Andy Farrell and Stuart Lancaster with Academy players Maro Itoje, Anthony Watson, Brett Herron and Kyle Sinckler

THE RFU has launched a new performance academy, sponsored by BMW, that will provide 30 young players with tailor made support to help them progress onto the elite England team.

The scheme, which is part of the RFU National Academy Programme, will see an initial pool of 30 rising stars picked from the existing age-grade system (U16,U18,U20) work closely with their club, coach and the RFU to create an Individual Development Plan (IDP).

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster, who has overseen the development of English players over the last four years in his role as RFU Head of Elite Player Development, said: “The BMW Performance Academy will help equip our promising young players with the skills needed to succeed at the highest level. We’re working hard in conjunction with their club coaches to give them the individual support they need both on and off the pitch as we work towards the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and beyond.”

BMW will also provide the players with personal development training, meetings with ambassador mentors, work experience across the company and advanced driver training.