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Harry Bennett to lead RFCLA Academy as new Director

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2 months ago

RFCLA have unveiled their U18 and Academy leader in UCLA Head Coach Harry Bennet, as the Club's Academy Director.

Rugby Football Club Los Angeles excited to unveil their Academy leadership.

Harry Bennett, a former Major League Rugby Player himself, will take the reins as Academy Director while maintaining his Head Coaching role with UCLA, spearheading RFCLA academy programs in 2024 and beyond.

The RFCLA Academy will create pathway opportunities for local players at all levels, which nurtures talent and provides meaningful opportunities for advancement. Through extensive collaboration with local clubs, coaches & players at the youth, college & club levels, the Academy aims to revolutionize the approach to rugby development in the United States and within Major League Rugby (MLR).

"Our goal is to create intentional pathway opportunities for local players at all levels whilst working closely with our grassroots clubs," said new RFCLA Academy Director Harry Bennett.

Bennett continues: “Rewarding the hard work of our local clubs, coaches & players at the youth, college & club level is of paramount importance. Our Academy structure will focus heavily on creating value, purpose & above all, an aspirational environment for potential players & clubs to be involved with.”

Bennett calling the for shots for UCLA in 2024. Photo: UCLA Media

The Club's aim is to revitalize the Academy formats, and bring new confidence to all local programs at all levels (coaches especially).

RFCLA's structure is focused on working with players, coaches, and administrators to reward local and emerging talent by providing meaningful and consistent high-performance development. This is an exciting development for local players that aspire to play in the MLR and for RFCLA in the future.

"The RFCLA Academy is on a mission to revolutionize the approach to rugby development in the United States and within MLR," said RFCLA Rugby General Manager, Mark Carney.

"By prioritizing collaboration with local clubs, coaches, and players across various levels of the sport, we hope to forge strong bonds with all stakeholders in our community.

"Harry Bennett's appointment as the Academy Director brings a wealth of experience and leadership from his role at UCLA Rugby."

Carney continued "His dual role demonstrates a commitment to bridging the gap not only between collegiate and professional rugby, but grassroots to collegiate rugby, ensuring that aspiring players at all age levels have clear avenues for growth within the RFCLA system.

"By fostering an aspirational environment, the RFCLA Academy aims to inspire both players and clubs to actively engage with the program, offering a promising model for holistic player development and community engagement within the sport."

Bennett for RUNY in MLR. Photo: Facebook

RFCLA CEO, Pete Sickle said that Bennett’s appointment was one of “Huge significance for the Club in its first season”.

"Harry Bennett has been selected as the first RFCLA Academy Director due to his wealth of experience, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to rugby in the region.

“We look forward to working with local constituents and building something we can all be proud of for years to come”, said Sickle.

The RFCLA Academy Senior and U18s schedule is set to be launched this month. For more information, contact academy@rugbyfcla.com.

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