Introduction to Rugby Coaching

Introduction to Rugby Coaching

Whether you are new to rugby, a former player looking to give something back to the game or a parent who wants to help their child experience rugby, coaching provides the perfect opportunity to get yourself involved. Coaching can be a rich and satisfying experience and is central to developing, sustaining and increasing participation in rugby union

For those new to rugby, the Playing, Coaching & Refereeing Rugby Union resource can help improve your knowledge of the game by providing an explanation of rugby’s history, ethos, the key elements of the game, what various positions do and the physical and technical skills required. New coaches should also contact their local Development Officer for advice on getting involved in coaching within their club.

Minimum Standards

Rugby is a highly physical Game. To enjoy it to its utmost you need to be physically and mentally prepared. You also need to understand how to play safely.

To ensure best practice is being followed, we require that all active coaches in clubs and schools complete the new RugbyRight elearning programme. This educates, aids and supports players, coaches and match officials on the importance of sufficient preparation for training and playing in order for rugby to be played and enjoyed, while reducing the risk of serious injury. This elearning programme also contains a Laws application update. 


What to Coach and How to Coach it

The role of the coach varies greatly depending on the level at which the team operates. At grass roots level it’s about developing players - technically and personally - while at international level the coach is responsible for team selection, performance and results. A coach takes on many interchangeable roles, such as leader, manager, teacher and organiser. The coach needs to have a knowledge of the Game and its Laws, motivation, physical fitness and an understanding of how to coach and improve players.

At Scottish Rugby, we have developed an interactive online Training Hub to help you coach appropriately for the age and stage of the players you are working with. 

Coach Education Pathway

In order to improve the quality and quantity of Scotland’s rugby players, Scottish Rugby aims to provide a clear pathway for coach education and development, which will support member clubs and schools in their recruitment and development of coaches. Our aim is to ensure that coaches with the right skills, knowledge and attributes are developed and deployed at every age and stage of a player’s development. Getting the right coaches with the right ethos and training at the right time is paramount to ensure that players’ needs are met.

For those interested in becoming a qualified coach, the model below details the appropriate coach education and development requirements for coaches as they progress through their coaching journey. The model is player-centred and based on the capacities of players at various stages and development. This is also aligned to appropriate coaching courses and CPD for coaches to attend.

Scottish Rugby advises that all coaches are accredited at the appropriate level and continue to develop themselves throughout their coaching participation.

Coach education takes the form of formal learning (UKCC Level 1-4 / World Rugby endorsed qualifications), while coach development opportunities can include CPD workshops, mentoring from more experienced individuals, informal discussions, observing others and e-learning opportunities.

UKCC Level 1-4 Qualifications

Strength & Conditioning Qualifications

Coaching Workshops & Conferences


Please contact Claire Scott, Coach Development Administrator ( 07773 082924) should you have any questions.


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