Rugby High Performance Programme

Rugby is a wonderful tool that shapes us for life. The very reason you are reading these words is a testimony that something about this game has touched your soul, has ignited your passion and fuelled your spirit. Sport in general creates opportunities for us to grow, socialize and broaden our cultural awareness. It also teaches us that there is a prize to pay if you want to excel in life and that through perseverance you can reach your goals. In our society today we see a lot of people giving up on their goals, dreams, marriages and relationships, because they were not willing to go the extra mile or give attention to the detail. It seems that we are looking for a quick fix or the fast track to success without a willingness to apply ourselves to the nitty-gritty. Too many players think that they can skip the nitty-gritty and that playing rugby at a high level is limited to the playing field only.

It is unique, because it gives our students a holistic understanding as the learning (theory) and practical (training) compliments each other all the time. This programme has been designed to help you walk the extra mile; to look into the detail of the SRA Way of Play - and to ultimately assist you in becoming a professional rugby player and a man of value.

Aim of programme

The student must understand:
  • Appreciate those who has gone before you & that you are inspired to leave your own mark
  • The DNA of SRA – What we stand for and what we are all about
  • What character is and how you can develop your own character
  • A High Performance Environment / Culture
  • A High Performance Conditioning program
  • How to become mentally tough & battle hardened
  • The basic Principles of play – The SRA way
  • How to assess your own game


The SRA way of play is: Play with high tempo and continuity – score tries – enjoy it! Therefore we must be stronger, fitter, faster, more skillfull and more organized.

The key objectives off our rugby programme are to:
  • Create a learning environment
  • Develop men that are mentally tough and battle hardened
  • Produce skillful players to play a high tempo continuity game
  • Produce a winning team
  • Serve in our communities
  • Create a fun environment

Therefore we want to improve our players’ functional strength, help them to become skillful and fit at the same time, whilst enjoying themselves! The programme is presented in the following four performance areas:
  • Physical
  • Skills
  • Manhood
  • Match

Physical performance (Conditioning)

1. Conditioning
2. Mobility and Stability
3. Strengh and Power
4. Speed
5. Testing and Monitoring
6. Theory (SARU Boksmart Safety, Conditioning SRA Way, Conditioning coach)


  • Keep them playing!
  • Increase power output in the competition exercises
  • Maximize preparation (slow gradual increase of player’s ability to play/perform - term 1, 2
  • Maximize readiness (daily fluctuation in psychological, tactical, technical, physical performance – term 3, 4
This is an essential component if players want to go all the way. Players train in small groups with the conditioning coach. It is presented at our own gymnasium on campus (Mount Simson), field and swimming pool.

The program includes:

  • Comprehensive programme and training suitable for the development and preparing players for professional rugby. These include: Stability and mobility, strength, speed and power, metabolic endurance. It includes training programmes during holidays.
  • Ongoing monitoring and testing of players (Boksmart pre-participation testing, specialized tests each term). There is a weekly one-on-one's with injured players.
  • Recovery: Medical clinic (swimming, cycling, physio after each game), recovery system, life style (food / supplements, medicine, sleep, professional attitude, etc.)
  • Top class rehabilitation. Players have access to a medical doctor and physiotherapist. Dr. Jannie Brink have years of experience at the WP u/19- and u/21-teams.


Somewhere along the way, our culture lost its definition of manhood, leaving men in “no-man’s-island” - confused about their roles, responsibilitie, relationships and the reason God made them men. Further more you must learn practical ways to handle situations to the best of your ability and achieve optimal results. Join us on this journey - to get an advantage to perform better than your opponents or average person in difficult situations.


  • Becoming mentally tough enough in training or preparation for the future, and having the right mindset / attitude towards opportunities, competition and life
  • Becoming the Man God created you to be

Read More

Skills performance

1. Position specific skills
2. Individual
3. Unit skills
4. Monitoring and Testing
5. Theory
With our Edge programme, we want our players to always create something with ball in hand, to ensure that your team or team mate will be in a better position after you handover possession. The program consists of individual and positional skills.

The programme includes:

  • Individual skills: Handling, breakdowns, positional skills, decision making, defence, attack and continuity.
  • Position specific skills: Players do specific positional training.
  • Specialized tests and video analysis - sessions and stats to improve technique and skills.
Read More

Mental Toughness

Mental ToughnessManhood
See itManhood Camp/s
Be sureBrain profiles
Aim right … not leftChrist-centered worldview
It’s youOur destiny in Africa
Difficult or easy?Modern Day Knights
Break free Wild at Heart
Always succeedPassed thru Fire
Bounce backArtrepreneurship
Be the one3D Coaching
Make the killDoing Business with purpose
Fake it (faith it)Transform your work life
Slow down to a “blur” Other relevant topics
Connect your wires
Have a parachute
As strong as the weakest link
The “idiots”
You have “lost your head”
When you don’t feel like it – just do it
The Zone
The final key
It is a natural or developed edge that enables you to cope better than your opponents (or the “average person”), with the many demands of competitive sport, or life in general. Also, called THE ZONE.

  • Becoming mentally tough enough in training or preparation for the future
  • Have the right mindset / attitude towards opportunities, competition and life
  • Being mentally tough during completion or under extreme pressure

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Match performance

1. Defence
2. Attack
3. Scrums
4. Line outs
5. Kick offs
6. Kicking game
7. Matches
8. 7’s Rugby
9. Theory and game analyses
WP probably have one of the the strongest club leagues in South Africa. We play at the famous Stellenbosch Rugby Club and in the hostel League, and players are therefore eligible for WP u / 19 and u / 21 trials., where they have excellent exposure. The SRA (Knights) play with 3 teams/squads – two in the Hostel league and the other one as a Matie team (Vics 3). So far we had 20 international and more than 30 provincial players. We work closely with the SA 7's players for an exciting program to take the player’s 7’s skills, but also their skills in the 15man code, to the next level. It also includes training sessions with the SA 7's group as well as tournaments.

The programme consists of team training (including jersey ceremony). We record games weekly – players asssit with their own team / player analyses (Coach-Logic). Info are also availableto parents There is a weekly one-on-one meeting about the game. It includes performance analyses, feedback on the performance, exc

The programme includes:

  • Individual:Time played, points scored, attack, breakdown, attack, discipline.
  • Team: Tries, penalties, free kicks, tackles, handling, defense, attack, yellow and red cards

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The Rugby program includes:

  • Annual rugby tour during June.
  • Weekly meetings with players, to discuss the program.
  • Ongoing 1-on-1’s with players after matches; and communication with parents if students under achieve (eg. attendance <80%).
  • Full range of Puma clothing and kit, club and gymnasium fees, outings and transport (training). This excludes medical costs - so players must make sure that they are on a medical plan.
  • Parents receive a continuous and complete report of students' academic and rugby progress via our on-line platform. Attendance stats are available on our web site weekly.
  • Portfolio with every player's stats, physical information and video is available.
From their second year, students get the opportunity to play or coach rugby overseas , as part of our Exchange program. Our partner, Discovery, offers their “360 for students” (Keycare Plus) to our students - the most affordable quality health care. Students have access to the widest and best health care coverage available. Players who are under-performing may be required to immediately leave the Rugby Academy, but will still be responsible for all fees.. 

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Riaan Barnard
22 May 1998
Height 1.83m
Weight 117 kg
High School Paarl Boys High
Teams Represented SRA
Previous Teams Represented Paarl
Boys High 1XV
Favourite Food Bacon and Eggs on Toast
Favourite Movie Deadpool
Total games played this year
Total games played at SRA -