Rugby Union: Academy in Australia


The Sport Lived Rugby Academy in Brisbane gives you the chance to train like a professional rugby player. Our courses provide the ultimate rugby education. You’ll receive elite coaching and have access to outstanding facilities at our rugby academy in Australia.

Recommended for:

  • Work intensively on your game
  • Meeting friends through club and academy
  • Training alongside elite players & coaches
  • Time to travel before/after your programme

At a glance:

  • Daily training plus matches every weekend
  • Access to world-class rugby facilities
  • Elite Coaching from highly skilled staff
  • Shared city centre accommodation

Sporting adventures

You can attend the Australian rugby academy for 4 - 15 weeks from February to May or for 4 - 6 weeks from June to August. On both programmes you’ll train every day Monday to Friday and play matches for a local rugby club at the weekends.

We also offer off-season programmes from October to December and from January to February that provide a great opportunity for you to work intensively on your game in the glorious sunshine of an Australian summer. 

Whilst in Brisbane you’ll live 15 minutes from the academy in city centre accommodation shared with other Sport Lived participants.

Your Coaching Team

The expertise and experience of the Rugby Academy coaching team are second to none. Every member of the team brings a vast amount of knowledge and an individual approach to the coaching role. Each area of the game has a specific coach to ensure you receive tailored tuition for your position. Please find below profiles on the academy coaching staff.

N.B. Coaches may change from programme to programme depending on their availability.

Vince Kelly

Academic Consultant

  • Provides input on all strength and conditioning programmes at the academy
  • Holds an Honours degree in Exercise Physiology
  • Undergraduate degree in Applied Science
  • Previously held strength and conditioning roles with the Western Force, ARU, Auckland Rugby Union and Queensland Academy of Sport

Adam Garred

Strength and Conditioning Coach

  • Co-ordinates physical development programmes for all academy players
  • Programmes focus on developing players speed, agility, strength and power
  • Holds a masters degree in Exercise Science – Strength and Conditioning
  • Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Has a Human Movement Studies Degree from the University of Queensland

David Enfantie

Academy Head Coach

  • Currently Head Coach of the University of Queensland Premier Colts
  • 2008 Co-coach Easts Premier Colts (Grand Finalists)
  • 2007 – 2008 South Queensland Rugby Manager – Queensland Rugby
  • 2007 Assistant Coach North Queensland U19
  • 2004 – 2007 North Queensland Development Manager – Queensland Rugby
  • 2004 Australian Rugby Union Level 2 Accredited Coach

Cameron McKintosh

Academy Assistant Coach

  • BA in Sports Studies from University of Queensland
  • ARU Level 2 rugby coach
  • Rugby academy assistant coach 07-09
  • University of Queensland Premier colts coach 2008/09
  • Queensland Reds Junior Representative Coach

James Holbeck

Academy Backs Co-ordinator

  • Assistant Coach for Randwick Premier Grade Rugby Club
  • ARU Level 2 Accredited Coach
  • Completed Waratahs Advanced Coaching Programme
  • Played for the Wallabies from 1997 – 2001
  • ACT Brumbies 1996 - 2003


Our coaching team will analyse and develop every area of your game. The programme adopts a ‘holistic’ approach in terms of complete player development, and combines proven best practice coaching principles, education programmes, monitoring and evaluation procedures. The coaching at the academy will focus on:

Personal Flexibility
Players are put through stretching sessions with our Strength & Conditioning coaches, to increase flexibility as a means of recovery and injury prevention

Core Skill Development
Field sessions where players work on aspects such as catch & pass, ruck work, defence and attack.

Individual Player Review
Players review and evaluate their performance in their games and training during the week to provide feedback on areas of improvement.

Player Injury Assessment/Triage
During the season, players have access to a physiotherapist who can help diagnose any injuries acquired.

Players take part in either a pool, Pilates or flexibility session as a means of recovery after their games and training during the week.

Players partake in small activities to improve their finer motor skills such as reflexes, hand-eye coordination and peripheral awareness.

Strength & Conditioning session where the players go to the gym, do strength and power testing and adhere to a tailored weights program.


Players on our academy programmes also join a rugby club in Brisbane . You’ll attend mid-week training sessions and play matches at the weekends.

Personal development
Playing for a local club enables participants to put academy coaching into practice in competitive fixtures. Playing and training with a club also enables you to integrate into the local community, meet new people and make new friends.

Most rugby clubs in Brisbane have 2 U19 teams and 4-6 senior mens’ teams. A number of the rugby clubs we have affiliations with in Brisbane have Super 15 and international players. Having the opportunity to play and train alongside these individuals is another great way to develop your game.


All academy sessions take place at the University of Queensland. The university is just 15 minutes from the city centre and has some of the best sporting facilities in Australia.

At a glance:

  • 3 floodlight rugby pitches
  • Gym and fitness centre
  • Sports medicine facility
  • 8 lane Olympic sized swimming pool
  • Athletics track
  • Seminar rooms

What to expect

When you arrive at the academy a thorough assessment will be made of your strengths and weaknesses. This assessment provides the basis of your training programme at the academy. Performance objectives are set and continually reviewed as development occurs.

The academy has an in-house sports medicine facility which includes physiotherapy, massage therapists and sports physicians. You’ll have access to superb facilities to help improve all aspects of your game.


A typical weekly schedule on our 4 - 15 week programmes is shown below. At the academy, you will undertake a combination of strength and conditioning, specific skill sessions, sports psychology and general rugby education seminars. In addition, you'll also play matches with a club at the weekends and attend club practices during the week.

  Morning Afternoon
Monday 6am - 9am
4.30pm - 7pm
Personal Flexibility
Tuesday 8.30am - 10am
Individual Player Review
5pm - 8pm
Player Injury Assessment/Triage
Core Skill Development
Team Training with Club
Wednesday 9am - 12pm
Optional Gym Session
4.30pm - 7pm
Thursday 7am - 9am
Rehabilitation and Recovery
4.15pm - 8pm
Team Training with Club
Friday 9am-11.30am
Optional Gym Session
Saturday 9am - 12pm
Club Match
12.30pm - 7pm
Club Match
Sunday All Day
Rest and Optional Social

Social Life

Making the most of your time away

Travelling to the other side of the world to play sport is a truly once in a lifetime experience. So all Sport Lived programmes are designed to make sure that both your sporting life, and your social life, are as action packed and exciting as possible. That’s why you’ll always get…

Social events with Sport Lived

The cities you can visit with Sport Lived are some of the most exciting and welcoming on the planet, and there always seems to be something interesting going on. So to help you make the most of your time away, our local staff organise social events like trips to top sporting occasions, surfing lessons, welcome dinners and loads more besides. They’ll also try to assist you get tickets to events you want to watch while you're away, and give you expert advice on the best things to see and do in the city.

Membership of a local sports club

One of the best things about travelling with Sport Lived is that we arrange for you to join a local sports club. We handpick clubs with lots of members and different teams - some of whom have regular social events. Some clubs may offer preseason tours, and in the past some clubs have organised welcome events for new players. Trust us, you’ll feel like an old hand within a few days and the other members will make sure there’s never a dull moment!

A great place to stay in the centre of town

We offer programmes in some fantastic cities, and we know that to make the most of your time away, you need to be right in the centre of the action. So we make sure that your accommodation is in the heart of the city - just a short walk away from all the best cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and pretty much anything else you’ll ever need.

Like minded flatmates

Having a few friends to share your experiences with is a huge part of any foreign trip – they make the whole experience loads easier and loads more fun. So you’ll always share your swish city centre accommodation with other Sport Lived participants - that way you’ll have a ready-made group of friends from the minute you step off the plane!

Aged 15 – 17  

Thinking of attending our Rugby Academy over the Summer? Aged 15 – 17? You’re in luck. We offer an academy programme during July that has been specifically designed for enthusiastic rugby players aged 15 – 17 years.

During your time in Brisbane you will have daily rugby academy sessions where you will receive elite coaching and have access to outstanding facilities. You’ll also train and play matches for a local club where you can put the in to practice the skills you’ve developed at the academy. 

Whilst in Brisbane you will live a host family close to the academy where you will receive daily breakfast and an evening meal.  


Do you have to be a really good rugby player to attend the academy?
No. Players of all abilities can attend the rugby academy in Queensland where they’ll receive quality coaching and play matches to improve their game.

Where is the academy located?
The academy is in the suburb of St Lucia which lies around 4km outside central Brisbane. It takes around 15-20 minutes to travel from the city to the academy on public transport.

Do players on the programme play matches for a club?
Yes. All players on the programme train with a club during the week and play matches in Queensland’s Premier Rugby Competition at the weekends.

What type of visa should I obtain to attend the rugby academy in Brisbane?
The programmes are intensive so most players don’t work during their time at the academy. We therefore suggest that you obtain an Australian Tourist Visa which your travel agent should be able to organise for you. If you plan to extend your trip and work in Australia then you should obtain an Australian Working Holiday Visa. This visa enables you to live and work in Australia for up to 12 months.

Standard Accommodation

Choose our Standard Accommodation in Australia and you’ll live in a dorm room in a hostel or lodge. All our Standard pads are centrally located and provide easy access to public transport. This makes it easier to get to your sports club or coaching placement, as well as giving you the chance to try out all the bars, clubs and restaurants in the city centre.

At a glance:

  • Top quality hostel accommodation
  • Located close to transport and nightlife
  • Shared with Sport Lived participants
  • Meet travellers from around the world

Your place in Australia...

You’ll share a dorm room with other Sport Lived participants. You’ll get fully equipped kitchen facilities, a base for your belongings and large comfortable communal areas, so you can catch up with other Sport Lived participants and travellers from around the world.

NB: Illustrative accommodation pictures.

Premium Accommodation

Choose our Premium Accommodation in Australia and you’ll live in a 4 star apartment in the centre of town. Your sports club or coaching placement will be easily accessible by public transport and with lots of bars, clubs, restaurants and shops close by there are plenty of places to explore.

At a glance:

  • 4-star fully furnished apartments (twin rooms)
  • Located close to transport and nightlife
  • Shared with Sport Lived participants 
  • Relax! Most bills are included

Home from home...

Apartments are shared with other Sport Lived participants and include a 24 hour reception plus many mod-cons. Apartments are fully furnished including a TV, linen, kitchen appliances, washing machines, etc. They are also serviced weekly so you can spend your time having fun.

NB: Illustrative accommodation pictures.

Homestay Accommodation

We arrange for all players who attend the academy who are aged 15 – 17 to stay with a welcoming host family in Brisbane. You’ll live close to the University of Queensland campus making it easy for you to travel to all your academy sessions on public transport. Breakfast and an evening meal are provided leaving you with plenty of time to work hard on your game and enjoy all that Brisbane has to offer!

At a glance:

  • Quality homestay accommodation
  • Located close to sports club and academy
  • Daily breakfast and evening meal provided

Home from home...

You’ll have your own room in a beautiful house where you’ll live with a host family and other Sport Lived participants. Free Internet and two meals a day are also included in the price of the programme. 

What's Included?

Rugby Club
✓ Membership to a quality rugby club in Brisbane
✓ The opportunity to play and train with top Australian rugby players

Rugby Academy Training
✓ Elite rugby coaching
✓ Access to the outstanding rugby facilities at the University of Queensland
✓ The development of your game through intensive Rugby Academy sessions

✓ Shared centrally located accommodation
✓ Choice between a quality lodge or a 4 star apartment
✓ Free internet 

Overseas Staff Support
✓ Airport collection upon arrival
✓ Staff support
✓ Transport to the airport for your departure

Trip Essentials
✓ Sport Lived clothing
✓ Information pack upon arrival
✓ Introductory travel pass
✓ Sport Lived Australia handbook

Social Events
✓ Regular overseas social events e.g. surfing trips and tickets to great sporting events*
✓ Social events with your rugby club
*The social events arranged for our participants are dependent upon the length and time of their programme. Our participants are informed of these social events during their programme.

And finally…
✓ The rugby experience of a lifetime!

Book Now

Prices and Dates...
Location Duration From To Accommodation Price
Brisbane 4 weeks 08/01/2018 04/02/2018 Standard £ 3545 Book Now
Brisbane 5 weeks 08/01/2018 11/02/2018 Standard £ 4005 Book Now
Brisbane 6 weeks 08/01/2018 18/02/2018 Standard £ 4465 Book Now
Brisbane 8 weeks 08/01/2018 04/03/2018 Standard £ 5385 Book Now
Brisbane 4 weeks 26/02/2018 25/03/2018 Standard £ 3545 Book Now
Brisbane 5 weeks 26/02/2018 01/04/2018 Standard £ 4005 Book Now
Brisbane 6 weeks 26/02/2018 08/04/2018 Standard £ 4465 Book Now
Brisbane 7 weeks 26/02/2018 15/04/2018 Standard £ 4925 Book Now
Brisbane 8 weeks 26/02/2018 22/04/2018 Standard £ 5385 Book Now
Brisbane 9 weeks 26/02/2018 29/04/2018 Standard £ 5845 Book Now
Brisbane 10 weeks 26/02/2018 06/05/2018 Standard £ 6305 Book Now
Brisbane 11 weeks 26/02/2018 13/05/2018 Standard £ 6765 Book Now
Brisbane 12 weeks 26/02/2018 20/05/2018 Premium £ 8595 Book Now
Brisbane 12 weeks 26/02/2018 20/05/2018 Standard £ 7225 Book Now
Brisbane 13 weeks 26/02/2018 27/05/2018 Standard £ 7685 Book Now
Brisbane 14 weeks 26/02/2018 03/06/2018 Standard £ 8145 Book Now
Brisbane 15 weeks 26/02/2018 10/06/2018 Standard £ 8605 Book Now
Brisbane 5 weeks 04/06/2018 08/07/2018 Standard £ 4005 Book Now
Brisbane 4 weeks 25/06/2018 22/07/2018 Standard £ 3545 Book Now
Brisbane 5 weeks 25/06/2018 29/07/2018 Standard £ 4005 Book Now
Brisbane 6 weeks 25/06/2018 05/08/2018 Standard £ 4465 Book Now
Brisbane 4 weeks 02/07/2018 29/07/2018 Homestay £ 3895 Book Now

N.B. Damage Bond £300 (Premium Accommodation only)

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