Team Up with Auckland Rugby International Academy to Maximise Rugby Performance

Friday 28 February 2020, 1:35PM
By Beckie Wright

Auckland International Rugby Union (ARIA) has had a long history of success that has been built on continual development of talented local players through the schools, clubs and academy programmes administered by them. Since 2015 they have been creating similar opportunities for players from around the world.

With their world class facilities at Eden Park and a team of professionals that coach and guide players, ARIA’s skill development programmes are ideal for taking the game to the next level. ARIA’s team of qualified professionals ensure custom plans are designed for each player. The rugby coaching coaches coordinating the sessions are from New Zealand and have vast experience at the representative level.

Strength and conditioning are the focus when the players first start along with on-field content and once this information is collected individual training begins. ARIA is headed by Ant Strachan who has played for the All Blacks from 1992 to 1995, including the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He has subsequently developed a successful career in High Performance Development with both the Blues and Auckland Rugby.

Brent Semmons, the coaching manager, has played premier and first-class rugby in New Zealand. Since his playing days he has coached internationally in Argentina, Spain and Italy, as well as provincial, club and school level in New Zealand. Semmons has coached; the Auckland U19s, the Blues U20s and U18s, and the Auckland Mitre 10 side. In his 20 years coaching in New Zealand, Italy, Spain, the United States, and Argentina he has served as a mentor to world-class players. 

Jeremy Giles is the strength and conditioning coach and one of Auckland Rugby’s in-house high-performance trainers. Jeremy has several years’ experience in coaching and developing high performance athletes across both the 15-a-side and 7-a-side. Jeremy uses his experience in sports science to ensure the players are at the top of their form. 

Physiotherapist Chris Wilson has a special interest in sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapy. He has extensive experience while working with Auckland representative sides.

Dr Stephen Kara is the team doctor for the Blues and an educator for World Rugby in Pitchside Immediate Care. He has worked in rugby medicine with provincial teams, national teams and super rugby side The Blues. His interest in concussion was generated from his time involved in contact sports, and has led to an education role with NZ rugby for community-based rugby and referees.

Nutritionist Dave Shaw is a New Zealand registered dietitian and nutritionist Nutrition coaching is for everyone who wants to take their performance and health to the next level.  He has performed his role in delivering high performance nutrition knowledge to the Mitre 10 Cup and the Super Rugby.

ARIA has a range of other coaches who bring their own skills and experience to the programme These include Mitre 10 Cup coaches, Auckland Rugby Union regional development coaches, New Zealand High Performance coaches, strength and conditional coaches, nutritional consultants and medical practitioners.

Players who are interested in getting ARIA’s training programmes can complete the online form on their website ARIA can also be contacted on 09 815 4850 or