The Investec International Rugby Academy hosted an Advanced Players and Coaches course at St Stithians College in Bryanston last week. The exclusive few who applied for the prestigious course spent a week with some of the world’s best rugby coaches and experts in their field. Twenty seven players aged 16 – 18 years old and fourteen coaches who attended enjoyed receiving first-hand knowledge from Dick Muir (Assistant Springbok Coach), Louis Koen (Course Facilitator and Ex springbok flyhalf), John Mitchell (Lions Coach) including other rugby greats like Braam van Straaten (Team Coach and Backs Coach), Joost van der Westhuizen, Johan Ackerman, John Allan, Dean Hall and Ian Mac Donald to name a few.

Recently the Investec International Rugby Academy (IIRA) held a training course at St Stithians for high school rugby players from around the country.

South African rugby legends, Joost van der Westhuizen and Ian MacDonald, were on hand to teach the potential future starts a few ‘old dog’ tricks of the trade.

“The purpose of all this is to help these kids reach their full potential,” said Dick Muir, director of IIRA and assistant coach to the Springboks.

While the IIRA hopes to develop and nurture the talent that could represent SA rugby overseas, that is not it’s only goal.

“Even if none of these players become superstars, they’ll take lessons and friendships away from these courses that they can use for the rest of their lives,” said Muir.

It wasn’t only players that were benefitting from coaching by former international professionals. High school coaches were in attendance to learn training methods and tactics they could take back to introduce to their own teams.

“We’re helping the sport in this country from the ground up. Teaching both players and coaches so that they can go back and utilise what they’ve learned here,” said Muir.

This course is highly recommended to aspiring young players who want to fast track their career and for coaches who want to up-skill their coaching ability and interact with powerful minds of the game. Since the onset of rugby’s professional era, it has become, for many, a career, and with the caliber of youngsters that we interacted with last week, we can say with certainty that it’s shaping SA’s future rugby heroes.

The Investec International Rugby Academy Team played a mixed team from various schools and the Investec International Rugby Academy team won convincingly 38 – 24 in an entertaining game.

A special acknowledgement to all our presenters and coaches who gave of their time to share their cutting edge knowledge and provide for an overwhelming experience for all who attended.