Jump to main content


IRFU Commit To Long-Term Development Of Touch Rugby

A general view of St. Mary's College RFC 16/9/2017

©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

The IRFU has announced a long-term development strategy for touch rugby in partnership with Ireland Touch Association.

The strategy reaffirms the IRFU’s long-term commitment to touch rugby as a way of broadening participation options for players under the IRFU Strategic Plan 2018-2023.

Touch rugby is an adapted format of the game that offers skill development, physical health, wellbeing, and social interaction for its players.

The three key pillars of the strategy are education, resources and partnerships.

Click here to view an overview of the IRFU Touch Rugby Long Term Development Strategy.

Speaking about the strategy, IRFU Participation Rugby Operations Manager David Keane said:

“The focus of the IRFU’s participation team is better experience, better game and better people.

“Being inclusive of all people and all communities is what gives us better people and the more rugby offerings we have, the more we can improve experiences and raise standards across the game.

“Touch rugby ticks all three boxes for us and that’s why we want to promote it with Ireland Touch Association. That partnership has been in place for over five years now and we’re looking forwarding to working together for the next five years and beyond.”

President of Ireland Touch Association Aidan Sweeney, commented:

“Touch is about fun, fitness and social connections. All three elements are more important now than ever and we will continue to build participation for all ages and abilities across all levels of the game.”

“Clubs, schools and colleges will all benefit from having access to a wider rugby offering that will help with recruitment and retention.”

We welcome the IRFU’s long-term development plan and are pleased to work with them in meeting its objectives.”

Phase 1 of the strategy’s rollout will include resources and education opportunities for clubs, schools and colleges.

A case study on the role of touch rugby in underage skill development will be available from next week.