Jump to main content


Representative Game Coaches Drive Coaching Vision

Representative Game Coaches Drive Coaching Vision

As part of the IRFU Technical Direction, all age grade representative coaching staff – at both provincial and national level – together with Academy managers, were invited to participate in a unique workshop at Johnstown House in Enfield recently.

Coaching staff from provincial and national Under-18 Clubs XVs, Under-18 Schools XVs, Under-19 XVs, Under-20 XVs and Academy managers were brought together for the two days by Allen Clarke, the IRFU’s High Performance Manager, and Stephen Aboud, Technical Development Manager of the IRFU, to facilitate collective alignment and develop greater co-operation and communication.

Keynote speakers at the IRFU Symposium

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

In all, 34 participants took part in this inaugural event. 

One of the highlights was a visit by Ireland head coach Declan Kidney and Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal.

Kidney highlighted the importance of collective thinking and the sharing of ideas for the future success of Irish rugby.

There were keynote deliveries by Clarke, Aboud and Des Ryan, the IRFU Fitness Education Manager. 

These were supported with workshops driven by Ireland Under-18 Clubs coach Greg Lynch, Ireland Under-18 Schools coach Terry McMaster, Gerry Murphy (Leinster), Ultan O’Callaghan (Munster) and Gary Longwell (Ulster).

The key workshop topics were:

• The IRFU Technical Model

• The monitoring and support programme currently being applied to national teams

• Team performance analysis

• The IRFU and Provincial Elite Player pathways – structures and processes (including screening and talent ID)

• The importance of recovery in team conditioning and preparation

• The integration of provincial and national team objectives and co-operation

Commenting on the day, Aboud said: “We are delighted with the support and enthusiasm of our coaches for sharing the same vision. With all our Rugby Development staff sharing this vision and direction, the next few years will be as exciting as they will be challenging.”

Clarke added: “The future Rugby World Cup players in 2015 and 2019 are currently being coached and developed by the people at this Symposium. It’s critical that we strive for collective excellence in both team preparation and Elite Player Development pathways.”

Related Links –

IRFU Technical Model – Creating A Rugby Cultural Revolution

Long Term Player Development