Over the years, IRANZ have kept a close eye on the achievements of both Player and Coach Graduates on the International Stage.
However, there have been numerous counts of our Graduates achieving great things at other, competitive levels of rugby. The story of IRANZ Graduate Robert Taylor for example, is nothing short of remarkable.
Rob Taylor walked through our doors back in 2011 to attend the Development Coaches Course (now Emerging Coaches Course).
On his programme Rob had the chance to work closely with former All Black and now Crusaders Head Coach, Scott Robertson and current Fiji Assistant Coach, Andre Bell.
In the four years that followed his programme, Rob held coaching roles as Director of Rugby, and Colts Head Coach at Auckland University Rugby Football Club, and later with Massey University Rugby Football Club.
He also held age-grade Representative roles with both Auckland Rugby and Manawatu Rugby Union.
The sides he coached with made finals in all four years, which included the 2014 Gallaher Shield with AURFC and a successful final with Massey which ending a 17-year drought.
His next challenge saw him move to Sydney University Football Club. Here, Rob would again step into the dual-role of Director of Rugby and Colts Head Coach.
Picking up right where he left off, Rob’s distinctive coaching style left a mark which speaks for itself.
42 straight wins, and back-to-back Championships.
That sort of success does not go unnoticed. Rob soon found himself appointed to his first season as the Sydney University Premier Head Coach for the 2018 season.
Rob managed to wrap-up the Minor Premiership with a game to spare, securing the 2018 Shute Shield Title with a dominant 45-12 win over Warringah.
When the IRANZ team caught up with Rob recently, he spoke fondly of his time at the Academy. Rob believed it had contributed significantly to his development as a coach.
“I can’t speak highly enough of IRANZ. I benefitted greatly from the full immersion course with the outstanding rugby brains that IRANZ offers… I remember sitting in the board room having a beer with Razor [Scott Robertson] chewing the fat over what makes the Crusaders so good, and picking the brains of Wayne Smith while watching a game.”
“The connections I made at IRANZ still help me in rugby today. Andre Bell has been a great help through the years.”
The team at IRANZ would like to congratulate Rob and wish him all the best for the 2019 season.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on his next move!
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