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Rugby Academy


The New Zealand Institute of Sport successfully launched its high performing Rugby Academy in Auckland in 2008 and Wellington in 2010. The Academy is designed to maximise success for NZIS students looking to continue on to the higher levels in Rugby and Education. This may be in senior club Rugby, all provincial age grade teams, Meads and Lachore Cup, Air New Zealand Cup, Super 14 and beyond to the Manu Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand Maori, All Black Junior’s, Black Ferns and All Blacks.

NZIS has identified the need for potential professional players to have another pathway to achieve success. In many cases, students in the NZIS rugby academy will have been identified and referred on by the Unions as a player that currently sits just outside the 20 players selected by that union. The academy provides a vehicle for young talent to up skill themselves in rugby specifics that he or she has not yet experienced. With the growing relationships NZIS engages in with high performance managers, we will continue to push our NZIS Rugby Academy students in the eyes of High Performance selectors and keep them within reach of the academies and development squads of these major unions.

Professional Structure and Staffing

“The NZIS Rugby Academy gives students the opportunity to hone and further develop their rugby skills within a professional environment. The Academy encompasses all aspects of what the modern day rugby player needs to be a success both on and off the field. The Academy Staff provide expertise and a wealth of knowledge so that Academy players are well equipped towards achieving their dreams of becoming the best rugby player possible with a holistic understanding of both athleticism and professionalism in sport.” Daniel Farani, NZIS Men’s Coach

“The NZIS Rugby Academy also aims to support the growth of Women’s Rugby and Rugby 7s by providing a unique opportunity for female athletes to explore a range of aspects in sport. Qualities such as goal setting, team work, personal motivation, well-being and leadership are developed though the opportunities to train, play and tour with the academy throughout the year. We strive to enhance each individual athlete’s personal values so they are able to get not only the best out of themselves, but also the best out of each other.” Brenda Collins, NZIS Women’s Coach

“Rugby is a fast, high-contact game that places significant physical demands on the athlete. Strength & conditioning sessions aim to increase players’ endurance, speed, power and strength to improve on-field performance and reduce occurrence of injuries. Sessions will include high intensity gym and field training with an emphasis on improving aerobic fitness, strength and explosive power. Players will also undergo regular testing to ensure continued development.” Peter Zajac, Strength and Conditioning Coach

Domestic and International Tours

NZIS Rugby Academy students are also consistently offered opportunities to compete within New Zealand and abroad. Further to tours in 2009 and 2014; in 2016, the NZIS Rugby Academy Men’s and Women’s teams travelled to the USA taking on the Rhinos Rugby Academy in Orange County as well as the Santa Barbara Rugby Academy in Northern California. The Women’s team remained unbeaten in 2016 with a clean sweep of three out three, while the boys fought hard to win two of three games. The tour also allowed students to experience a visit to the USA Olympic Training facility in San Diego on top of sightseeing experiences at the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Disneyland. To be a part of the academy at NZIS: enrol in one of our courses, call us on 0800 NZISPORT, or contact us for more information