Since the onset of rugby’s professional era, the business of rugby has become more than a passion or a pastime. It’s become, for many, a career. Those who display the necessary skills achieve the highest honours. In addition, the game itself has grown into a globally recognized sport, with modern technology bringing the world of rugby to virtually every corner of the globe.
The modern game is constantly evolving. For a coach and player to stay at the top of their game, it is important they remain at rugby’s cutting edge. They need to stay in touch with latest law changes, newest techniques and playing styles, enabling them to take their talent to the next level.
Origins of the International Rugby Academy
Growth in the game has necessitated an increase in the supply of dedicated, specialized rugby tuition. The International Rugby Academy New Zealand was established by former Kiwi internationals and rugby legends, Murray Mexted and Sean Fitzpatrick. Since its establishment eight years ago, the academy has played a vital role in the up skilling of rugby’s premier international talent in the coaching and playing arenas. It has provided a platform for sharing knowledge with masterminds of the game, teaching not only rugby but ways to become a true professional.
The International Rugby Academy is well supported by players and coaches from around the world with most All Black team members having attended the academy. Former South African graduates of the academy include Dick Muir, Nick Mallet, Grant Bashford.
Investec International Rugby Academy South Africa
The academy is now operating in South Africa, with the Investec International Rugby Academy South Africa harnessing the formula, credibility and success of the International Rugby Academy New Zealand. Headed by Dick Muir, the academy will capitalize on an untapped demand for high performance rugby tuition in South Africa.
Cutting edge courses
The best coaches and players in the world get together for intensive two and three week courses to impart their practical knowledge and wisdom. Courses are specifically designed to assist in achieving a career in both coaching and playing the game of rugby, while providing interaction with the game’s global players and exposing coaches and players to the international arena.
The academy offers a range of courses which extend from a variety of coaching-the-coaches courses to elite high-performance and position-specific training for international players through to development courses for school talent. Courses for coaches and players run concurrently giving coaches the benefit of working with some of the world’s best up-and-coming talent, and giving players the opportunity of being exposed to coaches they would not otherwise have access to, giving them an edge over their competitors.
Players get the chance to fine-tune their skills with access to some of the world’s finest international players and an opportunity to benefit from intensive training in all aspects of the game, concentrating on physical, mental, tactical and fitness. Coaches get the rare opportunity to interact with the world’s best coaching talent in a practical environment, developing a structure they can take home with them. Participants benefit from scientific research from various countries and sporting codes in the areas of fitness, power, training methods and models.
Customized courses are offered throughout the year in order to accommodate northern and southern hemisphere rugby seasons and teams with specific requirements.
High performance facilities
By 2011, the academy will have its own grounds and high performance facilities which will become its head office in Durban.
The Investec International Rugby Academy South Africa will give rugby professionals the opportunity of accessing the best exponents of their chosen field. It is about being cutting edge, creative and bold as a coach or as a player, providing the opportunity to be the best of the best.
New era in rugby professionalism
The aim of the Investec International Rugby Academy South Africa is to define a new era in rugby professionalism by improving performance at all levels through a multi-dimensional and holistic approach. The academy is the first true initiative to uplift playing and coaching structures in one arena, providing an elite, high quality rugby-training environment that will set a new standard in rugby training and tuition, enabling its participants to become part of an elite international rugby fraternity.
The Investec International Rugby Academy
At Investec International Rugby Academy our focus is firmly on High Performance. Our formula requires two courses (players and coaches) to be run in tandem so coaches can observe methods and processes first hand.
Week One will provide you with a framework to identify talent, increase your positional knowledge, analyze performance and design a strategy to match the game plan. This is the week our positional specialist work with players on the High Performance Players` Course. Coaches on the High Performance Course will have the opportunity to observe and interact with these position specific specialists during this time. We concentrate on ‘remedial coaching’ or ‘problem solving’ after the first match is played at the end of this week.
Week two provides more in depth coaching theory and practical coaching methods to some of the important sectors of the game like the break-down and tactical kicking and the opportunity to assess strengths and weaknesses of the team building up to the final match. You will also focus on the areas of coaching you wish to develop further working with players on the High Performance Course and with local club or school teams.
Throughout each course we will introduce highly qualified tutors and coaches to address the areas of their specific expertise. I am confident these courses will provide you with solid knowledge, different perspectives and a challenging interactive two weeks. The cosmopolitan mix of coaches we will have on each course will create an infectious and highly stimulating environment and a sharing of ideas that will benefit all. Investec International Rugby Academy aims to provide a service to those in rugby who wish to achieve and will provide the steps to help coaches and players on their way.
1. Dick Muir – Course Facilitator & Centres
2. Murray Mexted – 8th Man
3. David Campese – Wings / The Back 3 & Counter Attack
4. Ian Macintosh – Course Facilitator
5. Rob Kempson – The Scrum & Props
6. John Plumtree – Phase Play
7. John Allan – Hookers
8. Johan Ackerman – Lineout & Locks
9. Jacques Botes –Open Side Flank & Captain Coach Relationship
10. Bismark Du Plessis – Hooker
11. Ian Macdonald – The Breakdown & Blind Side Flank
12. Werner Swanepoel – Scrumhalf & Shape Off 9
13. Braam Van Straaten – Head Coach [Advanced Players, Flyhalf & Kicking]
14. James Small – Fullbacks (Yet to be confirmed)
15. Wayne Taylor – Rugby Specific Conditioning
16. Ruan Fourie – Recovery And Injury Prevention
17. Greg Miller – Skills And Team Building
18. Tim Goodenough – Mental Skills
19. Dr Peet Du Toit – Vision Testing
20. Rory Duncan – Forwards Coach [High Performance]
21. Ryan Strudwick – Forwards Coach [Advanced Players]
22. Mark Lawrence – The Laws
23. Grant Bashford – Analysis
24. Andre Snyman – Backs Coach