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Illawarra Sports High School

Illawarra Sports High School

Integer Vitae

Telephone02 4271 1099

Talented Rugby League Program

Talented Rugby League Program

Boys & Girls


How many days a week do the students train?

Tuesday and Thursday afternoons during sport/elective time.

1.05pm - 2.45pm

Monday or Tuesday morning Strength & Conditioning session

6.45am to 8am 

Do they have to play for a certain team or grade to be in the accepted into the program?

No, but minimum requirement is playing in the local competitions. However rugby league is a tier one elite level program. We rarely play local schools – our competition is Sports High Schools and top private schools.

Do student athletes miss lots of school?

Students do not miss any class time and complete all lessons just like any other school. TSDP training is considered as an elective class – all training takes place during weekly sport time and their elective class time or before school. The only time they will be absent from class time is if they are participating in a game, gala day, trials or an event.


Who are the coaches?

Brett Kelly - Coach

Alex Melville – Coach (Director of Jnr RL)

Mitchell Porter - Coach

Nicholas O’Hara – Coach (Director of Snr RL)

Jackson Merritt – Strength & Conditioning Coach


Is it all just training?

The main goal of the Talented Sports Programs is to ensure individual player development. Training consists of fitness, skills individual and group training as well as union specific training. We also play friendly games, gala days and trials games, however the main focus is player development. NSWRL also hold Development Days. School training compliments club and representative training.


Individual Athlete Development Plans

All students have their own individual ADP. They discuss strengths and weaknesses with their coaches and set goals to ensure continued improvement. These form part of their student portfolio and are discussed at the semester portfolio interview.


How do you make sure the players are not overloaded?

The players are monitored constantly at training. The student athletes need to communicate with their coach in regards to their training load outside of school. Our coaches will also communicate with the representative and HPC coaches to ensure players are not overtraining.

What do players do if they are injured or overloaded?

Communicate with coaches via program app or note.

Solution 1: Overloaded players are utilised at training in a way that they can still participate in the session, maintaining their learning, but decreasing their training load/intensity.

Solution 2: Complete a gym program under the supervision of a strength and conditioning coach.

Solution 3: Students book in to the Study Hub to complete school work during the training session block.

How many games do you get?

Students do not play a set amount of games. This is dependent on the players selection into a school squad to compete in sports high school competition games/gala days or state knockouts. The focus is primarily training and technical development.

Rugby League play in the tier 1 competitions, against the other Sports High Schools and top private schools, as well as the elite level NRL Schoolboy Cup in the Open age group.

The Talented Sports Programs are equivalent to representative programs, equal playing time or positions are never guaranteed.

Representative Duty

Our school still holds the usual sports carnivals, swimming, cross country and athletics. Students in TSDP must attend and compete in school carnivals. Students would then be eligible to attend zone, regional or state carnivals.

Students may also be selected to attend South Coast Regional Team Trials.

Enrolment in one Talented Sports Program does not exclude you from participating in other sports representative teams. For example, League program students trialling and playing in the Touch team.

What are the benefits of the program?

•             Full time program - year round

•             Fitness testing twice yearly

•             Expands opportunities for both Talent ID and Talent Development

•             Focuses on individual development in a team environment

•             Inclusive Strength & Conditioning programs specific to each sport.

•             Aims to maximize individual athletic and academic potential

•             Increases individual volume of training

•             Holistic and sustainable

•             Cost effective and value for investment

•             Fully accredited staff

•             Holistic approach to player well-being (academic and welfare)

•             Additional academic support with access to tutors and Learning Centre.