Rugby Union Courses

Domestic Rugby Union Course

The NZSA’s Domestic Rugby Union course offers full time career and rugby development coaching opportunities for young men & women.

The NZSA harnesses the natural talent of young rugby players in a cultural environment that encourages every player to realise their potential both on and off the rugby field.


Our Domestic Programme offers New Zealand’s only full time Career & Sports Development opportunity for young sports people. The programme has four core strands. Supported by our Charitable trust, Te Kaihanga Sports Trust, the Trust assist us to deliver the Sports Development Programme, Culture and Life Skills Programme.DSC04736

What does the course cover?

The NZSA’s Domestic Rugby Union course offers full time career and rugby development coaching opportunities for young men.

The Rugby Development & Culture course for 2017 includes:

1: Professional Rugby Coaching & Training


  • Techniques
    • Latest techniques in rugby coaching
    • Innovative skill development training
  • Team Attack
    • Sequence plays from set pieces
    • Understand field zone & positional plays
    • Counter attack
  • Team Defence
    • Scrum, Lineout, ruck & maul defence
    • Kicking option defence
  • Individual Positional TrainingDSC04712

    • Forwards
      • Scrums
      • Lineouts
      • Ruck
      • Maul
    • Backs
      • Understanding attacking options in zones
      • Reading oppositions attack & defence
      • Counter attacking options
      • Defensive position & options


  • Individual ball skills
    • Passing and receiving
    • Kicking
    • Evasion techniques
    • Ball in the air
    • Ball into contact situation
    • Tackle ball options
  • Personal Physical Testing
    • Fitness
    • Speed
    • Strength
    • Flexibility
    • Skills
    • (All testing will be recorded & monitored throughout the year)
  • Specialist fitness & speed training
  • SWOT on Individual performances
  • Personal weights programme
  • Rugby psychology & motivation

2: Live Domestic Rugby Competition

  • Game Plan/Analysis & Recovery
  • SWOT Analysis-individual performances
  • Bay of Plenty Baywide Rugby Competition
  • Northland Club Rugby Competition

3: Cultural Awareness & Tikanga

  • Marae Tikanga
  • Mahi Kai
  • Te Reo
  • Waiata/Haka
  • History
  • Waka ama
  • Rongoa
  • Cultural Exchanges with Overseas Students (Manaakitanga)

4: Mentoring & Personal Development

  • All Black/Māori All Black & Super 12 mentors
  • Sports Psychology
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Media skills
  • Player contracts
  • Life Skill
  • Goal Setting
  • Team building activities
  • NZSA Sports team competition
  • NZSA students mentoring and coaching young rangitahi
  • Fundraising activities

The Rugby Union Career Programme

Students are offered the choice of four career options where they will study at Rotorua or Wellington providers’ campuses. The National Certificate in Sports Leadership Level 4 is generally delivered in the morning time slot in conjuction with Te Wãnanga o Aotearoa.

Rugby Union Career programme 2017 includes:

National Certificate in Sports Leadership Level 4

Provider: New Zealand Sports Academy
Description: 1 year full time
Eligibility: 1. Entry is for students aged between 17 – 25 years of age.
2. Students must demonstrate commitment to sport and fitness.
3. A personal interview is required.4. Hold a NZ Birth Certificate or NZ Passport
Course Fee: $1350.00

Money Matters – What Will It Cost?


The total course fee for 2016 was $1350. You may qualify for a student loan which allows you to borrow money to finance the cost of the course. All fees must be paid for by the start of the course.

Student Allowances and Loans

Apply early to ensure that you start receiving your allowance or loan when the course starts. Visit for more information.

Students Emergency Fund is available for students who have financial difficulty at some point that affects their studies.

Recruitment for 2017 – Do you think you have what it takes?

We are looking for Rangatahi who are passionate about Rugby Union and people willing to travel the road to success, committed to building their own future and proud of who they are & who they can be. Register now and email [email protected] ,or post the Player Registration form to us at PO Box 5146, Rotorua, 3015 or contact the NZ Sports Academy now for more details.

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Your future rugby career starts here.

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“My time at the New Zealand Sports Academy was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Playing rugby in New Zealand had always been a goal of mine and upon searching for ways to so this, I stumbled across the Academy and it met all of my expectations. Although I was only there for four weeks, I was able to improve my skills and fitness drastically due to the high level coaching from Darrel and the tough training regimen. Monday to Thursday at the Academy would consist of some tough weights sessions alongside skill, fitness and speed sessions, all of which enabled me to see a huge improvement in all of these areas over the 4 weeks. I was lucky enough to play a couple of games for Rotorua U21s as set up by the Academy. I even got to captain my last game which was an incredible experience. Being an international student I received position specific coaching sessions from Darrel while the domestic students attended class. This was invaluable as we covered many aspects including tackle technique, break down work, foot work and line out throws. Darrel also introduced me to the Maori style of running rugby, which emphasises the importance of handling and footwork (even if you\\\'re a front rower), this has taken my game to the next level and I noticed a hige improvement in my attacking game upon my return to England. In addition to the rugby, the Academy also ensures you experience the Maori culture and the various other attractions of Rotorua. During my time here I was lucky enough to watch a Chiefs game, go white water rafting and experience the \\\'Te Puia Geothermal Gite and Maori Village\\\' all of which were amazing experiences. The Academy was the highlight of my trip to New Zealand and I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to experience rugby in New Zealand.”

Peter Davies, Northampton, UK