Rugby Union

Rugby Union

Want to take the next step in your Rugby Union career?

The IAS Rugby Union Program is designed to support the developmental needs of the regions young talented players by providing industry leading high-performance sport development programs. Scholarships are offered for a 12-month period commencing in October and concluding in September. However, there is a heavier focus on the program from September through to April. The aim of the program is to provide additional skill development on top of club, representative or school-based training.

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The program will provide coaching, training and competition to improve athlete development with a view to:

  • Develop the fundamental skill level of athletes which will enhance their opportunities for selection into NSW State Teams
  • Prepare athletes to a level where their transition to any NSW State Team is ‘seamless’ in terms of programs or pathways
  • Increase the level of success of those athletes at competition and events in Rugby competitions nationwide
  • Provide an introduction and progression into sport specific strength and conditioning
  • Provide education around athletic development as well as personal development in topics such as Nutrition, Sport Psychology, Media Skills / Public Speaking, Youth Leadership, Drugs in Sport
  • The program will conduct weekly skills based and strength and conditioning training to which attendance is expected.

2021-22 Staff

Tony Leeder-Smith, Head Coach

Ian Westwood, Assistant Coach

Scott Hatch, Assistant Coach

Grace Blackmore, Manager

2021-22 Squad

Angela Agavale

Veronica Agavale

Rishabh Arcot

Bailey Blackwell

William Carter

Deklyn Chambers

Rebecca Cusack

Ben Dolan

Daniel Duggan

Jackson Farland

Sarah Heaton

Jacob Kolitagane

Mary Ledger

Lauryna Malaesilia

Jayden Mazoudier

Cruz McGuinness

Kade McQuiggin

Oliver Miles

Mikaere Miller

Grace Moylan

Laylah Moylan

George Newell

Hannah Newell

Peter Pantsos

Maria Paseka

Jayda Patrick

Kianu Rawiri

Taye Rawiri

Keenan Seales

Max Sutton

Bethany Whitnall

Digby Woods

*Rugby squad is not finalised until approved by IAS Board. Additional athletes may be added following an on-field trial.

Scholarship Components

Rugby training

Skill Development

S&C testing

Strength & Conditioning

Education session

Education Sessions


2022/23 Scholarship

Athlete Eligibility

To be eligible for an IAS Rugby Union Scholarship, athletes must:

  • Reside within the Illawarra Region, Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven and Wingecarribee; and Wollondilly, Camden & Campbelltown
  • Be a registered member of Illawarra Rugby Union
  • Selection of athletes will be based upon the assessment that the player is an emerging talented rugby player of Illawarra representation level with the aim of achieving Country representative level or above
  • Athlete age requirements:
    • Boys born in 2007-2009
    • Girls born in 2005-2009


2022/23 Scholarship

Selection Criteria

Satisfy the eligibility criteria and demonstrate the following qualities;

  • Demonstrate potential to be selected for Regional,  NSW Country or Higher within 12 months
  • Physical abilities and physical skills considered to be essential for eventual success in rugby
  • Display an ability to apply coaching & technical instruction
  • Display attitude, commitment and dedication to improving performance
  • The ability or potential to work as part of a team to achieve excellence

NB: Subjectivity is an unavoidable element of selection to the IAS Rugby Squad.


2022/23 Scholarship

Trial Details

Applications are not currently open for Rugby Union. 


2022/23 Scholarship


The IAS is the only regional Academy to not charge an athlete levy to athletes successful in obtaining a scholarship. However, athletes may be required to contribute to some additional components of the program such as camps and tours.

Athletes will also be required to purchase the IAS Rugby squad uniform.