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.