Welcome to IRAA

The International Rugby Academy of Australia (IRAA) is a new, independent, not- for-profit rugby academy. IRAA brings to Australia the hugely successful International Rugby Academy model established in New Zealand, by All Black great, Murray Mexted.

Our fundamental aim at IRAA is to maximise the potential of young Australian rugby talent and to strengthen the pathways and opportunities that are unique to the game of rugby union.

Before my involvement with IRAA, I was fortunate enough to participate on the IRANZ coaches course in Palmerston North in 2016. It was an amazing learning experience as a coach, even after many years being involved in the game. When the opportunity arose to be involved in the Australian model, it was an easy decision.

On Friday, IRAA held it’s launch event at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. It was great to see so much support from the wider rugby community, current and former Wallabies, all eager to lend their time and skills to ensure IRAA’s success.

IRAA Launch Event
Wallaroo’s star Emily Chancellor with Wallaby legends Michael Lynagh (IRAA Patron), Nick Farr-Jones & John Eales at the IRAA Launch Event

I want to take this opportunity to thank Michael Lynagh, IRAA Patron, for travelling from the UK to make the event. His involvement and support in the program is invaluable.

Also, thank you to Murray Mexted, Managing Director of IRANZ, for travelling from NZ to speak and provide insight into the courses and processes that have made IRANZ so successful. The honour board list that IRANZ boasts is incredible and testament to Murray and his team.

IRAA Launch Event
Nick McArdle (Fox Sports) Anthony Lazzoppina (Investec) Murray Mexted (IRANZ) &
David Mortimer AO (IRAA)

As I mentioned earlier, IRAA is a not-for-profit organisation and would not exist without the financial backing of our board members and our wonderful sponsors. Investec, who are our major sponsor, Fox Sports, Accor, Sydney Olympic Park and Buildcorp, all have a rich history of involvement and support of rugby in Australia.

Our courses will commence in January 2020 at the world-class facilities of Sydney Olympic Park with players accommodated at Accor hotels. Our player courses are designed for young men aged 11-12, 13-15 and 16-18 years, and for young women aged 16-18 years. Our coaching courses are designed for coaches of players aged 13-15 years and for players aged 16-18 years.

Yours in rugby,
John Papahatzis
General Manager – IRAA