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IRFU Coaching Symposium – Back Play

IRFU Coaching Symposium – Back Play

The IRFU Coach Development Department recently held its second Expert Symposium at the Johnstown House in Enfield. The subject this time was ‘Back Play’ and the attendees included some of the most experienced club coaches as well as technical experts.

The aim of the IRFU Back Play Symposium were twofold. Firstly to bring specialist backline coaches together to provide recommendations with regard to developing aspects of the backplay in Irish rugby.

Back Play Symposium

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Secondly the Symposium provides the participants an opportunity to share ideas & practices while establishing new friendships

Chaired by ex-Leinster and Ireland coach Gerry Murphy, strengths and weaknesses of backplay in Irish rugby were discussed in small groups.

On the second day the participants were tasked with examining their findings and generating recommendations to be considered by the IRFU.

Each participant made a presentation on related topics to the group.

All presentations stimulated discussions which contributed to the overall direction and theme of the symposium.


Gerry Murphy – Former Leinster and Ireland coach

Jonathan Bell – Elite Player Development Officer (Ulster Branch)

Ian Costello – Director of rugby, UL Bohemians

Niall Malone – Elite Performance Officer, Ulster Branch

Terry McMaster – Head coach, Ulster Under-20s

Colin Moran – IRFU National Coach Development Officer

Greig Oliver – Director of rugby, Garryowen FC 

Tony Smeeth – Director of rugby, Dublin University FC

Brian Walsh Head coach, Cork Constitution FC

Stephen Aboud – IRFU National Coach Development Manager

For more on IRFU Coaching Courses and Coach Development – click here.