Investec announce new sponsorship with International Rugby Academy Australia

The International Rugby Academy has launched in Australia. We’re delighted to have Investec on board as a sponsor to help us maximise opportunities for young rugby talent.


Investec Australia is excited to announce a new sponsorship with the International Rugby Academy Australia (IRAA), which was launched in Sydney by former rugby greats. 

IRAA is a new, independent, not-for-profit rugby academy aiming to maximise the potential of young Australian rugby talent and to strengthen the pathways and opportunities that are unique to the game of rugby union. 

IRAA is a partnership with International Rugby Academy New Zealand (IRANZ) and will deploy the same systems and processes developed by what is widely considered to be the best independent academy in the rugby world.

IRANZ was founded by All Blacks greats Murray Mexted and Sean Fitzpatrick in 2002, and the Academy program has also been replicated in South Africa. 

Rugby legends Michael Lynagh, Matt Burke, David Campese, John Eales, Nick Farr-Jones, George Gregan, Phil Kearns, Rod Kafer, Andrew Mehrtens, and Grace Hamilton have signed on as IRAA ambassadors and coaches.

Speaking at the launch event, International Rugby Academy founder and All Blacks legend Murray Mexted said he was thrilled to bring this initiative to Australia and help young rugby players and their coaches reach their full potential. 

“To be the best, we need to learn from the best. The coaching staff at IRAA represent some of the most qualified and highly-respected coaches and former players in world rugby, including legendary Wallabies and All Blacks,” Mr Mexted said. 

“We are proud that the program has been recognised as the best independent academy in the rugby world. Currently, we have more than 100 graduates who have earned international honours as players or coaches and we are excited to create similar opportunities for the Australian rugby community.

“A good coach makes a good team, and a good team creates great players. We are very proud to be fostering this relationship and ensuring a long, successful future for the game we all love.”

World Cup winning Wallaby Michael Lynagh has been appointed as the Patron of IRAA and flew in from London for the launch. 

Mr Lynagh explained to the gathering of more than 100 rugby supporters that he was excited at the opportunities IRAA will offer to young players and coaches.

“It is so important that Australian coaches compete on the international rugby stage. IRAA will ‘coach the coaches’ to ensure we have world class players,” Mr Lynagh said. 

Investec Australia, part of the leading international specialist financial services group Investec, has signed on as the major sponsor of this initiative for three years. 

Anthony Lazzoppina, Managing Director at Investec Australia’s Corporate Advisory team said Investec was proud to be involved with the IRAA and that he can see many synergies between rugby and the Investec business. 

“Our passion for rugby runs deep. Our major sponsorship of IRAA builds on our involvement as title sponsors of the Investec Super Rugby and the Investec Rugby Championship tournaments played in New Zealand that are going into their tenth year,” Mr Lazzoppina said. 

“There are many synergies between rugby and business – and the game of rugby echoes many qualities Investec aspires to. We are creative individuals who cooperate and collaborate in the pursuit of team performance; we are a team of talented people with passion, energy and stamina; and we support our team mates and encourage growth and development.”

IRAA will commence in January 2020 with courses to be held at the world-class facilities and accommodation of Sydney Olympic Park. The player courses are designed for young men aged 11-12, 13-15 and 16-18 years, and for young women aged 16-18 years. The coaching courses are designed for coaches of players aged 13-15 years and for players aged 16-18 years.

About Investec in Australia: 

In Australia, we focus on our core areas of Corporate and Acquisition Finance, Corporate Advisory, Emerging Companies, Financial Markets, Power & Infrastructure Finance, Property and Resource Finance. As a specialist provider we deliver local knowledge and expertise, backed by the strength of the global brand.

Investec provides a gateway to the Investec Group, delivering clients global capability, products and solutions supported by a local team of experts who understand your business and are empowered to make decisions quickly.

We believe in long term, mutually beneficial relationships where we, as a trusted adviser, grow as our clients grow.

We live our brand — Out of the Ordinary — in all we do.

About IRAA: 

The International Rugby Academy of Australia (IRAA) is a new, independent and not- for- profit rugby academy. IRAA brings to Australia the hugely successful International Rugby Academy model established in New Zealand that has since been successfully implemented in South Africa.

The Academy is supported by Rugby Australia. As a not-for profit organisation, IRAA will work with our partners and supporters to provide appropriate scholarships for elite talent and promising junior coaches and players from across Australia.