What is APRSA?

The Apollo Perelini Rugby Skills Academy is the brainchild of founder and former international rugby union and rugby league professional, Apollo Perelini

Apollo shares the same passion for rugby that players, coaches and supporters of the game the world over can very rarely resist. The international interest in the game has seen significant increases in participation numbers as a result of effective rugby development programmes throughout the world.

In 2010 Apollo implemented the first of APRSA’s rugby skills academy programmes in Dubai, in response to the need for quality rugby skills development in a ‘non-traditional’ rugby-playing nation.

Following his professional playing career, Apollo was able to hone his technical expertise as Head Trainer of Sales Sharks Rugby (UK), and Strength and Conditioning Coach with multiple championship winning club St Helens Rugby League (UK). During this time Apollo recognised the critical success factor of a winning team was their consistency in executing the fundamental rugby skills – often taken for granted even at an elite/professional level.

The APRSA is focused on rugby skills development for players and coaches at all levels of the game. We seek to lock in skill sets early, recognizing the significant learning ability of young children and the fact that you are never too young to learn. Complementary to learning correct technique is the need to link skill sets together producing intuitive rugby players.

The APRSA programmes have been designed and developed as a fusion of the best of rugby union and rugby league to transform players and coaches of varying skills and ability.

Our Purpose

The APRSA exists to transform the rugby futures of our players and coaches. For some their future may lead to professional opportunities, but for many their aspirations may be to make the first team in their age group, or to coach their local club team.

There are two general areas of rugby development the APRSA is committed to:

  • Raising the standard of rugby played at all levels
  • Increasing participation in the sport of rugby at all levels

Our Approach

There is no doubting the place of SKILLS TRAINING in the preparation of a rugby player. There is great emphasis placed on fitness training, and the psychological aspects such as motivation, dedication, discipline, etc., and yet the skills of the game are of the utmost importance. It provides the point of difference for a player wanting to succeed at the highest levels.

However, not all skills training is created equal – skills must be taught with an emphasis on correct technique. A player who has learned poor techniques and continues to use those techniques over a number of years will find it difficult to change. Apollo observes, “over the years I have seen many rugby careers stifled or stunted by accepting poor advice”. The most valuable service anyone can provide to assist players to succeed can be found in helping them to perfect their skill techniques.

It is for this reason that the focus of our programmes is on producing highly skilled rugby players and rugby coaches through effective rugby skills development.

We recognise that the sport of rugby requires a multi-level approach to ensure the long-term sustainability of any rugby development initiative. This ranges from the grassroots through to elite/professional levels from both a playing and coaching perspective. The APRSA is committed to offering programmes and technical expertise throughout these levels of development.

The APRSA have a particular interest in the development of rugby with indigenous non-traditional rugby-playing communities, and look forward to supporting this area of development within the UAE.

Find out more about our Programmes here.

Our Team

The APRSA is proud to have a team of skilled coaches. Each of our coaches has been trained in the APRSA system of rugby skills development, which they deliver with their own personal flair.

Apollo Perelini Founder & Director of Coaching

apollo A former Samoan dual code international rugby player, Apollo “the Terminator” Perelini established a reputation for his hard-hitting tackles.

A product of the Auckland and New Zealand rugby systems, Apollo’s rugby career has seen him play for championship-winning St Helens Rugby League and Sale Sharks Rugby Union in the United Kingdom, Auckland and North Harbour Rugby in New Zealand, and internationally for the Manu Samoa Rugby and Toa Samoa Rugby League teams, playing in World Cups for both codes. In 1992 Apollo was selected as part of the World XV against the All Blacks in a 3-match test series in celebration of New Zealand’s Centennary rugby season.

In 2003 Apollo joined the coaching staff of Sale Sharks as the strength and conditioning Coach, and in 2004 returned to Super League club St Helens as the club’s Head Trainer. By the end of the 2008 season, Apollo left the club having picked up 11 major trophies in the space of 4 years. In his time at St Helens the team had become renowned for their fitness, conditioning, rugby skills, and depth of talent within the club.

Apollo’s success in both the rugby union and rugby league codes has allowed him to develop a fusion of the best of both disciplines in skills development and determining the most effective SHAPEs on the rugby field.

Apollo’s departure from St Helens in 2008 saw him take up the challenge of Director of Rugby at Repton School in the Nad Al Sheba area of Dubai, and the opportunity to develop a rugby academy.

On his move to Dubai he says “Sport is growing in Dubai daily, and rugby is one of those sports. When I was approached to develop a rugby academy, I knew this was something definitely needed for young rugby players in Dubai. Many players here do not have access to professional clubs and coaching.”

Dubai club coaches have remarked on the noticeable improvement in players’ performance and confidence on the field after attending the academy. Determination, together with knowledge, makes for a skillful and intelligent player. Apollo means to bring about change, “My specialty is developing players – taking them from grassroots and transforming them into distinguished players.”

Apollo has since been appointed as the Director of Sport for Repton School, and in 2010 opened the Apollo Perelini Rugby Skills Academy.