The first week of the school holidays has seen over 270 young rugby players take part in the U18’s franchise camps for Year 12 and 13 students.
A variety of presenters covered off and on-field skills including tactical, technical, nutrition, mental skills, professional rugby protocols, personal leadership, self-awareness, contracts, personal development and the expectations of a professional rugby player.
In a new initiative, the young players have been the first in the country to receive new education material developed by senior players through the New Zealand Rugby Players Association (NZRPA). The material includes are a series of videos filmed by the NZRPA and a Players’ Own Handbook which features useful tips and advice from senior players for the players in the 15-19 age group.
On the camps, NZRPA representative Kevin Senio has placed a strong focus on encouraging young people and their families to get good independent advice when making rugby decisions to ensure they fully understand the situation. NZRPA offer a free advice service to players and can be contacted via phone on 0800 PLAYER.
NZRPA Players Service Manager Kevin Senio said “The camps are a vital part of helping young players understand the important messages around growth and development, the enjoyment of sport and taking advantage of the opportunities that you can get through rugby.”
As part of a relationship established last year with Outward Bound, the Hurricanes awarded Tyler Moeau from Manawatu a scholarship to attend a 21 day Classic Outward Bound Course. The course recipient is selected by the coaches based on non-rugby performance and is based on general attitude, character, commitment and self-drive shown over the course of the camp.
With the exception of the Highlanders the teams will play against each other with the U18’s Crusaders v Hurricanes the curtain raiser to the senior teams Super Rugby encounter at Westpac Stadium and the Blues v Chiefs matches on Sunday at St Paul’s with the first match kicking off at 12.30pm and the second match at 2pm.
The camps are a vital part of helping young players understand the important messages around growth and development, the enjoyment of sport and taking advantage of the opportunities that you can get through rugby. - Kevin Senio