Rugby Union: Academy in Australia


The Sport Lived Rugby Academy in Melbourne 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 Rugby Academy for 6 - 13 weeks from February to May. On both programmes you’ll train every day Monday to Friday and play matches for a local rugby club at the weekends.

Whilst in Melbourne you’ll live 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.

Chris Duffy

  • ARU Accredited Level 2
  • First Class BA Honours in Sports Managemnt
  • Scotch College U16s Head Coach
  • Director of Junior Rugby Moorabin Rams
  • All Schools Commmunity Coach (UK)
  • Rugby Programme Development Coach (USA)


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 areas such as passing technique, 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 programme, players have access to a physiotherapist who will treat injuries and provide injury prevention advice.

Players take part in either pool, pilates or flexibility sessions 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 programme.


In addition to training at the academy, you’ll join a rugby club in Melbourne where you’ll attend mid-week training sessions and play matches at the weekends. Playing for a local club will enable you to put the academy coaching into practice in weekly competitive matches. It also enables you to integrate into the local community, meet new people and make new friends. 


Most academy sessions are held at rugby clubs in Melbourne that have excellent facilities and are located in Melbourne's inner suburbs. All strength and conditioning sessions are held at ProSport Fitness which is an elite performance centre used by professional sports teams in Melbourne. The facilities at ProSport Fitness include a high performance gym, an altitude chamber and hot and cold baths used during recovery sessions. 

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 6 - 13 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 Recovery, Strength & Conditioning Gym
Tuesday Technical Training, Strength & Conditioning Tactical Session, Game Development Session, Team Training with Club
Wednesday Strength & Conditioning Gym
Thursday Technical Training, Strength & Conditioning, Pilates Athlete Development, Team Training with Club
Friday Strength & Conditioning Rest
Saturday   Club Match
Sunday 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!


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 Melbourne where they’ll receive quality coaching and play matches to improve their game.

Where is the academy located?
The academy is held in several locations within the suburbs of Melbourne. It is easy 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 Victoria's Rugby Competition at the weekends.

What type of visa should I obtain to attend the rugby academy in Melbourne?
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 you can apply for online. 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.

What's Included?

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

Rugby Academy Training
✓ Elite rugby coaching
✓ Access to the outstanding rugby facilities
✓ 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!

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