With an exciting Six Nation series coming to a close and the World Cup coming up later this year, rugby is one of the hottest sports in the UK at the moment.

Following on from Wales' strong showing in the Six Nations so far the largest college group in Wales has announced the appointment of a rugby engagement officer as part of a new partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).

Grŵp Llandrillo Menai has partnered with the WRU to host an officer as part of its hub programme, which aims to grow, develop and enhance the national game whilst broadening its appeal.

This will ensure rugby will be inclusive and engaging to male and female participants of all ages and sections of our communities whatever their motivation and/or need.

Newly-appointed Hannah Hughes will be starting her new role at the college in March and will work across the Grwp’s campuses in Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Conwy and Anglesey.

Ms Hughes will be involved in developing an inclusive programme of learner participation.

Samantha McIlvogue, director of learner services at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, said: “The partnership with WRU will offer a unique opportunity to introduce learners to the importance of leading active lifestyles through a diverse range of participation activities.

"The development of this inclusive programme will allow different levels of interaction and involvement and will promote links into the communities where Grŵp Llandrillo Menai delivers.”

WRU participation & retention manager, Chris Ower, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this rugby hub agreement with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.

"The hub appointment of Hannah is part of our increased coverage of hubs in North Wales and takes our national hub agreements to 90 across Wales.

“Welsh rugby holds a longstanding and traditional position at the heart of Welsh culture: when the game, its clubs and educational providers are strong, it inspires and motivates people, binding them together in a way that no other sporting activity can.

“Participating in rugby breeds values such as courage and integrity, discipline and respect, leadership and commitment, as well as building health, fitness and wellbeing, family and community cohesion.

"We will inspire the next generation of young people and their influencers to engage in rugby through a variety of fit for purpose offers, giving them a positive rugby experience.”

Marc Roberts, regional rugby manager, added: “We are excited and looking forward to working with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai and Hannah Hughes as rugby engagement officer.

"The partnership will establish exciting inclusive participation activities throughout the college sites and wider communities.

"We also see potential in training up male and female students to be future coaches, referees and volunteers across our rugby network. In doing so, we can continue to invest in healthy communities and grow our game.”