE scheme please contact AASE Head Coach, Richard Pryor, with your academic and rugby CV by emailing: [email protected]

For more information on St Paul's Catholic College please visit

Ad Space