Ospreys academy travel to Italy

The Ospreys Academy has taken their pre-season to Northern Italy for a two-week training camp in Padua

Thanks to Erasmus UK’s funding stream, they were able to travel to Padua in the Veneto region of Italy for a two-week training camp.

Linking up with the city’s rugby club Petrarca Rugby, who are currently Italy’s Top12 Championship holders, the young Ospreys have gained hands on experience of life as professional rugby players.

With early morning training sessions under the Italian sun, the squad were put through their paces under the watchful eye of the Ospreys academy and Ospreys in the Community coaches. Similar to their senior counterparts back home in Llandarcy, the squad were put through briefings, speed testing and rugby skills sessions daily as part of their vigorous training regime.

The young squad were also treated to a talk from Italian rugby legend Mauro Bergamasco. Capped 106 times for his country, the former flanker gave the academy squad an inside look on his rugby journey, teaching them all about identifying their ambitions and how to achieve them in a mental strength coaching session.

During breaks from the training camp, the squad were able to take part in some fantastic activities.  Included in those was a white water rafting excursion, swimming in the Italian lakes and a quick day trip to Venice only 20 minutes away from their base. Whilst sampling the Italian culture, the academy even took time to learn Italian to help them get by on their Italian trip.

The boys and coaches also tested their limits freediving into the World’s deepest pool at the Y-40 Deep Joy. The Guinness World record breaking pool is the only diving pool with thermal water, and thanks to the instructors at the facility the Ospreys mastered their breathing techniques to take on the 42-metre pool.            

Speaking about the training camp, Development Pathway Manager Gareth Walters said:

"It’s been a great experience for the players out in Padua. They’ve had the opportunity to live and train like a professional rugby player over the last two weeks, along with taking part in some once in a lifetime activities and meeting some great people along the way.

The players have been a credit to the region the whole time they’ve been away, conducting themselves professionally both on and off the field. We hope that this invaluable experience will prove to be beneficial in the upcoming season which kicks off in a couple of weeks time.”