The IRFU have announced the appointment of Daragh Sheridan as the Head of High Performance Coach Development.
Sheridan will be responsible for establishing and maintaining a world-class programme for the education and development of rugby coaches at all levels within Ireland, with a particular focus on the support and development of IRFU High Performance coaches.
One of his key roles will be in the delivery of Personal Development Plans for the IRFU’s High Performance coaches in national and provincial teams and in the Academies.
He will be driving the IRFU’s coach education and development programmes and ensuring alignment in coach practice between High Performance and the domestic game.
Sheridan will work with both David Nucifora (IRFU Performance Director) and Colin McEntee (IRFU Director of Rugby Development) in the delivery of his role. Nucifora commented:
Daragh has a wealth of experience from working both in Ireland and overseas in the area of coach development.
“His appointment will build on the foundations already established in our coach support systems and drive the next evolution in how we develop coaches across the system.”
McEntee added: “This is a very positive appointment for Irish Rugby and will add significant value to the IRFU’s Coach Development programmes right down into grassroots rugby.
Coaches across our clubs and schools will benefit from these programmes and, ultimately, it will enhance the player experience within the game.”
Speaking about his appointment, Sheridan said: “The biggest thing that attracted me to the role was the IRFU’s strategic intent around winning teams on the world stage and the fact that the organisation has got a system that has been professionalised over the last number of years.
“I’m incredibly excited about the role and the opportunity.”
Sheridan joins the IRFU from High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) who he has worked with since 2018.
At HPSNZ he led the development and implementation of the high-performance coaching plan in partnership with a range of national sport organisations.
Prior to his work in New Zealand, he held a number of roles over a 10-year period with the Sport Ireland Institute – Head of Capability & Expertise, Programme Lead for the Pursuit of Excellence Programme, and Head of Performance Skills.
The former professional soccer player, who represented Aston Villa, Galway United and Longford Town, was a research lead at the University of Stirling, delivering the GAA’s ‘Play to Stay’ Research Programme – a multi-year research programme dedicated to solving youth drop-out in Gaelic Games.