The ARU has recently launched the previously announced National Rugby Academy which effectively replaces the state based academies that have been used by the Australian Super Rugby teams to secure and develop young talent.
Whilst this move was announced some time ago there has been very little detail available as to how the National Academy will work. In this weeks G&GR Podcast we spoke to Paul Carozza who’s one of the head coaches at the Academy who explained more of how things will work. Listen for yourself here.
Here are some of the key points we now know:
- There are two bases for the Academy – one in Sydney and the other in Brisbane.
- Head coaches are Nick Scrivener in Sydney and Paul Carozza in Brisbane.
- 2012 squads have been selected and have commenced training.
- Members of the Australian Sevens squad will also participate in the program when they are not on duty with the Sevens squad.
- Players in the Academy are contracted by and paid by the ARU.
- The program the players participate in is not full time which provides them with time to work and/or study.
- The program runs for the majority of the year starting at the same time as the pre-season programs of the Super Rugby teams and concluding in September each year.
- There are no planned matches for Academy teams with the ARU preferring to see the players playing a full season for club teams in Sydney and Brisbane.
- There are no limits to the number of players in the Academy.
- There are no quotas – geographical, number of players from any club or age.
- The Academy players are also not selected to fill a number of spots for each playing position.
- The primary criterion for selection is “whether a player has the potential to play Super Rugby”.
- The program includes all of the components of a professional program.
- Wallabies coaching staff will assist in the coaching.
- A big emphasis on strength and conditioning and skills.
- If a Super Rugby team suffers injuries to players that cannot be covered from within their own 30 man squad or their Extended Playing Squad of 5, they can request approval from the ARU to bring in a replacement player. If approved by the ARU the Super Rugby team can source that player from club competitions or can request a “loan” of an Academy player.
- The players in the Academy consist of players from the old state academies, schoolboy teams and club players. Naturally, the majority of players have at one time played in the Australian schoolboy teams but the ARU acknowledges that there are players that develop after school or were missed by the system and is asking the head coaches of clubs to be proactive in nominating players for the Academy.
- Players are on a one year contract with movements in and out of the Academy announced around September each year, although the ARU points out that movements in and out can occur during the season.
- The ARU want to work more closely with clubs regarding Academy players and will be working with clubs on Individual Player Plans, injury management, areas of improvement for a particular player, feedback in relation to performance in games etc.
- As the club competitions will provide the game time for Academy players, the Academy training program will be eased once club season starts to allow players to attend all training sessions with their clubs.
The initial list of players follows:
|Sydney Based||Brisbane Based|
|Adam Coleman||Blake Enever|
|Alex Northam||Chris Kuridrani|
|Allan Alaalatoa||Curtis Browning|
|Apolosi Latunipulu||Jack Kimmince|
|Ben Matwijow||Jarrad Butler|
|Ben Volavola||Jay Havelu|
|Boyd Killingworth||Joel Faulkner|
|Dion Taumata||JP Smith|
|Elijah Niko||Kirwan Sanday|
|Guy Millar||Lindsay Crook|
|Hugh Roach||Maile Ngauamo|
|Jason Havea||Matt Blain|
|Jed Hollaway||Matt Lucas|
|Jock Merriman||Michael Bermingham|
|Jordy Reid||Michael Stolberg|
|Keliti Vaingalo||Mitch Felsman|
|Liam Walker||Mitch Wade|
|Maile Latukefu||Nigel AhWong|
|Malie Hingano||Pama Fou|
|Mark Baldwin||Pettowa Paraka|
|Michael Wells||Phil Kite|
|Peter Schuster||Ruan Smith|
|Sam Lane||Sam Reiser|
|Sam Latinipulu||Scott Malolua|
|Sione Kolo||Sean McMahon|
|Steve Cummins||Simon Morahan|
|Tim Bennetts||Ted Postal|
|Tom Boidin||Tim Buchanan|