This coaching resource is intended to help you deliver active and purposeful rugby coaching sessions and to give children the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the sport.
It should not be viewed in isolation but rather in conjunction with the IRFU's Long Term Player Development Programme and in support of the Coaching Pathway.


  • Rugby is enjoyed most when play is continuous as part of the game, not a series of stop-start drills
  • Small-sided games (four v two, five v three, five v five etc) allow players to put the skills learned into practice, to be active and involved
  • Players also need the challenge of understanding which skill or technique to select and apply not just how to perform it
  • Only through conditioned practices and small-sided games do players make decisions and develop greater understanding of the game
  • Small-sided games also allow the coach develop a critical eye so that he/she can identify skills and techniques in need of attention
  • The coach can then question the players so that they work out solutions
  • Where necessary, the coach can run a coaching activity to improve the technique or skill required before returning to the game. This is known as the whole - part - whole approach

To find out more about IRFU coaching programmes or for further support in your role as a coach, please contact your local Coach Development Officer.

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