HIGH PERFORMANCE ACADEMY
The Otago Rugby High Performance Academy is an exciting opportunity for local and domestic talented young rugby athletes to discover a pathway in the game while upskilling themselves on all aspects off and on the field. The programme supports all accepted athletes whether they are studying or in the work force and also offers multiple avenues of support while these athletes take in the demands of possible professional rugby.
The benefits we have at Otago Rugby is the support of Otago University and Otago Polytech with a wide range of educational opportunities within a stone’s throw of the academy which is based at Forsyth Barr Stadium. The facilities and services that are available are a High-Performance gym facility, access to Bunnings NPC and Farah Palmer Cup coaches and staff, medical personnel, Sportscode video review facilities and also the pathway opportunity with the Highlanders.
While at the academy all athletes will be guided on their personal development through the six pillars of New Zealand Rugby; technical, tactical, physical, nutrition, mental skills, personal life skills and will be assisted by multiple qualified staff within Otago Rugby.
OTAGO ACADEMY PLAYERS
WOMENS HIGH PERFORMANCE (2+ YEARS)
WOMEN'S ACADEMY (1-2 YEARS)
TE ATAWHAI CAMPBELL
OTAGO ACADEMY NEWS
2023 Men's Academy Wrap Up
It has been another big year for the Otago Rugby Academy with a large number of our players gaining representative honours on provincial, franchise and national stages.
In March, twelve Academy players represented the Highlanders U20 side, and one the NZ Barbarians at the Bunnings Super Rugby U20 tournament in Taupo. Following this tournament, Ajay Faleafaga and Will Stodart were selected for the New Zealand U20 side that travelled to Cape Town to compete at the 2023 Junior World Cup. Finn Hurley also gained national recognition by representing New Zealand U20 in their matches vs Australia pre - World Cup.
Provincial recognition came throughout the representative season from August – October for a huge number of our players. Academy players Josh Whaanga, Jeremiah Asi, Ajay Faleafaga, Finn Hurley, Will Stodart and Rohan Wingham all made their full Otago NPC debuts. Ale Aho, Harry Press, Heath McEwan and Aaron Withy played for the Otago Development XV while Josh Dent, Sam Nemec Vial, Rueben Palmer, Kyan Rangitutia, Moana Takataka, Max Ratcliffe, Jack Timu and Stan MClure represented Otago U19 at the South Island U19 tournament. Finally, Oli Foote represented King Country in the Heartland Championship.
Following the provincial season, Ajay Faleafaga signed a full Super Rugby contract with the Highlanders from 2024 and Will Stodart, Rohan Wingham and Finn Hurley from 2025 and we are very proud as a staff that our Academy continues to be a launching pad for players into fully fledged professional careers.
To round off a great year for our Men’s Academy, five players were selected to attend the NZU19 camp in Wellington; Josh Whaanga, AOne Lolofie, Rueben Palmer, Moana Takataka and Max Ratcliffe. At the conclusion of the camp Josh, AOne, Rueben and Moana all received National Development contracts for 2024.
Ed Lea (Academy Head of Strength and Conditioning)
Marik Boukehil (Academy Trainer)
Will Henry (Set Piece Coach)
Hanna Zouggari (Nutritionist)
Jason McKenzie (Mental Skills)
Jason MacDonald (Resource Coach)
Amanda Slade (Professional Development Manager)
Otago Academy Manager
2023 Women's High Perfomance
The Otago Women's High Performance Programme has had a successful year with many players gaining representative honours at provincial, franchise and national level. These talented and determined athletes have shown their commitment to excellence both on and off the field. With their unwavering dedication to their craft, they have elevated the game and set a new standard for women's rugby in Otago. They have taken every training session and match as an opportunity for growth and development, and they seized it with enthusiasm and determination. Their success is a testament to their hard work, resilience, and the unwavering support of the community that surrounds them.
2023 began with four players, Cheyenne Cunningham, Georgia Cormick, Eilis Doyle and Leah Miles all representing Matatu (Winning Super Rugby Aupiki team), a fantastic achievement for all involved. The 2024 Super Aupiki Squads have since been announced with the above four returning and two new players in Maia Joseph and Tegan Hollows, gaining selection after an impressive FPC campaign, boosting our number to six Super players.
A further highlight was having four players selected in the Black Ferns XV selected to play Samoa in September. Great achievement by Cheyenne Cunningham, Maia Joseph, Eilis Doyle and Leah Miles.
Our up and coming players have also represented the NZ Maori U18, NZ Barbarians U18 and attended the recent NZ U20 Camp held in Lincoln. Reaffirming that the future looks bright for the High Performance Programme.
Amanda Slade (Professional Development Manager)
Black Ferns XV
Super Rugby Aupiki - Matatu
Te Atawhai Campbell
NZ Maori U18
NZ Barbarians U18
NZ U20 Camp
Tonga National Squad
We are very proud of the players achievements in 2022 and our resource staff are dedicated and exceptional in their fields and represent the driving force behind our Women’s HP programme. We will leave no stone unturned in the future to ensure that our players are given every opportunity to succeed both on and off the field and this is very exciting for all concerned with the direction the Women’s game is heading.
OTAGO ACADEMY PHOTOS
OTAGO RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Gate J, Level 2a, 130 Anzac Avenue, Dunedin 9016Postal: PO Box 691, Dunedin 9054(03) email@example.com
OUR PROVINCE | OUR COMMUNITY | OUR GAME