IRANZ - Course facilitators
IRANZ staff coaches represent some of the most experienced and knowledgeable coaches and former players in the game today.
IRANZ courses provide participants an opportunity to work with these professionals in close proximity, often in 1:1 scenarios. This is the IRANZ Formula - to exponentially accelerate the development of players and coaches. While IRANZ courses will often feature specialists in the form of current and recent International coaches, below is a list of the staff coaches who regularly feature at IRANZ:
Wayne Taylor (GM - IRANZ)
Head of Athletic Performance Rugby
Romania - 2023
SA Rugby, Pro 14, Isuzu Southern Kings – 2019
Japan Rugby Football Union - 2016
Sunwolves Super Rugby – 2016
High Performance Coordinator:
Honda Heat Rugby, Japan – 2015/2016
Lions Super Rugby – 2010-2012
Head of High Performance, Team Building and Leadership, IRANZ – 2003-2009
Strength & Conditioning Coach & Medical Team Coordinator ;
Tasman Makos – 2006-2008
NZ U21 Team - 2005-2007
NZ Blackferns Team - 2004
Manawatu NPC Team 2002-2005
Course Facilitator and Forward Specialist:
Professional roles: All Black Maori Head Coach 2013-17, Hurricanes Head Coach 2003-10, Chiefs Head Coach 2018-19
Colin Cooper is known for his player-centric coaching style. Working closely and caring for all the players in his team to reach the desired outcomes together has made him an ideal Course Facilitator for IRANZ.
Course Facilitator and Head Skills Coach
Professional roles: Assistant coach/skills Coach Blues Super Rugby 2016-2018, Assistant coach/skills Coach Connacht Rugby Pro12, Black Ferns
Following age-grade representative rugby, Dave became a passionate Coach began specialising in skills. Dave has since coached for the Auckland Blues, Connacht Rugby, and the Black Ferns – and is now regarded as one of the best Skills Coaches in the world.
Course Facilitator & Presenter
Graeme played age grade representative rugby for Wales and professionally for Newport RFC whilst completing his Business degree at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC).
When Graeme returned to NZ he held the role of Director of Rugby at a number of secondary school. Graeme also coached at representative level and was involved in the administration of school boy rugby for 10 years.
IRANZ - Position Specific Coaches
Front Row & Scrum
Professional Role: Former South African-born rugby union player who played as a prop for Wellington in New Zealand's domestic Mitre 10 Cup from 2010 to 2016 and for the Hurricanes in the international Super Rugby competition from 2012 to 2016
Front Row and Scrum
Former Role: Owen Franks is one of the finest tighthead props to ever play the game. Although he currently represents the Hurricanes in Super Rugby, he’s undoubtedly best known for his 108 caps for New Zealand. During his time with the All Blacks, he won the Rugby World Cup twice.
Professional role: Former New Zealand rugby union player who played as a lock. He played for Canterbury and the Tasman Mako in the National Provincial Championship and its successor, the Air New Zealand Cup; the Crusaders in Super Rugby; Saracens in the Guinness Premiership; and internationally for the New Zealand national team, the All Blacks.
Loose Forward & Lock
Tiatia made his debut for Wellington in 1992, playing through the advent of professionalism and then represented the Hurricanes in the Super 12 between 1996 and 2002. Tiatia won 2 caps for the New Zealand national side in 2000. He then moved to Japan to play four seasons for Toyota Verblitz before signing for the Welsh region the Ospreys.
Loose Forward & Breakdown
Professional Role: Rodney So'oialo Wellington Lions NPC 2000–2010, Hurricanes Super Rugby 2001–2011, All Black 2002–2009 (62 Caps). Wellington Lions Assistant Coach 2017
Rodney started his professional career at the age of 21. He went on to play 101 Super Rugby games for the Hurricanes and 62 Tests for the All Blacks, which included 5 games as Captain. Rodney is now considered a master of the ‘tackle zone.’
Loose Forwards & Course Presenter
Professional Role: Former New Zealand rugby union player who played 34 consecutive tests for the All Blacks from 1979 to 1985. He also played 38 non-test games including 7 as captain. Also founder of International Rugby Academy New Zealand (IRANZ).
Professional Role: New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays Halfback or First Five-Eighth for the Wellington Lions in the Mitre 10 Cup, the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and New Zealand's national team, the All Blacks.
Professional Role: Retired New Zealand rugby union player. Weepu played most recently for Wairarapa Bush in the Heartland Championship. Generally Weepu played as a half-back but also played at first five-eighth on occasion.
Professional Role: Former New Zealand rugby union player and previously the head coach of the Eastern Province Kings and the Munakata Sanix Blues. He is currently an assistant coach for the New Orleans Gold of Major League Rugby.
Professional Role: Whitelock is a former New Zealand rugby union player. He played for the Crusaders in the Super Rugby competition and Canterbury in the Air New Zealand Cup. He played as a flanker.
Mid field and Course Presenter
Professional Role: Former New Zealand rugby union player who played for Auckland, the Blues, the Highlanders and the All Blacks at international level. Clarke made 155 appearances for Auckland, making him the fifth most capped player in the union's histor
Professional Role: New Zealand professional rugby union coach and former player. He played at centre for Leicester Tigers.
Wing & Fullback
Professional Role: Retired New Zealand rugby union player. He played most of his rugby at fullback for New Zealand, for the Hurricanes in the Super 12, and for Manawatu, Wellington and later Munster at provincial level.
Wing & Fullback
Professional Role: Retired New Zealand professional rugby union player. He was primarily a wing, but he also sometimes played as a fullback. He played for Auckland, and the Highlanders, Hurricanes and Blues in Super Rugby. He finished his career with Munster in Ireland.
Seven's & Loose Forward
Professional Role: All Blacks Sevens started in 2006 and since then he has amassed a record 89 World Series tournament appearances and played in a record 512 World Series games, scoring 153 tries. He was on the winning side in 26 tournaments and notched up six World Series victories.
Seven's & Fullback
Professional Role: New Zealand rugby union player, who currently plays as a fullback or wing for Old Glory DC in Major League Rugby. Between 2008 and 2022, Baker played for the New Zealand Sevens team in 233 World Rugby Sevens Series games and a total of 53 international tourments.
Professional Role: Was a member of the New Zealand national Australian rules football team during the 2011 Australian Football International Cup.
Dickson was selected as a member of the New Zealand sevens team to the 2016 Summer Olympics.Dickson was part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games squad. He is of Māori descent, and affiliates to the Ngāi Tahu iwi. He won a bronze medal with the All Blacks Sevens team at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. He co-captained the team at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town. He won a silver medal after his side lost to Fiji in the gold medal final.
Nehe Milner Skudder
Wing & Fullback
Professional Role: New Zealand rugby union player who currently plays for the Rugby New York. He was selected for the All Blacks in 2015, and was a key member of 2015 Rugby World Cup winning team.