PREMIERSHIP giants Wasps are moving their youth academy programme to City of Oxford College.

After being based at Henley College for seven years, a deal has been struck to begin the transition to their new home, which is run by education group Activate Learning, on September 1.

The Wasps Player Development Partnership aims to provide aspiring players aged 16 to 18 with the opportunity to train in a professional environment while furthering their education.

Matches will be played on the artificial pitch at Horspath Sports Ground, of which Oxford Harlequins are the custodians, while students will have access to gym facilities at the college.

Wasps head of recruitment & academy Kevin Harman is looking forward to the future.

He said: “We feel we will be able to offer the best support to youngsters from the surrounding areas.

“The move is purely due to geographical reasons, but it allows us to be more centralised with our programme moving forward.

“We’d like to thank Henley College and its staff for their fantastic support over the last seven years, in a great partnership which has seen a number of players grow into professional athletes.”

The academy will be solely based in Oxford for the start of the 2020/21 season.

Activate Learning’s director of lifestyles Mark Burrows added: “We are excited about the prospect of working with Wasps to provide an outstanding experience and pathway in both the academic and rugby sense for young people.

“We are looking forward to engaging the local rugby clubs and schools within this new partnership with Wasps to ultimately expand the opportunities for young players within the area.”