Development Academy

This Academy was established by Bays Rugby in 2011 to attract and develop aspiring Rugby players and to reconnect with Bays Juniors now at high school and who were aiming for a professional rugby career, or a successful amateur club rugby career.

Academy Aims

The development academy’s principle aim is to reconnect our past Junior players with the club, prior to leaving school.

Other aims:

  • Play first fifteen rugby.
  • Become Bays Premier Players in the future.
  • Stay with Bays and enjoy the success.
  • Push for higher Representative Honours > Provincial or NZ.
  • Commit to an elite programme of nutrition, fitness, strength/weight conditioning and skills.
  • Commence the journey towards becoming a professional rugby player.
  • Stay committed to ECBRFC.

With the emphasis on:

  • Dedication.
  • Attendance.
  • And reaching goals set by the Academy Committee.

Development Academy Format

The Development Academy programme is a 12 week fitness and conditioning programme paid for by Bays Rugby and our generous sponsors, and facilitated at the Tika Rugby Gym in Glenfield.  The main objective over this 12 week programme is to build individual fitness levels and provide some expert coaching to promote you as a first fifteen player in their final years of high school.

Development Academy Committee

This programme is designed, managed and overseen by the Bays Development Academy Committee, consisting of key parents and members of various arms of Bays Rugby including current coaching staff.

The Committee is: John Murdoch (Chair), Peter Smith, Bruce Wigglesworth, Mark Beale (Premier Coach) and John Scott (ECB Under 21 Coach).

Past Development Academy members now enjoying success at the club include:

  • Louis Noel: Premier No 8
  • Nick Burns: Premier No 11, North Harbour U19
  • Josh Murdoch: Captain ECB U21’s
  • Brett Bakkerus: Vice Captain ECB U21
  • Dylan Sweet: North Harbour U19, ECB U21
  • Pieter Swarts: ECB U21
  • Cooper Murdoch: North Harbour U19, ECB U21
  • Jack Heighton: Premier No 10, North Harbour Rep
  • Jackson Searle: ECB U21
  • Jackson Tariau: ECB U21
  • Jayden Lowe: Premier Halfback and U21
  • Eru Hudsen:  ECB U21
  • Brendan Bond: ECB U21 NZ Barbarians
  • Ethan Roots: ECB U21 Premier No 6, North Harbour Sevens
  • Callum Blair: ECB U21

For further details or if you wish to join the development academy programme please contact John Murdoch on 021 884 227 or email


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