Announcement - Development Programs a Hit in the USA

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University of Queensland Rugby Academy

The University of Queensland Rugby Academy (UQRA) have recently returned home after a successful month long tour of the USA (Oct/Nov 2006).

Featuring former Wallabies Nick Stiles and James Holbeck, the UQRA travelled through four states presenting a series of coach and player development programs to more than 40 coaches and 200 players.

Coaching clinics were held at Stanford University and Trinity College (Hartford), as well as specialised coaching at Yale, which incorporated video analysis, individual player feedback and targeted session design.

Head coach of Stanford University Jonathan Griffin, said he was impressed with the quality of the clinics.

"I found the coaching seminar not just generally informative but technically specific, up-to-date and very relevant to the modern game at our level," Mr Griffin said.

The Academy also held a private introductory player development camp at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and an open advanced player and coach development camp at Arizona State University, Tempe.

Director of the UQRA and former ACT Brumbies Academy head coach, Nick Leah, said he was pleased with how the tour went.

"Overall I think the US tour was a real success," Mr Leah said.

"We had a good level of attendance at all the camps and the feedback from coaches and players has been really encouraging."

Mr Leah contributed the success to the Academy's continually improving focus on the products on offer.

"Being an independent body, we've been able to constantly update the program to reflect the current practices of rugby and incorporate research coming from both the High Performance Player Development Program and the UQ school of Human Movements," he said.

Former USA Eagles player Mike Purcell praised the UQRA's camps.

"I have attended many coaching courses over the years and I found the UQ camp to be the most useful one I have ever been to," he said

"Having coaches available that are actively involved in professional rugby in Australia was tremendous."

This was further supported by USA under 19s coach Salty Thompson.
"I'd recommend it to any level coach interested in developing his or her knowledge and understanding of the game."

Head coach of the UQRA Nick Stiles, said the clinics and camps provided an excellent opportunity for US players and coaches to take their rugby to a new level.

"Players and coaches received the latest information on technical, tactical and decision-making aspects of the game, as well as the latest sports-science information specific to rugby union," Mr Stiles said.

"We are confident every player and coach walked away with a great experience and new skills they can now take back to their club to practice and incorporate into their upcoming season."

The UQRA is looking at running further camps in America in February, August and October, 2007.

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