Blues duo Pauliasi Manu and Jerome Kaino conducted a clinic with the Academy and the U18 Sevens team at the Samoa Rugby Union field on Tuesday.
The clinic is for the local boys to learn the skills from these famous rugby players on how to become successful in the future and what they need to learn to become international players.
According to the S.R.U. Development Coordinator, Shalom Senara the clinic is to test the boys’ fitness as well as well as their skills.
“With the Academy boys one of the tests is a speed test and at the moment they are doing vertical and horizontal jumps,” said Mr. Senara.
“It’s basically testing how far and how high they can jump and straight after that they will go into what we call a Bronco which is a fitness test and it’s to see how fit they are.
“The biggest learning from this is that they will be able to test themselves and compare themselves to the Auckland Blues.
“For example, the Auckland Blues have got targets for every position. For example props have to reach a certain speed and fitness level and obviously when it comes to flanker,s they have to have a higher requirement for fitness.
“So here we have every position here from prop to fullback and they’re all going to compare their results. For instance we’ve got flankers here and they’re going to compare themselves to Jerome Kaino and see what he says.
“It’s good learning not just for now but they can see where they are at and the standards that they need to get to, to be able to play Super Rugby in the international level.”
As to how important these skills are for the boys, the Development Coordinator was adamant.
“For me this is a must for all the kids who want to play rugby and when I say young kids I’m talking about eight year olds upwards,” Mr. Senara said.
“The biggest thing that I keep saying to all these boys is to learn the basics. I spoke to Jerome today and he told me that the one thing that kids don’t understand is that in the All Blacks the basics is all they do.
“So tomorrow in the skills session, the boys here will see be quite surprised at how basic the training will be and how that can get them to become international players.
“The biggest thing is that these boys need to know their functional roles.
“For example the number one rule for a prop is to be a good scrummer. It doesn’t matter if he’s a good sidestepper or he can throw a Sonny Bill pass but if he cannot scrum, then he’s not a prop.
“And that’s the message I want to send out to the boys. Whatever position they are in they have to know what their functional role is.
“As for a hooker their functional role is they have to know how to throw in the lineout so this is the message that we want to send to the kids.
“The biggest challenge is that the kids don’t know their basics which is very much important to any rugby player.”