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Digital rugby education taking off around the world

Digital rugby education taking off around the world

A Kiwi innovation bringing digital education to the rugby field is attracting worldwide attention.

The Rugby Site, the world’s leading online rugby education provider, based in New Zealand is taking off around the world, attracting players and coaches from nearly 200 countries.

The Rugby Site chief executive Brendon Ratcliffe has just signed a financial partnership with the USA.

He says the partnership provides the USA direct online and mobile access to the coaching and playing expertise of some of the best players and coaches in the world including Sir Graham Henry, Warren Gatland, Wayne Smith, Victor Matfield, Sam Warburton, Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Leigh Halfpenny.

“This is a major milestone in the development of The Rugby Site as a global rugby education resource, and will be a catalyst for partnerships with many other national rugby unions.”

“The USA partnership is significant because this country has chosen our unique site as its rugby education provider. It will give USA coaches credits towards their annual certification. We are currently working with a number of other unions around the world and the USA model has given us a good template that we can implement globally.”

The partnership will see USA Rugby incorporate The Rugby Site into their coach education system to continue the development of coaches' expertise and understanding across the country.

“Unions understand the challenges and resources required to deliver quality educational content. A web based and mobile platform is simple to use and gives them access to the best rugby expertise in the world, while they are on the field. The online and mobile platform is an attractive option because it means our users can consume this information anytime and anywhere that suits them.”

"Busy people are time poor and we've invested heavily in our technology platform. The future is mobile technology and already over 60% of our content is consumed via mobile devices, phone, i-pad or tablet.”

The site currently features 21 world-class rugby players and coaches from 10 different countries with Joe Schmidt, Eddie Jones, Bismarck Du Plessis, Martin Castrogiovanni and Courtney Lawes also among the big names.

“As a business we're experiencing exponential revenue growth, we’re excited about the future and making a difference to growing and strengthening the game around the world. We’ve worked hard since we founded the site in 2011 to build our reputation and its great to now be recognised all over the world.”

The Rugby Site’s content includes more than 50 videos and module courses for coaches and players of all levels. The site already has 25,000 registered members from over 170 countries.

USA Rugby Coach Development Manager Josh Sutcliffe said content will provide a great resource for its 4500 strong club, regional and national rugby coaching community as it aims to stay current with new techniques and merging trends.

“We’re very excited to work with The Rugby Site as it gives our country’s coaches access to the best videos to better themselves and their players,”

All Black captain Richie McCaw says it’s important for the development of the game globally that knowledge and expertise is shared and the Rugby Site is providing the best platform to do this.

“It’s great to be working alongside the likes of Sam Warburton and Victor Matfield. The work we are doing together on The Rugby Site is making a difference and growing the game around the world.”

“Rugby can only be a true global game if everyone passes on a bit of their experience,” he said.

The Rugby Site chairman and IT entrepreneur, Phil McCaw says the company is poised for significant revenue growth as it develops partnerships with national unions and also with major global corporates that are keen to align themselves with the sport.

“We’ve got several revenue streams that are developing well. Our global business plan is robust and we’ve got the highest profile content providers in the likes of Sir Graham, Warren Gatland, Richie McCaw, Victor Matfield and Leigh Halfpenny.

“They’re incredibly successful and driven people, coaches and players want to learn from the best minds in the game,” Phil McCaw said.

Sir Graham Henry, who has been a contributor to The Rugby Site since it was founded in 2011 says it’s good to spread the word about the game using a digital platform.

"The Rugby Site is for everybody, for all levels from international players to youngsters. I am excited to share my expertise alongside many of the best minds in rugby, to help grow the game around the world. By accessing The Rugby Site, coaches and players throughout the USA Rugby network will have the best chance to develop their knowledge and make a difference to the sport in their country.”

Mr Ratcliffe says it’s great to see players and coaches so motivated in giving something back to the sport and working hard to share their knowledge and increase participation worldwide through a digital platform.

About The Rugby Site

• The Rugby Site was founded in 2011 by Brendon Ratcliffe, former NZRU Director of Player Development and Northampton Saints forwards coach and Hawke’s Bay head coach.
• Founding contributors include Sir Graham Henry, Wayne Smith, Dan Carter and Richie McCaw. A further 17 of the world's top coaches and players contribute to the site: Warren Gatland, Brian Asthon, Joe Schmidt, Mike Cron, Mike Friday, Gregor Townsend, Eddie Jones, Eric Rush, Victor Matfield, Leigh Halfpenny, Sam Warburton, Bismark Du Plessis, Courtney Lawes, Shane Williams, Martin Castrogiovanni, Ben Ryan and Maggie Alphonsi.
• The Rugby Site aims to progress the game of rugby globally by providing coaches and players direct access to learn from the best minds in rugby, video topics cover all aspects of the game.


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