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Bond student secures dream internship at international rugby tournament

Bond University student Josh Morrison is jetting off to Tbilisi, Georgia at the end of the month (May) after scoring an internship to work with the Australian team during the Rugby U20 World Championships.

Josh will be the first Bond University student to travel overseas with the Australian squad and will work under the guidance of strength and conditioning coach, Aaron Scully, at the international event.

The Master of Sports Science student was also one of four Bondies to land an internship at the Oceania Rugby Championship, which ran from April 28 to May 6 and is considered a 'warm-up' for the world championships, which kick off on May 31.

The four-nation Oceania Rugby Championship tournament was held for the third year running at Bond University and involved teams from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa.

Josh said the staff on the Australian team had welcomed him at the tournament and were excited to guide him through the next stage of his journey, from Bond University to Georgia.

"At no point during the tournament at Bond did I feel like I was ‘just an intern’ putting in hours to tick off some requirement of my degree," he said.

"The greatest part of my internship was the amount of responsibility the staff and coaches trusted me with.

"I ran all of the GPS data from the training sessions and games, and helped out with strapping and physiotherapy screenings, strength, rehab, and recovery sessions for the players, and making sure the team was getting adequate nutrition after their workouts."

Josh said the internship at the Australian event had prepared him for the next stage of the competition, and to step from his studies straight into his dream sports science position.

"I feel very honoured to be given the chance to work with the Australian team at a world championship," he said.

"Not many students get to put on their resume that they have travelled with a national team to a international event , so for that I am beyond grateful.

"I have received real-world experience that without a doubt will not only prepare me for the next stage of the internship in Georgia, but also a quality job in elite sport after I graduate."

Bond University Academic Lead Professional Internships, Glen Tunks, said the four Bond students had worked across a range of disciplines, including strength and conditioning, team management,  and media management at the Oceania Rugby Championship held at the University.

"The internships were an opportunity for the students to use their evidence-based knowledge and skills in a professional environment," said Mr Tunks.

"To be able to immerse themselves in a high performance team environment, and especially as Josh will now be travelling overseas, is such an invaluable experience. It allows students to see how all staff work together to deliver a high performance outcome."

The selected students stayed on campus with the teams during the camp at Bond University, and sacrificed part of their semester break for the opportunity.

"The students were selected based on their learning interests, passions, career ambitions, as well as the strength of their applications," said Mr Tunks.

ARU National Performance Programs Manager, Adrian Thompson, said the students had been a great addition to the preparation of the BMW Australian U20s Squad.

“The ARU and Bond University have a proud history in partnering in this program," he said.

“The ARU team enjoyed working with the Bond students in a high performance environment and passing on their knowledge, to complement the students' university experience.”   

The Oceania Rugby Championship is considered instrumental in the development of the teams ahead of the World Rugby U20 Championship, which will be held from May 31 to June 18.

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