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 Coaching Courses

Club/School Coaching Courses

What Coach Training is Available?
NZRU Coaching Pathways
Coaching Small Blacks Course
Teenage Coaching Course
Developing Rugby Coaches
Certificate in Practical Rugby Coaching
Advanced Coaching Course
NZRU/Massey University Certificate in Coaching (Rugby)
Other Local Coaching Courses
Coaching Resources

What coaching training is available?

The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) offers several coaching courses throughout the Coachingcountry. The courses are facilitated by Provincial Union Rugby Development Officers (RDOs) and are designed to meet the need of coaches at each level.

The NZRU Rugby Smart safety course is compulsory for all coaches of U14 grade and above and must be attended each year. This course also provides a valuable coaching resource.

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NZRU Coaching Pathways

Opportunities exist to coach at every level, from school children, through to club level, provincial level, and progressing through to professional coaching at Rebel Sport Super 14 and All Blacks level. As opportunities arise you can progress as follows:

  1. Coaching Small Blacks Course
    A series of introductory modules that emphasise creating an environment of skill-Coaching-Kids-7.jpgdevelopment and fun. User-friendly coach’s handbooks and coaching resources are issued free to all coaches who attend the course.
    • Coaching Small Blacks Module and -
    • Beginning Rugby Course: for Under 6–Under 7 coaches or ->
    • Learning Rugby Course: for Under 8–Under 10 coaches or -
    • Playing Rugby Course: for Under 11–Under 13 coaches

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  2. Teenage Coaching Course
    The Teenage Coaching course has been developed to provide coaches with a basic understanding of facets of the game of rugby.

    The resource is directed at coaches of teenage grades.

    It includes a comprehensive manual focussing on the skills of rugby as well as providing basic information on teaching a skill and the practical implications of rugby training.

    The Teenage Coaching course is divided into four stages: RugbySmart, game knowledge, teaching skills and how to run an effective practice.

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  3. Developing Rugby Coaches
    A series of practical workshops and modules developing both rugby knowledge and the application of that knowledge in the coaching environment.

    Modules include:
    Role of the Coach; Principles of Play; Planning – Season/ Session; The Selection Process; Skill Analysis and Coaching a Skill; Individual Skill Development; Scrum; Lineout; Continuity; Attack; Defence; Counterattack; Kick Starts and Restarts; Growth and Development; Mental Skills Training; and Physical Preparation Recommended for age-grade coaches: U13–U21
    • Club coaches
    • Secondary school coaches
    • Senior club coaches
    • Provincial age-grade coaches
    • National age grade coaches (Under 17, Under 19, Under 21)
    • Provincial senior coaches
    • Rebel Sport Super 14 coaches
    • All Blacks coaches

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  4. Certificate in Practical Rugby Coaching 
    A course that gives coaches a better understanding of the practical components involved in coaching rugby in a series of modules that are user-friendly and interesting for all participants. Coach Modules may include:
    • Lineouts
    • Scrums
    • Backlines
    • Opposed trainings
    • Goal-kicking
    • Defence

    Entry is open for all coaches at all levels.

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  5. Advanced Coaching Course
    A course run by Rebel Sport Super 14 franchises based around functional role analysis, team selection, establishing an effective team culture, physical preparation and nutrition, back attack, law, applied individual skills training, game planning, advanced continuity skills, sport psychology and communication skills. Coaches completing this course will also gain the IRB Level 3 qualification (Analysing and Preparing Players).
    Recommended for:
    • First XV secondary school coaches
    • Senior club coaches
    • Provincial senior coaches
    • Provincial and national age-grade coaches
    • Rebel Sport Super 14 coaches
    • All Blacks coaches


    1. Nomination by Provincial Union

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  6. NZRU/Massey University Certificate in Coaching (Rugby)
    A four-paper extra-mural course which includes the Rugby Practicum. Recommended for:
    • First XV coaches
    • Provincial age-grade coaches
    • National age-grade coaches
    • Senior club coaches
    • Rebel Sport Super 14 coaches
    • All Blacks coaches


    1. Accredited Advanced Coaching Certificate.

    2. Nomination by Provincial Union.

    3. Application to NZRU High Performance Administrator in October each year.

    The Coaching Practicum course is run each year during the Rebel Sport Super 14 competition. The nine-day residential course is in two parts and is aligned with the IRB Level 4 Game Planning course.

    Please make contact with your local Provincial Union if you are interested in attending any of the above courses or would like further information. 

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Other Local Coaching Courses

Provincial Rugby Unions facilitate a variety of coaching courses to assist club and school coaches in their province. 

Contact your local Provincial Rugby Union for more details on coaching courses in your area.

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Coaching Resources is the official NZRU coaching website where all coaches can upskill themselves in their own time.

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