Our IHPU Elite Training Programme has been operating since 2008, supporting the development of high performing athletes including five alumni players who participated in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Its player development programme is the most successful in New Zealand and is recognised worldwide for its continued production of elite rugby players.

The purpose is to offer selected international players an opportunity to join the Crusaders’ IHPU and experience our unique rugby environment while advancing your rugby skillset over 1-5 months. This programme gives you the opportunity to train and play full-time in a professional environment.

Elite Programme includes:

  • Pre-departure guide which includes a six week fitness programme to prepare players for your intensive training
  • Comprehensive induction into New Zealand life
  • Membership into the Crusaders International High Performance Unit
  • Placement in a suitable club
  • Club rugby affiliation fees
  • Individualised performance plan including monitoring and progress reporting
  • Weekly online rugby related report
  • Specialist coaching on attack, defence, breakdown, kicking or set piece, position specific skills sessions
  • Strength and conditioning training
  • Mental skills seminars and individual assessments
  • Nutritional seminars and individual assessments
  • Fitness programming and testing
  • Unlimited viewing of Crusaders and Canterbury training and games
  • Gym membership
  • Access to the swimming pools for recovery sessions
  • Coaching seminars; game and video analysis, defence and attack, game planning and review, video tracking, real live analysis of Crusaders games
  • Full access to the Crusaders and Canterbury training facility
  • Complimentary tickets to watch some Crusaders and/or Canterbury matches
  • Full mentoring support by the IHPU Manager
  • Integration with Canterbury and Crusaders players
  • Medical screening and physiotherapist support
  • You will come away with a customised rugby report, certificate and DVD of your NZ journey
  • An unforgettable New Zealand experience!

We can organise a range of accommodation options to suit your needs. There are a number of rugby families who are experienced in hosting elite rugby players and provide a warm, friendly and comfortable environment. Currently $260 per week for full board which includes breakfasts, 4 evening meals per week and lunches on weekends.

Rugby Club Affiliation
Players will be assigned to an affiliated NZ Rugby club and play for a team in the Canterbury Rugby competition.

An appropriate language school will be sourced for non-English players and a translator will be made available. (Not included in your initial investment).

Medical Support
Crusaders Medical staff will coordinate any injury management and source medical support for IHPU players.
Other medical providers will provide specialist treatment such as podiatry, chiropractic treatment, and sports vision testing as determined by Crusaders medical staff.

All players must have medical insurance before arriving in New Zealand but will be covered by Accident Compensation cover for injury.