10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Certified by the IRFU, the Powerade Conditioning Programme enables Irish coaches to deliver a progressive programme of conditioning to rugby players in Ireland.
Launched on Thursday in the University of Limerick by Dr. Liam Hennessy, the IRFU's Director of Fitness and developer of the Powerade Conditioning Programme, the course is intended to give coaches both the confidence and competence to condition rugby players in a safe and enjoyable manner.
The programme is tailored to suit coaches wishing to concentrate on developing player fitness from mini-rugby level right through to adult player level.
Commenting on the event, Dr. Hennessy said: "We have piloted this programme for two years and are now delighted that Powerade have come on board to drive this with us.
"The programme, while the first of its kind, has already impacted on player's fitness development. We are excited about the potential benefits the course has to offer current and future players based in rugby clubs and rugby playing schools."
The Powerade Conditioning Programme starts with an intensive one week course on Monday, June 20 in the University of Limerick and will continue with a series of weekends throughout the year with over 100 Irish rugby coaches registered to date.
The course is managed by Ian Sherwin, Conditioning Development Manager who was previously Elite Player development officer with the IRFU.
Commenting on Powerade's involvement with the programme, Sharon Walsh, Powerade Brand Manager, said: "Powerade are proud to support the conditioning programme, the first of its kind in rugby union. We know the importance of preparation and player development both on and off the pitch and the vital role that coaches play in achieving this.
"Drinking Powerade before exercise has been proven to significantly improve an athlete's performance, compared with drinking water or nothing at all. Drinking Powerade before exercise is also proven to improve distance performance and the ability to perform strenuous exercise.
"This is crucial for important rugby skills and to combine this with coaches certified to deliver top conditioning can only prove to be a winning combination."
For further coaching details, contact: The IRFU Fitness Department at tel: (01) 6473835 or email: email@example.com