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Best array of top coaches at Int Rugby Academy

Best array of top coaches to attend International Rugby Academy next month

The finest array of coaches ever assembled will be passing on their knowledge at the International Rugby Academy’s coaching school in the next two months.

Grant Fox, Laurie Mains, Nick Farr-Jones, Graham Henry, Richard Loe, Sean Fitzpatrick, Ian Jones, Mark Shaw, Graham Mourie, Dave Loveridge, Jeff Wilson and David Campese are the position specific coaches taking part in the academy in June and July.

Managing director Murray Mexted said the academy’s world-wide reputation is growing. The next two schools will be at the Adidas Institute of Rugby next month and the Royal NZ Police College in July. ``We are so fortunate to have probably the best array of coaches in the world anyone has assembled at one time for the June and July schools,’’ Mexted said.

The academy’s position-specific coaches were fantastic and the knowledge they shared with the players and coaches had proven to be a winning formula, he said.

``The key to the academy’s success is its concept of running the high performance players’ and coaches’ courses in tandem, which enables Laurie Mains to implement and analyse his blueprint with the academy team.

``We are focusing on positional specialisation and identifying what is required to improve players and coaches. The coaches we have got are passionate about the knowledge they pass on.’’

The academy was formed three years ago and is in its second year of operation. It receives full support from the New Zealand Rugby Union which can see benefits of identification and the development of elite players and coaches in New Zealand.

Next month’s three-week coaching schools start on June 1 and will have a maximum of 26 players and 15 coaches.

The two (player and coaches) schools run hand in hand and they work off each other. Players will be tested each week on their physical and mental development and what is needed to help them improve. The position specific coaches will spend an intensive time one-on-one with the players, developing their understanding of their position.

Six of the top eight clubs from the English Zurich premiership are utilising the International Rugby Academy by identifying and sending their most promising talent - both coaches and players. They are Wasps, Sale, Leeds, Leicester, Harlequins and Bristol.

A number of players to the academy have already gone on to play first-class rugby.

Last year, two Japanese test players impressed coaches at the academy. There were also three French players from Biarritz. Six Australian coaches attended one of the schools in February. The Scottish Rugby Union were so impressed with the academy last year that they have enrolled three elite players and three coaches on this year’s courses.

``The academy is acknowledged by the northern hemisphere and they have a great opportunity to benefit from it. I’m bloody optimistic and I’m know the NZRFU can see increasing advantages in what we do,’’ Mexted said. There is a real mix of nationalities attending the coaching schools this year with players and coaches from Scotland, England, Zambia, USA, Japan and the New Zealand provinces.

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