A contingent of the Illawarra's most promising rugby union talents are gearing up to show their wares on the global stage. The Australian Raptors Rugby Academy will send numerous under-15s and under-16s boys and girls teams to tours of the US, United Kingdom and Spain, with the sides featuring plenty of talent from Wollongong and surrounding areas. Representing the Illawarra are Hami Miller, Dan Duggan, Khye Forrester, Deklyn Chambers, Cale Parr, Caylin Willis, Beth Whitnall, Aaliyah Tapiki, Mary Ledger, Digby Woods, Kai Miller, Darcy Atwell, Marc Brooker, Max Sutton, Phenoix Johns, Sarah Heaton, Zion Frizell and Taye Rawiri. The Raptors Academy is designed to give young rugby union players an introduction to competing on the world stage. International tours are held at the end of each year, giving players and coaches an invaluable experience. Two Raptors U/16s boys teams will depart next week for their US tour, before the U/15s boys head off to play in Ireland, Scotland and England in early December. The academy's U/16s girls will also depart for Spain in early December. "We have quite a good spread of boys and girls throughout the program," Raptors Academy operations manager Dion Miller said. "The program is based on a three-tiered system. Tier one is a Sydney GPS schoolboy, tier two is a city/country player, and tier three is your Illawarra club or Southern Districts type player, or someone who might just be missing out on all of those things. So we combine all of those kids together to create a different blend at the academy. "On the tours, the kids will play games against the high level academy players in whichever respective country that they're in."