The Bay of Plenty Rugby Union and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic have come together to offer an international rugby scholarship to American students.

Representatives from the two organisations travelled to the United States to attend a USA Rugby National Development Summit in Philadelphia, where a new Rugby Sevens Study Abroad programme was promoted.

The local programme will be run in partnership with the rugby union and operate from July to November.

American college students will have the chance to take part in the 17-week programme while enrolled in academic study at the polytechnic before returning to the US.


Union chief executive Mike Rogers said there was positive response to the programme while on the trip.

Anne Young from the polytechnic said they received strong interest from US colleges interested in having their students take part in the programme.

"It was fantastic to see the support of the programme and that the college coaches could see the value of combining academic study with high performance rugby sevens training."

The first intake of students are expected to arrive in July this year, timed with New Zealand's rugby sevens season and polytechnic's second semester.