English high school squad travel to train in NZ
26 October 2004
English high school squad travel to train in New Zealand
On October 24, 25 rugby players and coaches from Bishop’s Stortford College, Essex, traveled to New Zealand to train at the International Rugby Academy (IRANZ) in Palmerston North.
This year, squads from England, Korea and Australia, along with players and coaches from America, Japan, South Africa, Argentina and Chile have increased the Academy’s international attendance from 20 in 2002 to over 120 this year – a 500 per cent jump in just three years.
This trend mirrors the strong growth in demand from domestic players and coaches.
IRANZ founder and director, Murray Mexted, said the growth revealed a promising export earner for New Zealand – based on successful player and coach development programmes using some of the rugby world’s most recognised and respected names.
“Every team has different requirements and we have been recognised in the international rugby community as having the unique depth of coaching talent to work to specialist requirements.
“Bishop’s Stortford College have sent individual players on our high performance players’ course over the last year and from there have decided to invest in sending their entire team and its coaches,” he said.
The last international secondary team to train at IRANZ was Sydney’s King’s College, which crossed the Tasman for a week in June.
Murray said while IRANZ is committed to developing the skills of New Zealand players, the quality of the IRANZ programme and the coaching staff is generating significant international interest.
He said there was significant benefit for domestic players and coaches through training with others from all around the world.
“While many franchises and clubs have their own player development programmes, IRANZ offers a unique opportunity for players and coaches to come and train in New Zealand with rugby greats like Nick Farr-Jones, Tim Horan, Grant Fox, Jeff Wilson and Ian Jones.
“IRANZ’s commitment to one-on-one positional coaching, combined with the quality of coaching staff and other development professionals, is really putting New Zealand on the map in terms of the development of international rugby talent,” he said.
“We encourage these young guys to really maximise their potential in the game and not to die wondering. With a lot of dedication, passion and attention to detail, the Academy’s course can transform the games of emerging young players.”