The brightest talent from Sydney’s prestigious rugby nursery St Joseph’s College were given the keys to Bond University during their three-day training camp.
Based in Casuarina, the students were put through their paces by Bull Sharks strength and conditioning coaches at the University’s High Performance Centre in Robina yesterday before heading to The Canal for a field session.
“The feedback from the players about our rugby program and facilities has been incredible, we do have fantastic facilities here second to none as far as rugby goes,” said the University’s sport recruitment manager Brenden Jones.
“They had a recovery session in our hot and cold baths which they said they really needed after a couple of heavy days of training.”
St Joseph’s College has produced almost 60 Wallabies including Matt Burke, Kurtley Beale and Ned Hanigan. Bond wants to help shape another star.
“For us to get one of those players out of Sydney to come and play for us here would be fantastic,” said Jones.
“Then it could also start something that happens regularly, and we could get more players coming up.”
Their visit wasn’t all about rugby, students were informed about study and scholarship options and Bond’s personalised teaching approach.
“We don’t have overcrowded classrooms; lecturers know students by name, and they know where they’re at with their academic studies.
“If any of the students are falling behind or finding it tough, that gets picked up quickly and we offer them support through our Bond Elite Sport Program,” said Jones.
St Joseph’s players heard from Colts one prop Harrison Usher who is a graduate of the College’s main rival, The Kings School.
The 20-year-old is a recipient of a Bond Sports Excellence Scholarship and is studying a double degree: Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Commerce.
“It’s not every day you get to come up from Sydney to a university like Bond and train at the unreal facilities. It also gives them an opportunity to understand what it’s like to study away from home,” said Usher.
“My experience has been unreal, I wouldn’t change it. It’s winter now and we have sunshine. The student experience is amazing, everyone you meet at Bond is so welcoming and lovely. Everyone is from all over the place, so you get to meet new people and Bond is very inclusive of all groups.”
Players will be able to apply for the full-fee John Eales Rugby Excellence Scholarship from next week.
The coveted scholarship is open to school leavers as well as mature aged players who are coming to the back end of their rugby careers and are considering a masters program or honours.
“We are looking for those people to give experience and guidance to some of the younger players,” said Jones.
“Last year we gave the scholarship to Zoe Hanna who was our first female recipient.”
Applications close on September 5.