Batley Bulldogs have teamed up with Kirklees College to help give aspiring rugby players the chance to play professionally.
Bulldogs player and community development staff member Ben Black has already been coaching with the college’s sports academy for the last three years.
The college has also been the club’s official education and training partner, one of several sponsorship links between the two organisations.
But now the partnership has gone one step further as the academy team has been adopted as the Bulldogs’ under-19s side.
The club is hopeful this will help develop future players for its first team.
Mr Black said: “It is a great pathway to Batley Bulldogs for any player. They will get to play on a more professional level and it is also a chance for them to officially wear the Batley shirt.”
Bulldogs chief executive Paul Harrison believed the partnership was the “perfect pathway” for players looking to play for the first team.
“Hopefully in a couple of years we will see the best players moving up to our first team side,” he said.
Kirklees College sports academy co-ordinator Iain Glendinning said the partnership was a big boost for rugby players at the facility.
“It is fantastic that our partnership has grown to allow students to get the chance to play at that level,” he said.
Visit www.kirkleescollege.ac.uk, phone 01484 437070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.