Rugby League Courses

Domestic Rugby League Courses

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

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.

What does the course cover?

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

The Rugby Development & Culture course for 2015 includes:

1: Professional Rugby League Coaching & Training

  • TechniquesLatest techniques in rugby coaching
    • Innovative skill development training
  • Team AttackSequence plays from set pieces
    • Understand field zone & positional plays
    • Counter attack

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defence 1 - web


  • Team DefenceMarker, Line, Positional defence
    • Tackle selection
    • Grapple

defence - web









  • Individual Positional TrainingRoles and Responsibilities
    • Connecting
    • 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
    • Leg drive in contact
    • Ball into contact situation
    • Tackle ball options

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  • Personal Physical Testing
    • FitnessSkrum - web
    • 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 League 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 League Career programme 2016 includes:

National Certificate in Sports Leadership Level 4

Provider: New Zealand Sports Academy
Description: 1 year full time
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: To be advised (but we expect them to be around the $1,350 amount)
Money Matters – What Will It Cost?


The total course fee for 2015 was $1350 and we expect 2016 to be around the same. 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 2016 – Do you think you have what it takes?

We are looking for Rangatahi who are passionate about Rugby League and people willing to travel the road to success, committed to building their own future and proud of who they are and 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 on 0800 377 455  now for more details.

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Your future rugby career starts here.

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“In 2006 I enrolled into NZ Sports Academy to better my Rugby skills. I didn’t know what to expect but all I knew, I wanted to succeed in Rugby.

At the Academy, we lived and breathe Rugby…..literally! Starting 7am on the dot (there were punishments if you were one minute late) with Shaun Tata, we hit the gym with strength and core training all rugby related then by 9.15am we’d be all showered for a 15 min breakfast then straight into the classroom learning all rugby fundamentals. After Lunch we then hit the field for the rest of the afternoon working on fitness, drills, skill work, games, breaking down every little drill such as passing a ball and tackling.

This was all a huge shock to me. Darrel and Shaun (our coaching staff at the time) broke us in to pieces mentally and physically but taught us to learn to love the toughness. I cannot explain how much I enjoyed having them as a Coach pushing us to the absolute limit to get the best out of everyone. It truly amazes me how much knowledge they have of the game which they broke down into steps to give us a better understanding.

After graduating in 2007 at the Academy, I made move to Australia to succeed further in my rugby career with the Surfers Paradise Gold Coast Dolphins but really struggled to do so due to injury after injury. I got back into the gym for rehab and to focus on my weak points. Since day one at the academy I always loved being the gym, Smashing PBs, learning the correct form and techniques in lifting, and seeing great results in your body. Darrel and Shaun taught us how to look after our bodies from injuries and because of that, I had a speedy recovery.

By the end of my recovery, I decided to change codes and challenge myself with the discipline and dedication of Bodybuilding and Powerlifting.

2013 – North QLD WFF Fitness model – 1st place
2013 – Southern Hemisphere WFF – 5TH place
2014 – QLD INBA Fitness model
2015 – Australasia WBFF Muscle model – Top 20
2015 – Central QLD Vector Powerlifting champion (Total 620kg)
With the mental toughness and dedication I inherited from the NZSA, I took in everything I’ve learnt into my preparations and succeed numerous times. I am a Scaffold Supervisor currently preparing for the Australasia WBFF Championship and hoping succeed to WBFF Worlds next year in Las Vegas. I strongly recommend anyone to join the NZ Sports Academy as it has had a huge impact on my life.”

Billy Hicks, Rotorua