The purpose of the Academy is to provide an environment in which the best young rugby players of their age can develop in terms of strength, power, speed, skill and tactical awareness while studying in pursuit of a University qualification. The Club has been awarding scholarships for its Academy since its introduction in 1997. The Academy has made headlines due to the expansive style of rugby played and by the large number of players gaining representative honours.

THE ACADEMY - Why? - an introduction - 1997/98 Club programme

THE ACADEMY -AN ASSESSMENT - 2001/02 Club Programme

(insert - The UCDRFC Academy 11 years on - from the Club Prog 2008/09)

(insert - The UCDRFC Academy a review -the Club Prog 2009/10).

(insert - the Academy's Lions from the Club Progs 2010/11 and 2009/10)

LEADING THE WAY, UCD's Academy has flourished since its formation in 1997 by Ruaidhri O'Connor -  2012/13 Club Programme.

Elite Athlete Academy

The UCD Elite Athlete Academy is a scholarship programme, across all sports, specifically for students who wish to compete and succeed at the highest sporting levels while simultaneously attaining a degree in UCD. The Elite Academy supports high calibre athletes striving for sporting and academic success to allow them to reach their maximum potential inside and outside the classroom.

How to Apply?

  • Students should apply to the CAO by 1st February as normal.
  • Students should also submit a supplementary application to the UCD Elite Academy by 1st February of the relevant year. (The application forms will be available to download from UCD website in December of the preceding year.)

Academy members will be selected through an initial shortlisting process and then, subject to getting through that stage, by an interview involving sport and academic leaders.

More information on the UCD Elite Academy programme can be found at

The UCD Elite Athlete Academy programme runs in addition to existing UCD Sports Scholarship programmes, more information about which can be found at

The Gardiner Scholarships are sponsored by the generosity of John Gardiner who captained the Club in the 1984/85 season. John led the Club tour that season to Australia. The tour manager was Dr Brian Keogh, the coach was Eddie Thornton and a summary of the tour can be found in the CLUB TOURS section herewith. The Club is deeply grateful to John for his generosity (as are the scholarship recipients!).

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  • David Lynch; Danny Kenny; Kieran Moloney

Photos of the 2012 Scholars from Club Programme 2012/13

Principal Sponsors

Club Sponsor


Support Sponsor

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