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Introduction to Coaching

Introduction to Coaching

Coaching is an integral part of rugby. From mini rugby through to international rugby, a good coach can help players to develop to the best of their ability.

The IRFU has produced an integrated model that summarises the relationships between relevant teams, player stages of development and the national Coach Development Pathway.

The model is a player-centred model based on the capacities of players at various stages, which is aligned to appropriate coaching courses for coaches to attend.

The IRFU advises that all coaches are accredited at the appropriate level and continue to develop themselves throughout their coaching participation.


A coaching plan is in place which is aligned to the IRFU’s national plan.

Identification and Recruitment

A comprehensive knowledge of the coaching workforce in Ulster is maintained through a coaching database, which is updated regularly and includes coaching qualifications, as well as recording coaches’ attendance at continuing professional development events.

Education System

Coach Education courses from mini through to IRFU Level 1 are delivered throughout Ulster, with IRFU Levels 2 & 3 courses delivered nationally. Delivery of courses is based on identified need and our workforce is trained to deliver and assess at appropriate levels.

Education System (CPD)

Appropriate CPD is offered through workshops, seminars and other informal formats based on analysis of our coaches training needs and relevant to the Long Term Player Development stages.

Management of Coaching

Opportunities for deployment of coaches in affiliated clubs and schools are advertised on the Ulster Rugby website, as are coaching roles within the Ulster Player Development Squads and age grade representative teams. Further improvements to this function should be apparent as the coaching database information is updated and we seek to expand and engage more fully with our coaching volunteer base.


An e-magazine is distributed to all database registered coaches (2000+). Opportunities exist for club and school coaches at all levels to engage with coaching conferences, courses and committee meetings.


Ulster Rugby appreciates the value of volunteer coaches across the Province and aims to have a comprehensive programme in place provincially, regionally and locally to provide regular internal and external opportunities to recognise and reward coaches and raise the profile of coaching.

For further information please contact:

JAMIE TURKINGTON (Rugby Development Manager)