Almost 300 of Australia’s most promising junior Rugby players will travel to Armidale this week to take part in the Abigroup National Rugby Camp at the University of New England.
Jim Williams, assistant coach of the Wallabies, will lead the camp, which will run from the 17th to the 20th of January.
The Rugby Camp, which has been held annually in Armidale since the early 1980s, has been in recent years under the auspices of the New England Rugby Union. This year, the camp has gained the support of the Australian Rugby Union (ARU).
“This year’s Rugby Camp will be greatly enhanced by the support of the ARU,” said David Schmude, Executive Director of Sport UNE and Director of the Rugby Camp, “particularly with the attendance of Australian Rugby coaching staff such as Jim Williams and Patricia Noriego. Their presence has enabled the camp to attract promising Rugby juniors, aged between 8 and 17, from all over Australia. The opportunity of having this quality coaching staff on hand will be a real boost for kids in regional areas.”
“The Armidale camps have raised the profile of Rugby in our regional communities, and have been a great Rugby nursery,” Mr Schmude said. “This year’s program offers varied opportunities for the development of skills and the encouragement of sportsmanship. And it will give regional kids a chance to ‘rub shoulders’ with current Wallabies and Waratah players and receive expert coaching.
“We are very much looking forward to the participation of current Wallabies and Waratah players Benn Robinson and Luke Burgess at our camp, building on the relationship that has helped to promote junior Rugby in regional areas.”
The ARU’s High Performance Unit and Junior Gold coaching staff will be providing on-field coaching for the budding Rugby players as well as running coach and referee education courses in conjunction with the camp. Junior Gold scouts are hoping to identify a handful of promising players to be included in the national development program.
About 160 of the players visiting Armidale will be staying at UNE’s Robb College, along with the Australian Rugby coaches.