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IRFU Performance Coach Award (Assistant)

Stage 4 Assistant

The IRFU Performance Coach Award is for assistant coaches (backs & forwards) working with advanced 15-a-side teams, with higher technical competencies and understanding of the game. The course develops the Identities of Rugby through Functional Role Analysis.

At the end of the course the coach is expected to develop individual players’ abilities to undertake and adjust their specific roles in a changing environment within each of the identities of rugby. Sport specific and generic modules are examined at a more advanced level, together with the introduction of modules, which develop the coaches’ ability to understand learning styles in conjunction with increasing the players’ tactical appreciation.

The course develops the assistant coach as ‘Facilitator.’

Entry criteria

  • Assistant Coach position (actively coaching at an appropriate level – Stage 4)
  • Stage 3 Coach / Assistant Coach Accreditation


  • Assimilated – Proven senior/professional rugby playing or coaching experience
  • Priority will be given to Assistant Coaches working at the higher levels

Numbers Per Course

40 maximum/20 minimum (divided between backs and forwards coaches)


  • Full course attendance
  • Produce a written Unit Profile – Strengths & weakness’ profile of identities of rugby relating to player profiles (backs/forwards)
  • Log 60 hours coaching (diary)
  • Complete a minimum of one Practical Coaching Observation
  • Sign-off and awareness of the IRFU “Child Welfare Document” (if working with underage team)
  • The IRFU reserves the right to modify, replace or add to accreditation requirements in accordance with updates to Coach Development programmes.


The IRFU Coaching Accreditation Re-Validation programme is currently under development.

It is envisaged that IRFU coaching accreditations will be re-validated on a three yearly basis provided coaches have fulfilled specific ‘Continuing Professional Development’ (CPD) requirements during that three year period from when they received their IRFU coaching accreditation.

Such CPD requirements will vary by accreditation stage/coaching level, and opportunities to build on existing IRFU coaching accreditations will be provided by way of provincial workshops, seminars and conferences as well as online resources aimed at promoting coach development in a more self-directed manner.

Please note we are now accepting applications for the following coaching course for season 2018-19:

Coaches who should apply for the Stage 4 courses are AIL Head and Assistant Coaches, U20 AIL Head and Assistant Coaches, Schools SCT Head and Assistant Coaches, J1 AIL and J1 Qualifying League Head and Assistant Coaches. These courses are based on invite only and subject to meeting coaching criteria and eligibility. It is also subject to a course capacity so those coaching at the higher levels will be accepted on the course first.

As per usual IRFU coaching protocol, the Branch development office is responsible for ensuring that all nominations are valid and prioritised based on assessment of the coach’s current role (Head or Assistant Coach of a Stage 4 team) and their expressed intention to pursue the accreditation. For further details on the course and on coach eligibility please refer to: http://www.irishrugby.ie/playingthegame/coaching/application_form.php

Please note applications have now closed.

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