About Us

We are Rugby Academy Ireland, a game-breaking, full time rugby academy based in County Kildare, in the province of Leinster, Ireland. We are Ireland’s first fully independent rugby academy for aspiring professional rugby players, aiming to revolutionise the game by offering ambitious, hard-working individuals an exceptional opportunity to exponentially enhance their rugby and life skills, uniquely preparing them for success in professional rugby.

The academy is led by Dan van Zyl and Johan Taylor, two highly experienced international coaches and World Rugby Educators, with an exceptional support team of coaches, mentors and tutors across a wide array of specialist areas, collectively focused on taking individual player performance to the next level.

Based on the grounds of the beautiful Killashee Hotel, the programme operates on a full and half board basis, with facilities that include a state of the art gym, swimming pool, indoor training area, flood lit astro and grass pitches, conference facilities and video analysis room.

The Academy programme is tailored specifically to the needs of each player, ensuring that the individual is fully supported within the collective team environment. This player-centric approach extends to include a comprehensive career development offering, with opportunity to complete various high level certified coaching and educational courses.

Rugby Academy Ireland will use it’s connections with leading European clubs to create player placement opportunities locally and abroad, providing a hugely valuable pathway for the most ambitious and talented players to progress within the game.


  • PLAYERS – to maximise the potential of all attendees across rugby, education and personal development
  • RUGBY – to become the ultimate standard bearer for independent rugby development of aspiring pro rugby players
  • SOCIAL – to contribute in a positive and socially responsible way to the development of rugby globally


We believe the game should be played in a positive manner where attack is based on defence and vice versa, where players should be able and have the freedom to make their own decisions according to the pace of the ball and the opposition in front of them.

We believe in a realignment multiphase game where forwards should act as backs and vice versa, while maintaining the principles of play of GO FORWARD, POSESSION, SUPPORT, PRESSURE.


To create an environment of learning, challenge and enjoyment by using an interactive approach to coaching. We strive to improve the player’s tactical awareness, through a game centred approach, combined with  the technical aspects around the core skills and fundamentals of the game.


The lifestyle will be determined by the individual themselves through dedication and commitment to their career within the game. Although our main aim is the development of the rugby athlete, we want every attendee to become a better individual through the modules we will deliver. Self-discipline and reflection will play a huge part in our programme and ultimately, the future success of the player in professional sport.

We want to create a lifestyle in the Academy where the attendee has everything they need to maximise their potential, ensuring that they have the supported environment to be allow them to become fully independent and self-aware.

We will develop the leadership, accountability and responsibility of all attendees to themselves and those around them so that he or she becomes a more rounded individual.

The lifestyle will support the attendee’s development both as a person and as a player.