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Stage 4

Stage 4


The Stage 4 Course is for Head Coaches working with advanced 15-a-side teams, with higher technical competencies and understanding of the game.

The course develops the Principles of Play through Functional Role Analysis of the Identities of rugby.

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 interpersonal relationships, team dynamics in conjunction with increasing the players’ tactical appreciation.

The course develops the coach as ‘Facilitator’.

Entry criteria

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


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

Numbers Per Course

40 maximum/15 minimum


  • Full course attendance (2 weekends)
  • Pass a Laws test – if not already completed
  • Log 60 hours coaching (diary)
  • Produce a Season Plan (technical, tactical, physiological and mental aspects)
  • Complete a minimum of two Practical Coaching Observations
  • Develop Mid-Season Player questionnaire & feedback report

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 3 yearly basis provided coaches have fulfilled specific ‘Continuing Professional Development’ (CPD) requirements during that 3 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

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