Saints coaches travel to New Zealand to learn from the best

Three of St Andrews leading rugby coaches have been afforded the excellent opportunity to learn at the Crusaders international high performance unit in New Zealand.

Photo: Saints Rugby

University of St Andrews Director of Rugby David Ross, assistant coach Chris Martin and performance analyst Burhan Torgut are traveling to the other side of the world to spend time with one of the most successful rugby teams in the world, The Canterbury Crusaders, in order to learn and develop as coaches.

Established in 2008, The Crusaders International High Performance Unit is a world renowned rugby academy that not only works with up and coming players, but coaches as well. The individualised coaching programme immerses the coach into the full time professional environment of The Crusaders and allows the coach to observe training sessions, attend team and individual’s meetings, pre-view and review performances and spend time with the professional coaches discussing philosophy, tactics and coaching methods. Many a famous rugby name has attended the course including current Glasgow Warriors and incoming Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend.

This opportunity for The Saints coaches comes in the same season as the coaching team spent a day with Michael Cheika and The Wallabies coaches in Edinburgh before they faced Scotland at BT Murrayfield. The trip also supports the vision of University of St Andrews RFC to ‘become the best student rugby club in the world’ and the lessons learnt by the coaches in New Zealand will be instrumental in shaping the future of the club.

Talking about the upcoming trip, Director of Rugby David Ross said, “The opportunity to attend The Crusaders High Performance Unit in New Zealand is going to be instrumental in my development as a coach and leader. The Crusaders have been one of the world’s bench marks since the game went professional and I know that I am going to learn a huge amount that will not only impact on my role at St Andrews but in my future career in the sport.

“Not only will I spend 2 ½ weeks with The Crusaders, I am going to use the month long trip to New Zealand to promote our rugby programme at St Andrews and do recruitment work for the University visiting some of the best schools and clubs. I would like to thank Saints Sport for their overwhelming support for me as a coach and as a person allowing me to take this trip. I am looking forward to discussing my coaching philosophy with The Crusaders coaches, seeing how they develop tactical leaders and receiving feedback on my coaching behaviours.”

Assistant Coach Chris Martin commented “I feel very fortunate to be travelling to New Zealand to work with the most successful rugby franchise in the world. This will be my first taste of the professional game and I’m excited about the vast opportunities I am going to have to learn about what makes Canterbury and New Zealand rugby so consistently successful. The crusaders have produced two of the greatest players of all time and to have the chance to work in their training environment first hand and absorb myself in the kiwi culture is an incredible prospect.”

Performance Analyst and Cyprus international Burhan Torgut added “I am extremely proud to be given the opportunity to not only go out to New Zealand and coach, but to work with the Canterbury Crusaders, the most successful team in super rugby history. To be able to learn what makes them successful as well as improving my own coaching and analysis ability in order to come back to the University of St. Andrews RFC and help take us to the next level will be significant for my development. I am really looking forward to working and learning from some of the best coaches and players in the world as well as embracing some kiwi culture.”


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