Championship rugby team, Bedford Blues, recently introduced a new approach to develop young players for a future in the professional game.
Following the reorganisation, 18-year-old Friday Bridge schoolboy Ryan Hutler has been offered the opportunity for further development work and training alongside the Blues first team.
Blues director of rugby Mike Rayer said: “With the standard of Championship Rugby improving year-on-year, it is becoming tougher for Under 19 Academy players to come through the ranks straight to the first team.
“By reorganising the way our Academy operates we can focus resources on a smaller group of players, and increase the number of quality players we can develop for the first team squad.
“Ryan has a bright future ahead of him and we believe this approach will provide a more effective way to develop young players like Ryan to make the step up to play for the Blues in the Championship.”
Ryan, who plays on the wing, has been with Bedford’s U19 Academy from the age of 16 and last season he trained with Bedford’s 1st XV becoming the first ever 17-year-old to achieve this.
He started playing rugby with Wisbech Town U12’s before moving to West Norfolk. He has successfully represented Eastern Counties U15’s and U16’s and West Midlands U18’s, missing an opportunity this season to represent England U18’s due to a knee injury.
Ryan said: “Playing at Bedford is like being part of a big family, everyone is helpful and friendly. The first team players make you welcome and always there giving guidance and advice.
“I am proud to be part of Bedford Blues and grateful for this opportunity and very excited for the future.”
Ryan, who attends Wisbech Grammar School, will start 1st XV training when he completes his A levels in July.