International Individual Rugby Player Course

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Your NZSA coaching programme

  • Personalised strength and conditioning programmes
  • Individual positional training
  • Unit and individual skills development
  • Attack and defence technical master classes
  • Rugby tactical and psychological development
  • How to play free-flowing attacking game plans
  • Maori culture and the Haka


“It was the best experience ever. If any rugby player wants to improve their skills, technique and fitness level this is the place to be.”

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  • Stay from 1 to 12 weeks
  • Play every week for a team at a level that suits you

2015-03-18 13.46.32 (1)Prices start from less than $1275 a week* for

  • The professional rugby development programme
  • Game time with NZSA students or local club
  • Homestay with 3 meals provided
  • NZSA playing and training kit
  • Airport transfer
  • Tourism activities: Luge, Polynesian spa, white-water rafting, hangi and concerts
  • Super 15 or NPC games

*Excludes flights, price for a 12-week stay


What the students have to say…

“Jim put together an insider’s look at high performance rugby training and development”

“The program gave us exactly what we wanted”

“The highlight of my NZ tour, without a doubt”

“Complemented by exposure to the tribal culture and traditions of the Maori people”

“The NZSA runs a very slick and professional programme”

“All the lads at the academy were all very welcoming and tried their best to help you fit in and do all they can to help you”

“Jim, you’ve made such an indelible impression on our son.”

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This is what a student wrote…

  • At the NZSA we do weights and core every morning. After a short breakfast stop the domestic boys usually go to class with Shaun the tutor and we, the international boys, go with Darrel to practice skills that we feel we need to work on to improve our game.
  • After another short stop for lunch, the students usually go out to the fields for fitness, skills or sometimes both for a couple hours in the afternoon.
  • The Academy also provides a wide range of activities for its International students. These range from trips to the beach to quad biking around the hills at Taupo.
  • The home stays selected by the Academy all do their best to help the Internationals feel “at home”, and create a friendly comfortable environment.
  • As part of the course you we do Mau Rakau every Thursday afternoon to learn about Maori traditions and culture. This always interesting and something we all look forward to.

For further information contact

Vicky Ward (NZ)

[email protected]


Dan Cottrell (UK)

44 7717 578899

[email protected]

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Your future rugby career starts here.

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“My experience as a member of the New Zealand Sports Academy began in 2007, and an experience of a lifetime it was at that. I was an unestablished, inexperienced rugby player hoping to grow in knowledge and leave a footprint on the rugby world.

Upon joining I was informed that it was a full time course that required only a few key attributes of me… “hard work, commitment, honesty, and a whole lot of sweat.” It now dawns on me that it was a small price to pay for what I got out of it

The trainers we had at the time were Darrel Shelford and Shaun Tata, who I can not express to how much I enjoyed having them there to kick me in the backside and equally the amount of work they put in to getting the best out of us. The thing that amazes me the most about the coaching staff is just how vast their range of knowledge is. There doesn’t seem to be a thing they do not know about rugby and that quickly rubs off on the students.

Once I completed the programme I joined the Bay of Plenty Rugby Academy which lead to playing for representative sides such as;

Bay of Plenty Under 20s

Bay of Plenty Development

Bay of Plenty Steamers

Bay of Plenty 7s

I was then contracted to a club side in Dallas Texas before being contracted to a club side in Sydney Australia. All of which I accredit to the New Zealand Sports Academy

I am currently a firefighter in Rotorua and spend a lot of my summer times travelling with various invitational sevens teams and competing in tournaments worldwide.”

Curtis van der Heyden