The TWRFC Academy caters to both boys and girls age U16 to U18, with the whole squad coming together for activities where it makes sense.

At Tunbridge Wells RFC Academy, our mission is to work with all players, regardless of their ability, to develop them to their highest potential. Through a holistic approach, we focus on building rugby skills, fostering well-being, and nurturing life skills. Our goal is to create competitive teams whilst ensuring players enjoy their rugby journey.

The aims of the Academy are to create the best experience and pathway we can for players transitioning from youth rugby into senior rugby. This is a significant investment by TWRFC, we are delighted to have the support from a truly impressive coaching team led by former premiership player and first-team coach Simon Whatling.

Thanks to our generous sponsors Ascender Consulting, Omni Recycling, Speldhust Sausages, Dorset Arms, and Stevenson Harwood we are able to provide full resources more normally afforded to a professional side in both training and match day experience. Some of the benefits include:

  • Experienced Coaching team
  • Regular access to First team players and specialist coaching
  • Access to First team Physios
  • Mid week training
  • Strength and Conditioning  & nutritional advice
  • Bespoke Academy kit
  • Additional assistance with GCSE or A’level sports related courses
  • D of E support
  • Individual coaching development for Academy players where requested

Join us

We welcome players from U16’s, U17’s and U18’s, of all abilities, and are resolutely non selective. We believe everyone who wants to play should play in a safe environment that encourages rugby’s core values and to achieve more as a collective unit, in turn enabling individuals to fulfil their true potential with their progression into senior rugby.

New players are always welcome so please contact Martin on 07770 936977 if you’d like to come and try us out.

Coaching Team

Simon Whatling

Head Coach

Simon (a former first team coach at Tunbridge Wells), joined the club after an impressive senior playing career, playing fly-half and inside-centre at both championship and premiership level. A graduate of Bath rugby academy, Simon represented England at U16 to U21 level. During his career he played rugby at London Welsh, Cornish Pirates, and Worcester Warriors, concluding his playing career at Blackheath.

Since coaching the club’s senior team, Simon has remained part of the TW family with both his children playing in the minis section. Simon is committed to our philosophy of developing the entire player, and will be combining his coaching role with his position as assistant director of rugby at the illustrious Epsom College.

Tammy Samuel

Academy Girl’s section – head coach

Tammy is a women’s rugby pioneer having played when the game was first established for teams such as Cambridge University, Waterloo, Saracens and Blackheath mainly in the second row and at number 8. She gained 6 caps for England and played for England Students.

She has been coaching for over 25 years and is a level 2 coach and referee. She has coached every age group at TWRFC from U6-U18; both girls and boys and was instrumental in setting up and developing our girls’ and women’s section which now boasts 100+ players.

Tammy’s daughters all play rugby. She is passionate about bringing on girls rugby and developing them as players and is excited to join the academy alongside her role as TWRFC U18 girls head coach and coaching Kent girls at both U16 and U18 levels.

Ben Whale

Forwards Coach

Ben plays back-row for TWRFC 1st XV, and brings both his rugby know-how and a little kiwi flair to the academy.

Chaz Spence


Chaz has a long history as a player for TWRFC and stepped up to captain the side in their first and most successful season in the London and South East Premier League.  Sadly Chaz had to retire from playing due to injury and spent the next couple of seasons as a spectator.  Chaz joins the academy as a backs and attack coach, and is also working towards his RFU Level 3 Coaching Award.