Academy for the next generation of rugby union players | Pictures

The Campbelltown Harlequins Rugby Union Club are determined to ensure the rugby union thrives in the region.

The club launched its inaugural 10-week academy at the end of last year with the aim of enticing and encouraging more young players to the club, and refining their skills.

One of the driving forces behind the academy is director of junior rugby coaching and development, Fotu Auelua. 

Auelua, a Harelquins junior, enjoyed a successful professional career both in Australia, with NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies, and abroad with French team Toulon.

He also spent time in Japan plying his trade.

“Coming back from overseas, it was never my intention to be involved in the club in any capacity. But I loved that my son wanted to play for the club I grew up with and loved,” he said.

“I had so many great memories with this club. Seeing the numbers at training, they were okay, but I believe Campbelltown has so much untapped talent and potential for kids to excel in this sport.

“The numbers at the academy have been amazing.

“We started with 40 kids and now over 70 kids have signed up.

The club’s director of junior rugby administration, Adam Campbell, said the Harlequins enjoyed a stellar season last year but the younger players still had a craving for rugby union in the off-season.

The academy offered those players a chance to stay “stimulated in a rugby environment” and develop their game at an elite level.

“The talent in the Macarthur has been over looked for way too long,” Campbell said.

“With the changes to our top level rugby of late (the Waratahs and NSW Rugby joining forces), this will open the doors for the Macarthur to shine in club rugby and at elite levels for both boys and girls.”

The academy also acts as a precursor to the winter rugby season.

Campbell said winter competition registration nights would be held at the clubhouse each Wednesday for the next three weeks (14th, 21st and 28th) from 6pm to 7.30pm.

He encouraged parents and youngsters interested in the sport to come down, have a chat to club staff and view the academy in action.

The clubhouse is located at the eastern end of King Street, Campbelltown.

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