Here is a brief history of the Camp.
In the beginning
For almost 30 years, Armidale has annually hosted this very successful National Rugby Camp (NRC) for young players. These Camps were the brain child of former Australian Wallaby and local John Hipwell (image) who at the time was a teacher at The Armidale School (TAS). With a number of other teachers and members of the Armidale City Rugby Union Club they identified a need to provide intensive quality coaching to regional juniors wishing to learn the game and to develop their skills in Rugby Union. The National Rugby Camps were born.
The Camp has traditionally received many annual appearances from high profile players such as then Wallabies’ Mark Ella, David Campese and Nick Farr-Jones. The camps have raised the profile of rugby in these communities, and have been a great rugby nursery with stars such as George Gregan, Chris Latham and Joe Roff attending the camp in the past as juniors. In the early 90’s, University of New England’s Sport Association (Sport UNE) and NSW Rugby collaborated to hold the camp.
It was in 2001 where Rugby Worldwide, which is a locally owned business intimately connected to Armidale, began organising the event. It has appreciated and benefited from the loyal and continued support of local Armidale businesses, as well as individuals such as Eddie Jones (image), Joe Roff and John Cassidy.
The Camp has since grown significantly in size and to this day, it remains the largest residential based rugby camp in Australia. With the amazing support of the NSW Waratahs, the Camp is able to cater to a maximum of 300 campers a year.