3 minutes, 33 seconds Read

The Irish Rugby Football Union has developed a Long Term Player Development (LTPD) Model for Women’s rugby, providing an integrated framework to facilitate the development of female players at all levels of participation and experience.  The model, launched troday, was developed to ensure the continued growth of the Women’s game.

Developed by the IRFU Women’s and Girls Development Executive, Nora Stapleton, with assistance from IRFU Head of Technical Direction, Steve Aboud, in consultation with provincial Branch staff and women’s rugby development officers nationwide, it is designed to provide a framework to ensure that coaching, training and playing the game is always appropriate for the developmental stage of the players involved.

The model is player-centered with emphasis on the specific characteristics and capabilities of players at each stage of development.

The LTPD comes just days before the IRFU Women’s Sevens Dublin, the first World Rugby international seven tournament to be held in Ireland, will take place over the weekend of the 22-23rd August.  The IRFU is also building towards the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup, which will be held in Dublin and Belfast.

Launching the document IRFU Women and Girl’s Development Executive Nora Stapleton said:
“While women’s rugby was part of the overall Long Term Player Development model launched by the IRFU in 2006, the new model has been developed to ensure the pathway and long-term participation, performance and enjoyment of rugby specifically for girls and women.  In essence it is a blueprint for the future development of our game.

The model will influence and promote current IRFU rugby coaching courses targeting all levels of the women’s game so that all coaches are aware of the individual player capabilities and development opportunities at each stage. We have used four P’s to capture the overall essence of the model and the future of female rugby; increase Participation, bring Passion, nurture Potential and achieve great Performance.

It is important to remember that the LTPD model is not intended to be a production line of world-class players but rather an integrated series of stages to maximise the potential of players according to their own ability and ambition. Ultimately of course, the successful establishment and maintenance of a long-term programme of development will be essential to that small number of players with the talent and aspiration to become elite performers.

Finally, due to the embryonic stage of the female game in Ireland, part of the document focuses on late beginner players to rugby ensuring that we introduce them to the game in a safe and enjoyable manner.”

Philip Browne, Chief Executive added:
“The women’s game perfectly reflects rugby values with respect, inclusivity, excellence, integrity and perhaps most importantly, fun, at the fore of the game throughout the country.  Clubs that operate women’s teams and promote the opportunity for women to take a lead in terms of volunteerism, coaching, development and strategic growth, are reaping the rewards.

For those clubs who are already embracing the women’s game, the LTPD will provide an additional resource to develop their players, grow the game, ensure continued safety and broaden engagement.

For those clubs who are yet to establish female teams, or promote the participation of women in their club, I urge them to do so, and to use this plan to develop a club strategy for broadening the rugby family.”

Welcoming the initiative Louis Magee, IRFU Immediate Past President said
“When the Irish Women’s RFU and the IRFU came together in 2006 we set ambitious targets to grow the women’s game.  Now, having grown the game beyond expectation, with over 100% growth and almost 90 clubs fielding an adult women’s team, it is the opportune time to examine the on-going development of the sport to ensure continued enjoyment and fun for all and the development of players with international potential.

There are great developments happening in the women’s game, with international tournaments in both sevens and fifteens to look forward to this summer and in 2017, and I congratulate everyone who has helped to develop this road-map for the development of our women’s game, and look forward to the continued growth of this great sport.”

For more information and to download the document, please visit

Similar Posts