A New Partnership
Trinity Academicals has entered into an agreed partnership with Takapuna RFC (North Harbour Union, NZ) to offer young up and coming players the opportunity to incorporate rugby and overseas travel.
The programme is designed to be able to offer young men from Scotland and New Zealand the opportunity to have a support network for both rugby and life development whilst enjoying the opportunity to travel to the opposite sides of the world.
In July 2008, Anson Davies (Takapuna Club President) visited Trinity Academicals club and facilities and watched a pre-season training session with a view to confirming an agreement with the Trinity RFC Committee to pursue and implement a rugby orientated opportunity for young Scottish and New Zealand adults.
Both Allan Spencer and Anson Davies (presidents of their respective clubs) agreed that the whole idea was for the clubs to build a sustainable model for each club to benefit from over the long term.
What Takapuna can offer young players from Trinity is the ability to play in a highly competitive U21 league where there is a marked difference in the style of rugby that is played. There is significant emphasis on the pace and ability to strike from all areas of the field.
Trinity can offer the young Takapuna players a level of club rugby that will challenge them in their first years of senior rugby and provide an environment for them to play in that has benefits and consequences incorporated in a season. Many of the young New Zealand players do not get to experience what it is like to play for promotion or look to avoid relegation in their rugby. This will hopefully help develop their ability to make good decisions when pressure is heavily involved.
Both clubs have agreed the parameters around what their commitment is to each set of players travelling overseas and hope that with cost not being a driving force the programme should have long term sustainability. It is understood that a good support network will be put in place for boys who choose to travel and play and that they will be helped to develop everyday life skills as they mature into adulthood.
Anson Davies (Takapuna President) said "I genuinely believe that this exchange programme will produce something unique between the two clubs. Not only do young men get the opportunity to develop their rugby in a different environment but also give them a chance to experience another culture. At Takapuna we are always looking to think outside the square in terms of opportunities for our players and this is a brilliant idea which should be sustainable in the long term. Strong ties between Edinburgh and Takapuna exist with one or two of our club members and this can only help ensure its success".
Allan Spencer (Trinity Accies President) This is a fabulous opportunity for our young players to travel and to develop their rugby skills at a high level club in the most rugby oriented country in the world. Trinity and Takapuna have special links that will strengthen over the next few years with both clubs benefiting from our exchange arrangements, I wish I was of an age to take part myself.
The scheme has now been in place for a few months and the first members of the exchange are in New Zealand or returning from the UK. John Spencer is currently enjoying life at Takapuna playing for the U21 and will return to Trinity in June. Josh Pecquer will play Takapuna U21's in the 2009 season and Jeremy (Skip) Ball had played in the 2007/08 season at Trinity Academicals from Takapuna RFC