Crusaders Academy to grow talent base

Apr 23 • General News, New Zealand • 1427 Views • Comments Off on Crusaders Academy to grow talent base

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The Crusaders have set up the first New Zealand rugby academy aligned with a Super Rugby team.  Replacing the former Canterbury Rugby and Tasman Rugby Academies, the Crusaders Academy is pooling those resources and aims to increase the talent base available to the Crusaders rugby team for the future.


The Crusaders Academy will have two bases, one in Christchurch and one in Nelson. Crusaders Academy Manager Aaron Webb says the purpose of the change to the Crusaders Academy is to allow more opportunities for players from within the Crusaders catchment area to advance their careers without having to move away from home.


“With both a Christchurch and Nelson base, we can capture more of the local talent within the Crusaders region.  We want to provide a pathway to both provincial representative rugby and to the Crusaders, and this new Academy structure will make that pathway clearer and also allow more players to follow that path while remaining close to home,” Mr Webb said.


Chris Goodman has been appointed the Tasman Coordinator for the Crusaders Academy.  Mr Goodman was formerly a Rugby Development Officer with Tasman Rugby and Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach said he has made significant advances in the development of players and coaches in the region through that role.


“We are excited to have Chris on board as part of the new Crusaders Academy.  He has a strong background in both high performance and community sport, having worked with the Tasman Makos, as a Community Sport Advisor at Sport Tasman, and as a trainer for the Marlborough Boys High School first XV, Marlborough Red Devils and in ice hockey in Canada.  He brings a great mix of skills to the organisation and will add value to the Academy programme delivered in both Nelson and Christchurch,” Mr Riach said.


Mr Goodman said the new Crusaders Academy had been well received in Tasman already.


“All of the staff from the Tasman Rugby Academy will continue their roles within the Crusaders Academy and will work collaboratively with the staff based in Christchurch.  Both the Nelson and Christchurch bases will be able to benefit from an increased pool of experience and skills and it is our young players who will benefit the most,” Mr Goodman said.
There are currently 44 players training in the Crusaders Academy, 15 of those based in Tasman and 28 based in Canterbury.  There are also 10 players in the Apprentice Academy in Christchurch, and a similar apprentice group is planned for Tasman in the future.


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