Jack spent 3 months at the Rugby Academy in Brisbane. Here he tells us all about it...
The Rugby Academy in Brisbane is a great way to introduce players from England to the Australian rugby culture. And having just moved out to a new country, the kind and friendly nature of the Academy coaches, as well as the welcome from the boys we were training alongside, made for a perfect start to our time in Australia.
The Academy programme in Brisbane is run through the University of Queensland rugby team. Two coaches run the Academy, and both have been coaching a high level of rugby for many years. This is what makes the Academy such a good programme, and something that I would recommend for any players looking to improve on their rugby playing ability, while also experiencing a different rugby culture. The attention to detail in the coaching of new skills is far above what I've experienced in the UK, and was the main reason I managed to make so much improvement while on the programme. The Academy ran for 3 months, and our time was divided between skill sessions and gym sessions. The gym sessions were run by a trained Strength & Conditioning coach employed by the University, who created personalized training plans for each player specific to their needs and ambitions. The skills sessions were run by the two Academy coaches, and they followed a unique curriculum the coaches have created which covers a range of different skills that are each developed in turn over the 3 month period. These skills range from working on our passing, to breakdown clear out technique.
During our first week in the Academy we were put through some strength and speed tests. These tests were then conducted again at the end of the 3 month programme so a comparison could be made and levels of improvement could be measured. Initially in the first few weeks of the Academy us boys were struggling to acclimatize to the heat, with temperatures at training time reaching 32 degrees most days. Going into the third week we'd become used to the heat and were fully on top of our training, making serious gains and seeing results from all the hard work.
The Rugby Academy at the University of Queensland is a great way to introduce players coming across from England, to the Australian rugby culture. The Academy is not just for Sport Lived players, it's predominately for Australian players who are studying at the university or live locally. This allowed us to meet some of the Aussie boys and get to know a few faces so that when we started playing for the club sides at the weekends we had a few Australian friends that we could relate to, and who could help integrate us into their team and culture. The welcoming nature of the local boys and the Academy coaches also helped us to settle into life in Australia off the field. They helped us in a whole load of different ways, covering everything from showing us were we should go to purchase nutritional supplements, to what bars were best to visit on certain nights of the week.
In summary the Rugby Academy at the University of Queensland is a programme that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to improve their rugby ability alongside experiencing a different rugby culture. The coaching quality is of a very high standard and is well adapted to help and benefit players of any ability looking to improve their rugby.
If you're interested in finding out more about the Academy programme, or any of our other programmes we'd love to hear from you! Contact the office on 0115 822 9999 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our team would be happy to chat.