Last Saturday, our Elite Apprenticeship group came together at Blues HQ. This group included leading players from our Under 18 and Under 20 squads.
Our NZ U20 training squad members, who had a mental skills session earlier in the week, were joined by their younger counterparts to share valuable experiences and assist with building individual performance plans.
Blues assistant coaches Al Rogers and Dave Ellis delivered skills coaching before the players received positional coaching from former Blues Slade McFarland (#58), Eroni Clarke (#13), Aukusitino Junior Poluleuligaga (#135) and expert coaches Ben Afeaki, Steven Bates, Al Rogers and Daniel Halangahu.
Tony Hanks, Blues High Performance Manager, who delivers the programme with Shane King, TID and Development Manager, was pleased with the engagement that bought various groups of the Blues family together.
Tony said that “Supporting and growing our young players is a shared responsibility and it was great to have our former players and expert coaches from the region involved on Saturday. New Blues member Dalton Papalii, who has been mentored by the likes of Jerome Kaino, shared his learnings and experiences with the Under 20 players, who in turn provided the Under 18 players with insights and experiences to help them prepare for their final school year and upcoming transition from school.”