Men's rugby
academy programme

Rugby Academy Ireland provides aspiring Irish, European and international rugby players a comprehensive full-time 8 month training programme (Sept – April) with an optional extra one month travel package. Players can also join the programme on shorter periods and can choose between full and half board options.

What to expect

Course content

Rugby Academy Ireland draws on the expertise of highly qualified, experienced and skilled coaches, tutors and mentors to deliver a fully accredited and certified educational programme that provides a pathway for students to achieve their personal goals and full potential, preparing them for a future in rugby either as a player, coach or referee.

Students can choose between short and longer term courses with both residential and non-residential options.


Rugby development with fully accredited qualifications

Rugby Training

  • Individual skill sessions
  • Individual position specific sessions
  • Irish club team training

Strength & conditioning

  • Individual programme
  • Speed development
  • Agility/Quickness training
  • Hand/eye coordination


  • ITEC personal trainer qualification
  • ITEC strength and conditioning certificate
  • Sport Psychology diploma
  • SAQ level 1-4
  • Speed development
  • NAC sport video analysis certificate
  • IRB coach and referee qualification

Personal Development

  • Variety of classes from nutrition, cooking, mental, career guidance, leadership development, social media, public speaking, community work etc.
Investing in a career in rugby

How much does it cost?

Cost of attending the Rugby Academy varies according to the duration of the programme the player chooses, the educational courses they study and whether full or half board is required. We recommend you contact us for a player specific quotation so that you receive the best mix of a professional rugby and educational sessions, especially tailored to your needs.

Cost includes:

  •  Accommodation for residential players
  • Three healthy meals and snacks (Mon-Fri)
  • Cost related to local/overseas club trials (excluding flights)
  • Training and casual gear package by BLK
  • All training and tutor sessions as per program
  • All educational material and tutors for courses specified
  • Continuous report on academic and rugby performance
  • Develop a modern CV for each player
  • Airport transfers to and from the Academy
  • All strength and conditioning sessions and programming
  • Lifestyle skills programs
  • Norma Tec recovery room usage
  • Weekly sports massage rehabilitation session
Cost will exclude:

  • Medical, dental or physiotherapy cost
  • Medical, personal and travel insurance
  • Costs relating to the “non optional” educational program
  • Visa if applicable

Download the brochure for the full time rugby academy programme

What do previous players say?

Past rugby academy players and participants share their experiences

Spencer Loughman

Hear how Spencer is now travelling the world with his rugby

Gauthier Petit

Gauthier is the best Belgium scrum half of his generation.

David Upton

David from Belgium shares his experience of the Rugby Academy in Ireland

David Selby

David from the USA shares his experience of the Rugby Academy in Ireland

Stefan Du Plessis

Stefan from South Africa shares (in Afrikaans) his experience of the Rugby Academy

First-hand experiences

Sending our son Stefan to Ireland was one of the biggest decisions of our lives. All he wanted was to play rugby and just needed a fair chance to achieve his goals. Not only did he achieve that but he also got trials for Italy!

Charl du PlessisParent from South Africa

A professional setup in a great environment with friendly and extremely knowledgeable coaches. The academy is everything it says it is on paper and more. You can only get better both on and off the pitch from attending it. Thank you for a great year where Johan and Dan helped me to find a newborn appreciation for rugby.

David UptonAcademy student from Belgium

It is an excellent pathway if you are interested in living and training like a professional and whatever your rugby requirements are –an aspiring professional or as a player wanting to improve and develop your game, I would highly recommend the RAI programme to help you achieve your goals.

Conor Nesbitt2019 Men's Academy player

Contact us to find out more!

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Rugby Academy Ireland is proud to work alongside: