nike rugby camp

San Diego NIKE Rugby Camp 2015

By | Rugby Camps, Scrum Training, Youth Coaching | No Comments

NIKE Rugby Camp returns to San Diego from July 29th – August 1st.

NIKE has lined up an accomplished coaching staff including

USA 7s stars:

  • Andrew Duratalo,
  • Garret Bender,
  • Mike Teo,
  • Stephen Tomasin,

and USA 15s players:

  • Brian Doyle,
  • Zach Pangelinan
  • and Kalei Konrad.

Over  35% of the High School All American team in 2015 was comprised of previous NIKE campers. High School All American Coach Salty Thompson endorses the NIKE Rugby Camp System.

Additionally at NIKE Camp in 2015, Alex Ross will be on staff. Ross is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Auckland Blues Super 15 side. Ross was also an assistant with the All Black 7s and 15s sides in 2015.

Players at NIKE Camp receive individual instruction from players who have played at the highest level. This is a great opportunity to improve your game.
You can register at

3 Simple Defensive Tips from Englands Andy Farrel

By | Defense, Tackle Training, Youth Coaching | No Comments

Here are 3  simple defensive tips from Englands Defense coach Andy Farrel

  1. Have enough width to cover the whole field. Don’t let the attacking team see opportunities on the wings.
  2. Come up square and be able to defend on your left and right. try not to drift.
  3. Aim through the attacker and control the collision, “Don’t just tickle him”.

Andy Farrell’s three top tips for a grassroots defence

England U18 Rugby Coach Mic’d up Vs Australia

By | Youth Coaching | No Comments

“Every time you give an instruction you’re taking that decision away from the player.”

With exclusive access, RFUtv mic’d up England Under 18 Head Coach John Fletcher during the win over Australian Schools earlier this month for an insight into his coaching philosophy.

Have a watch on now as England U18 Rugby Coach Fletcher explains how he works to get the best out of the next generation of England internationals:

Basic Rugby Skills Wins Matches

By | Rugby Training, Youth Coaching | No Comments

Basic Rugby Skills

Top coaches all agree. Rugby matches are won with fine execution of the basic rugby skills, rather than extravagant moves. The same principles can be applied at every level of the game, from elite to grassroots.

Some of the most important basic rugby skills are:

  • simple passing & spin passing
  • catching
  • tackling
  • rucking
  • mauling
  • kicking
  • basic positional specific skills


Photo Attribute: Chris St Cartmail

USA Concussion policy

Official USA Rugby Concussion Policy

By | Fitness, Youth Coaching | No Comments

USA Rugby Concussion Policy

USA Rugby places player welfare and safety at the very top of our priorities. This is especially true with concussions and head injuries. USA Rugby’s concussion policy is intended to follow the International Rugby Board’s Regulation 10, and follows the “5 Rs” of concussion awareness: Recognize, Remove, Refer, Recover and Return. We must ALL play smart and be smart when it comes to concussions (see below Concussion Education and Resources section).

Official USA Rugby Concussion Policy

USA Rugby Concussion PolicyAs part of the USA Rugby policy in accordance with IRB regulations, if a player has suffered a concussion or a suspected concussion, he or she must be immediately removed from play. The player should then be referred to and evaluated by a qualified healthcare professional to determine if the athlete has sustained a concussion. It is imperative that the athlete does not return to play until he or she is symptom-free and has been cleared for return to play by a qualified healthcare professional. USA Rugby strongly recommends that the player complete the GRTP (Graduated Return To Play) procedure prior to return to full play and competition. Know the “5 R’s”

Know the 5 Rs

USA Rugby’s policy requires that ALL rugby players, staff, parents, referees, volunteers, and even fans follow these five basic steps when dealing with suspected concussions:

  1. Recognize – Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion so you understand when an athlete might have a suspected concussion.
  2. Remove – If an athlete has a concussion or even a suspected concussion he or she must be removed from play immediately.
  3. Refer – Once removed from play, the player should be referred immediately to a qualified healthcare professional who is trained in evaluating and treating concussions.
  4. Recover – Full recovery from the concussion is required before return to play is authorized. This includes being symptom-free. Rest and some specific treatment options are critical for the health of the injured participant.
  5. Return – In order for safe return to play in rugby, the athlete must be symptom-free and cleared in writing by a qualified healthcare professional who is trained in evaluating and treating concussions. USA Rugby strongly recommends that the athlete complete the GRTP (Graduated Return to Play) protocol.

“USA Rugby believes in a ‘brains over brawn’ philosophy when it comes to player welfare and head injuries in particular. There is no single play or game worth suffering from a brain injury, and we must all be smart, educated and informed when it comes to player safety issues. Players need to throw pride out the window and NEVER attempt to ‘tough out’ a head injury,” said Nigel Melville, President and CEO of USA Rugby. “Let’s play head’s up rugby out there and commit to taking good care of one another through education and responsible action.”

Check out the full post here with more resources

Schoolboy Rugby Deserves Better

By | Youth Coaching | No Comments

Keith Richardson, Headmaster of Wynberg Boys’ High has wise words for rugby fans and advice for parents of players.

Hard on the heels of the Craven Week rugby festival, numerous articles have appeared in the media about schoolboy rugby players being ‘bought’ and ‘sold’ as well as all manner of unsavoury snippets of criticism, speculation and plain old gossip.

Pertinent to this, Keith Richardson, Headmaster of Wynberg Boys’ High in Cape Town, wrote the piece below, which puts matters succinctly into perspective:

“Of all Mankind’s great inventions, few have succeeded in capturing the imagination more than sport. Soon we are about to witness the greatest sporting pageant of all, the spectacular Summer Olympic Games. Sport has a fascination for all of us. It has the power to inspire, to enthuse, to entertain.

It is ironic on the eve of the greatest sporting show on earth, that the local newspapers have been filled with the shenanigans on school rugby fields. Referees have been denigrated, player behaviour condemned and parental and coach over-reaction censured. The notion that sport is a pleasurable pastime has been side-lined. The camaraderie, the fellowship of sport, triumph over adversity, the lessons of defeat, the hard work in accomplishing victory have been forgotten in the heat of recrimination.

Somehow in it all, we have forgotten that in the hierarchy of values of a school, sportsmanship must be ranked only marginally below scholarship. Adults, including coaches, parents and referees, should be unified in ensuring the time-honoured ethics of sport are maintained on our school sports fields – to play hard, but fairly; to accept defeat and smile when shaking the hand of an opponent; to be competitive but at the same time co-operative because, without your opponent, there is no game.

A few years back a local journalist, disillusioned after a disappointing Stormers game, wrote that from now on he would only be watching school rugby. “It has a youthful innocence” he said, “unsullied by cups, leagues and points.”

And he is correct. Schoolboy rugby teams tend to play with enthusiasm and passion and, when well-coached, with an absence of fear. Coaches of schoolboy rugby sides who release their players from negative and safety first tactics soon find their players reveling in the positive enjoyment of displaying their talent.

It is these coaches who have realised the true reason why we play sport at school. It is not played for the benefit or the glory of the school or the egos of the coaches or the ambitions of the parents – it is played for the benefit of the players.

Whatever the level of the schoolboy player, we want him to learn the lessons of sport – because they are lessons of life. In the end, these lessons will develop confidence and self-esteem in the player and he will learn as a young sportsman that bitterness and sweetness are opposite sides of the same coin.

As he advances through high school, the young sportsman soon realises that the natural ability which carried him through Junior School is no longer enough. As the competition becomes keener, those players start coming to the fore who were lucky enough to learn the lessons early in their school lives that only commitment to hard work and the ability to fight back from disappointments, are the foundations for a successful sporting life.

Sometimes these lessons are learnt more effectively after losing a match or being dropped to a C or D team. Schoolboys do not easily learn messages from winning because they fail to examine their performance as they bask in the congratulatory glow of parents and friends.

On the other hand, losing really does say something about a young sportsman. His reaction to a loss is important. Does he blame others? Does he complain about bad luck? Does he analyse his failure? Does it increase his determination?

In the book, “The Hansie Cronje Story? by Garth King, the author remarks that Hansie never lost a rugby game in his career at Grey College. One can only wonder what lessons Hansie missed because of that.

The role of parents in the development of any sportsman is vital. In my career as a sports coach and schoolmaster, I have seldom come across a truly successful schoolboy sportsman who was not well parented. Parental support, as opposed to parental pressure, invariably determines whether a young player will learn the proper lessons. Some time ago, I sent the following advice to parents:

• Support your son and attend the matches, whatever side he is in.
• Always be there for him, especially in the ‘down times’.
• By all means set the bar for him – but always praise his achievements especially when he has tried hard to reach this bar.
• Praise effort and commitment – much more than results.
• Never criticise the coach as it will confuse the players. It not only divides loyalty, but offers an excuse. Don’t fall for the common South African sporting curse of blaming the coach or referee.
• Never over-emphasize winning as it will only lead to a fear of failure. One of the curses of schoolboy sport is an unbeaten season.
• Do not relive your own sporting career (or lack of it!) through your son. This leads to frustration and disappointment on both sides.
• Be a true sporting spectator. Let the referee handle the game and let your son make his own mistakes. He will learn more that way.

All parents want what is best for their sons – but then so does every coach and every school. If we expect our players to behave like sportsman on the field, then it is important for adults not to behave like children on the side-lines.

Some years ago in America, the authorities imposed a noise ban on parents and coaches in the Northern Ohio Girls Soccer league. Spectators were instructed to keep their cheers and criticism to themselves. Some parents waved signs; others put duct tape over their mouths to stay quiet. Goals and saves were met by smiles and nods of approval from parents and coaches. This was an effort to put sport back into perspective after rowdy parents disrupted games and frustrated players. Presumably the point was made – but it was not reported whether these measures had a lasting impact!

There is no doubt that sport can play a pivotal role in education and it is our job as parents and teachers to help our children cope with the pressures of today’s highly competitive world.

As we marvel at the proficiency and expertise of the athletes at the upcoming Olympics, let us at the same time applaud the commitment which saw them reach the pinnacle of sporting success. Yet, somewhere in their past, I hope they too, had a coach like I had, who once said to me: “The next sixty minutes you are about to play will never be repeated. Make the most of every minute.”

Elite Youth Rugby Camp

2012 ELITE Rugby Youth Summer Camps

By | Rugby Training, Youth Coaching | No Comments

Elite Youth Rugby CampInstruction at each ELITE camp is led by Matt Sherman. Matt is the Head Coach at Stanford University and was the USA Backs Coach for the 2011 World Cup. Matt will be joined by USA players Colin Hawley, Mark Bokhoven, Nic Johnson, James Paterson, Duncan Kelm, Alex Ross and many more.

At each camp we focus on proper fundamentals that help players of all skill levels excel in the modern game. Only after players have mastered these crucial fundamentals do we move on to more advanced techniques.

As Sherman stated, “We are thrilled about the venues, locations, and coaching staff for our upcoming summer camps. Each location features some of the nations finest rugby facilities. The camps are located in the nucleus of many of the leading youth and high school rugby regions in the country, making them accessible to more players. Lastly, as always we are committed to bringing the finest coaching and playing talent in the country to our campers. The summer of 2012 will be no exception as ELITE campers will get the opportunity to learn from the best.”

Register to be ELITE Trained today, as all of the ELITE Summer Camps will fill up quickly in 2012. .


ELITE at Stanford University 

July 9th – July 12th

ELITE at Stanford Flier and Registration Form


ELITE at Infinity Park, Glendale CO

July 13th – July 16th

ELITE at Infinity Park Flier and Registration Form


ELITE at University of Oregon

July 19th – July 22nd

ELITE at Oregon Flier and Registration Form


ELITE at the Olympic Training Center 

July 25th – July 28th

ELITE at the OTC Flier and Registration Form


*Group, team and sibling discounts are available for all ELITE Camps. For more information contact ELITE Director Ethan Willis at or 619-829-5420.