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Our Elite Youth Player Development (EPD) Program focuses on developing the whole person across 6 pillars, which in turn will develop the player within the program. The 6 pillars are;

PhysicalFocus on players knowledge, development and improvement in physical conditioning, strength, speed, power, flexibility and physical preparation
Holistic LeadershipEducation on improving the whole person not just the rugby player. Other aspects in life and how they work together for better performance on and off the field
TacticalRugby knowledge – position, unit and team member, weather conditions, style of play, reading games
MentalPower of the mind in controlling individual performance and recovery, time management and resilience
NutritionalEducation on what fuels are best for the body before, during and after activity for long / short term goals
TechnicalAll technical aspects around position, unit and team techniques for player development

These focus points are addressed in every level of EPD and advanced upon so there is continuous development and growth in the individual player at their own rate.


EPD1 is the first level of development, which comprises of targeted Youth players (U16 – U18, or first year in the program). With the same training loads as the progressive, EPD1 focuses on the players’ introduction into the semi-professional system in terms of their education both on and off the field and assisting the person in transitioning from school into a new club, studies or work and introduction to semi professional rugby requirements.
Characteristic of this stage is the education of youth players in the same Strength and Conditioning protocols which the NSW Waratahs players themselves must undertake. Whilst this cohort is strictly under the age of 19, selected EPD1 players will have the chance to progress to the next tier based on their on-field achievements and off-field commitment and engagement in the program.


Players in this level are second year athletes who are aiming to be selected in Players of National Interest (PONI) squads and the Australian U20’s to compete in the Junior World Cup.
As the highest level of representative U20’s rugby in New South Wales, this is the benchmark for Rugby Union at this age division. The EPD2 squad is made up of both U19’s and U20’s, with the crux of the group being EPD1 graduates.
It is not uncommon for members of this squad to be called upon to train with the NSW Waratahs from time to time, with the odd player or two being selected in for Super Rugby trials.


Players who are in their third year of the program, are on the radar of the NSW Waratahs and are among the top performers of the Shute Shield competition make up the “third year” group. A smaller, more concentrated contingent, these players are more commonly involved with the NSW Waratahs pre-season and are more senior members of NRC teams they are a part of.
Our pathways program aligns with the NSW Waratahs’ program around the following themes;
The Waratahs Way – “We don’t do rules we do standards” Wycliff Palu

Respect through Ownership. Accountability. ResponsibilityLeadership of self – understanding of ROAR
We Work HardLearning to work hard consistently and competitively
Being a Good personPracticing Empathy and Gratitude
Mateship and connectionRecognition of others – Power of one (circle)
Pride. Playing for New South Wales. RepresentWelcome to the family – Responsibility