The second phase of the Investec International Rugby Academy South Africa (IRASA) kicked off with an advanced course at Michaelhouse in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Sunday.
And Springbok assistant coach Dick Muir, who heads up IRASA, said he was thrilled to bring the academy to his home province and is delighted with the progress shown so far.
“Following the success of the first high performance course in Pretoria, we were naturally a little apprehensive about the second,” Muir said fromMichaelhouse, where he is facilitating the week-long course along with a collection of the game’s top coaches and former players.
“But we have enjoyed the same levels of commitment and accomplishment. Not only is the course at full capacity with 15 coaches and 30 players, but we’ve also managed to attract an Englishman and two Scotsman.”
The coaches and players have been put through their paces from sunrise to sunset since Sunday. The seven-day Advanced Coaches’ Course, which will run throughout the week before ending on Saturday, is aimed at ambitious club, age-grade representative and school coaches. It runs alongside an Advanced Players’ Course for promising rugby players aged 16 to 18 years.
“It’s been a busy couple of days, packed with activities, but it’s going great. I don’t want to single anyone out, but I’ve already identified some impressive youngsters, especially from Westville High and Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool.”
The Investec International Rugby Academy South Africa is based on the original International Rugby Academy which was started in New Zealand in 2001 by former All Black Murray Mexted. The courses are aimed at providing intensive, high-level rugby tuition to players and coaches seeking a career in the game, or those already involved.
“Rugby has grown rapidly over the last few years. It’s become a truly global sport. We believe the Investec International Rugby Academy South Africa in filling the real demand for quality rugby education,” said Muir.
“This course allows coaches and players to interact with top coaches and ex-players such as Hugh Reece-Edwards, Johan Ackermann, Gary Teichmann, Naas Botha, Ian MacDonald, Albert van den Berg, Dougie Heymans, John Allan, Garth Wright, Ray Mordt and Breyton Paulse.
“They work with and learn from these leading figures in the game, and without the academy, such an opportunity would never otherwise have been there.”Tweet