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IRFU Technical Conference Promotes Rugby Development Model

IRFU Technical Conference Promotes Rugby Development Model

The annual Technical Staff Conference was held in the Castleknock Hotel earlier this month and was opened by IRFU President Billy Glynn and director of rugby Eddie Wigglesworth.

Nearly 70 provincial and national technical officers and managers attended this year’s conference organised by Stephen Aboud, IRFU head of technical direction.

The conference aims are to reinforce aspects of the IRFU Technical Model, promote creative thinking, share experiences and projects between provinces and develop a stronger identity among all Technical staff.

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Some of the key topics this year were:

The Rugby Faculty – developing and initiating rugby curriculums and systems in schools and clubs. Feedback and discussions were held around presentations on pilot schemes undertaken in each province.

Rugby Architects – examining the importance of creating the right training environment to facilitate effective performance. Applications to elite player, coach development and team preparation were discussed.

Nora Stapleton at the Technical Conference









Workshops were also held specifically for Elite Player Development Colin McEntee, high performance manager; Coach EducationColin Moran, training manager; and Women’s RugbyNora Stapleton, Women’s and girls development executive.

The final workshop was Developing Effective Communication and was presented by Jonathan Miller, managing director of Insights Ireland, which facilitated the ongoing theme of personal development.

Stephen Aboud summarised the conference, saying: “It’s focused on getting everyone together – thinking, talking and developing rugby – it’s fun, informative and challenging.

“But the serious side is to improve ourselves so we can provide a higher quality of service in the technical aspects of rugby development.”

IRFU Technical Model


Stephen Aboud – Head of Technical Direction


Colin McEntee










High Performance Manager Colin McEntee











Kieran Campbell and James Topping