Rugby Canada Development Academy

Rugby Canada Development Academy in Ontario is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 RCDA Intake!

Rugby Canada Development Academy Information Overview

The Rugby Canada Development Academy (RCDA) is a high-performance program focused on the development of aspiring National Women’s 7’s players. Our targeted demographic is young women between the ages of 15- 19 years of age. We aspire to provide an environment in which the demands of high-performance sport and life skills are blended to enable success within both endeavors. Our Central location is in Toronto, Ontario, with satellite locations in Guelph and Ottawa.

Facilitate the Development of Future Olympians and National Team Athletes.

The RCDA exists to provide an environment that supports women’s rugby players and those athletes recently graduated from high school in achieving their aspirations of competing for the National Senior Women’s teams, and winning gold medals at the Olympic Games. We believe that we give athletes the best opportunity to achieve these goals when we work ethically and with integrity to develop the holistic student athlete.


Growth Mindset

Consistent application of physical and mental resources is required to achieve desired growth in skills, abilities, and character. This adaptation occurs when an internal or external pressure forces the individual to respond. There will be times in which perseverance is required to overcome adversity. A commitment to this process will lead to success and a developed resiliency for future challenges.

Personal Accountability

Personal accountability for how we manage ourselves and interact with others is necessary in order to achieve national team success. Self-management of behaviours including punctuality, attitude, and preparation are required to create a foundation upon which learning can occur. The communication and interaction we have with others must be inclusive, and respectful in order to facilitate team success.


We require support from multiple networks to achieve our goals. Maintaining positive and mutually beneficial relationships with schools, families, and local communities are necessary to attain our rugby aspirations. Giving back to these communities in meaningful ways is important to grow these partnerships, develop holistic student-athletes, and represent Rugby Canada.  

The Rugby Canada Development Academy in Ontario is a decentralized program. Athletes will train for 2 hours between the hours of 4pm till 8pm, 2-3 a week and also weekends. Key focus areas of training are below:

  • Rugby specific training: skills, scrimmage, speed, weights, combat, mobility
  • Sport Performance Seminars, covering a range of topics: Leadership, Nutrition, Time Management, Mental Performance, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Recovery, Video Analysis, Team Building, Post-secondary planning

Player Assessments & Feedback

Academy players will regularly receive individual performance feedback to enhance personal growth and development. In addition to the informal feedback that will be provided by coaching staff on a regular basis within the daily training environment, athletes will be given quarterly comprehensive athletic reviews. Quarterly assessments incorporate objective and subjective monitoring in order to track player development and performance across short- and long-term time frames.

Objective: Data driven performance metrics based on Gold Medal Profile performance metrics as well as national team standards. This feedback will ensure that performance gaps are being addressed and that the player is meeting the expected outcomes of the Rugby Academy program. Examples of these objective measures are sprint times, fitness levels, and strength scores.

Subjective: Observation and reflection from coaching staff in relation to key performance indicators. This feedback will ensure that performance gaps are being addressed and that the player is meeting the expected outcomes of the Rugby Academy program. Examples of these subjective measures are technical and tactical rugby understanding and ability, approach to training, and coach-ability.


Medical support is provided to Academy athletes on a case by case basis. Our therapy team provides daily check – ins with athletes to assess any new or existing injuries and provide exercise modifications and additions as necessary. For any injures that require further treatment, therapy is provided after sport and school hours. Injured athletes are expected to attend all sport sessions and participate in rehabilitation exercises and observe training unless restricted from doing so due the nature of their injury.

There is no cost to academy athletes
RCDA branded basic training and competition kit will be provided free of charge.

Who is a good fit for the RCDA program?
Athletes who are self-motivated and driven to achieve excellence both on and off the field will be best suited for this program. The RCDA program is very demanding both physically and mentally, as the athletes will be challenged in many new and different ways. Athletes must have a growth mindset, and be able to conduct themselves professionally and positively in a close- knit team environment.

How to Apply
Athletes interested in applying for the RCDA 2020-21 year must complete the online application by October 2nd, 2020. Applications will be accepted after October, 2020, pending available space.


For more program information please contact:

Sandro Fiorino Program Lead RCDA Ontario