Get to know Academy Founder and Manager: Pierre

21st April 2024

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Warriors RC

It's time to shine a spotlight on the founder and manager of the Warriors Junior Rugby Academy, Pierre Alban-Waters. The main driving force behind the Academy and the reason the Warriors Junior Rugby program is as successful as it is. He has taken the success of his home club in France that "grew from nothing to 150 kids," and applied it to the Warriors Rugby Club here in Helsinki, Finland.Pierre's own history with the Warriors Rugby Club goes back to 2015 but he has been playing rugby for 25 years, since he was 13 years old in France. He played on and off for the Warriors for 5 years as he still lived in Madrid, but moved to Finland full-time in 2020. Since then, he has been playing full-time and has also been a board member for the Warriors. The following year in 2021, Pierre started a U17 rugby group which he coached himself in order to establish what would be needed for session plans, recruitment, and coaching. From there Pierre worked to launch all five age groups (U5-U17), recruit coaches, and obain grants and a budget to invest into the Academy.Then in August 2022, the Warriors Junior Academy held the first trainings for all five age groups. The Academy also obtained a grant from the Ministry of Education which allowed for long-term investment. After that, the Academy grew quickly, obtained sponsors, was able to organize matches for U8-11, and held the first Junior Rugby Beginner's Camp. Pierre was invited by the SRL to share his success with other clubs, providing examples of what worked and becoming a valuable source of help for all. He credits some of this success to his home club in France, the Orsay Rugby Club, with teaching him more than just rugby. Now 25 years later, his home club has helped provide concrete examples of what worked. Pierre says, "They gave me access to all their plans, budgets, and direct time with the president and responsible of juniors." Pierre has now become that source here in Finland for other clubs.To sum up the Academy's growth and his part in that, Pierre says, "Each age group has a coach, and some an assistant coach, all of which we compensate- first team to do that in Finland, very important to recruit and retain coaches, the key part of the Academy, without whom nothing would be possible! I started by coaching, recruiting and applying for grants myself. I then recruited and delegated. Now we have an amazing team, the board is involved, and our Warriors community is supportive which is very important for us."Thank you Pierre, for investing your years of rugby experience in the Warriors Rugby Club and the Academy. With your motivation and love for the game, the Academy will continue to grow. If you would like to help the club grow, you can reach out to Pierre at We are always looking for volunteers for tasks big and small.