A complete learning programme

Rugby Academy Ireland has developed a comprehensive educational curriculum, that compliments the practical and theoretical rugby training offered. We recommend that players enrol onto one or more of the courses below. We also provide the opportunity to gain rugby qualifications recognised by World Rugby and IRFU, such as coaches and match officials. Our daily programme accommodates educational study time to help players achieve their chosen academic qualification.

A serious learning pathway

Rugby Academy Ireland is officially accredited by the international awards body ITEC

Students who study with us will have the opportunity to achieve qualifications in Exercise and Fitness Instruction and Personal Training at EQF levels 3 & 4 through our flexible learning pathway, along with a variety of additional industry ready awards, including strength and Conditioning, suspension training and more.

Starting at level 2 students will study a combination of core and supplementary modules that combined will form the peak of their ITEC educational qualification and provide them certification at every step.

Level 2 subject progression pathway

  • Anatomy and physiology for exercise
  • Principles of exercise, health and fitness
  • How to support clients who take part in exercise and physical activity
  • Health, safety and welfare in a fitness environment
  • Gym based exercise
  • Group exercise to music sessions
  • Water based exercise
  • Health related and physical activity for children
  • Strength and conditioning sessions
  • Studio cycling sessions
  • Kettlebell training sessions
  • Suspension training

If students successfully complete the core and specialist modules at level 2 (EQF level 3) they will receive the ITEC Diploma in Exercise & Fitness instruction. This will provide them the necessary skills and qualifications to obtain entry level jobs in many areas of the fitness industry, including gym instructor, group exercise instructor and more.

Should they complete our full programme, they will develop further skills and knowledge which will enable them to work as a Personal trainer / Exercise specialist in a variety of fitness contexts and they will be awarded with the ITEC Diploma In Personal Training.

Level 2 - 3 progression

Diploma in Exercise and Fitness instruction

Planning & Instruction Personal Training Sessions
Anatomy & Physiology
Nutrition for physical activity

Diploma in Personal Training (Gym based exercise)

We believe that having an overall understanding of exercise & fitness theory is a crucial part of player development and supplements your overall playing career.

We offer our students this unique experience in an integrated, flexible, and supportive way alongside training, coaching and player development allowing them to achieve the best in all aspects of their time with us.

Video analysis certificate

Players will attain a certificate in basic sports video analysis from Nacsport

Dedicated video coaches and video performance analysts are, today, an accepted part of the game in almost every professional sport. Extracting every last piece of data from a video and using it to your advantage to gain an edge over an opponent is paramount and big teams are investing large amounts of time and money on sports analysis. 

At the same time, analysis is becoming more accepted and accessible for semi-pro and amateur teams, especially as the cost of video recording hardware drops.

So, into this mix comes Nacsport. A leading competitor and a long time player in the field of video analysis software, our software is intuitive, powerful and effective. We have a product which is suitable for any sport at any level, from rank amateur to top professional. We also have plans to suit every wallet. From our entry level Basic package to our top flight Elite package.

Course Content

This course covers the first three elements of the SAQ Continuum of Training for Performance.

  1. The first topic of the course is called Dynamic Flexibility and, in this section, we cover the importance, theory, design, and delivery of a good dynamic warm-up for rugby players.
  2. The second topic is called Mechanics of Movement and this entails developing the ability of each player to move correctly. Player who can move well is the foundation of layers moving faster.
  3. The third topic is called Neural Activation or the activation and development of the fast muscles fibers which are most important for seed development.

A Certificate is presented to all successful participants. Examination is by completion of a timed and supervised Multiple-Choice Questionnaire (MCQ)

This course covers three further elements of the SAQ Continuum of Training for Performance.

  1. The first topic of the course is called Quickness of the Mark training and in this section, we cover the importance, theory, and delivery of exercises to develop reaction, anticipation and the ability to start quickly for rugby players.
  2. The second topic is called Agility Development and this entails developing the ability of each rugby player to move with agility and to change direction efficiently and effectively.
  3. The third topic is called Programming and, in this section, we illustrate how the SAQ Continuum can be implemented into rugby training sessions for children, teenagers and for adult teams of all standard.

A Certificate is presented to all successful participants. Examination is by completion of a timed and supervised MCQ

This course examines the pre-season requirements in terms of the physical development of the player for the sport of Rugby.

  1. The first topic of the course examines the Components of Fitness for Rugby as well as looking at the principle elements if each component.
  2. The second topic examines the stamina or endurance requirement for the sport and how best to implement a programme to ensure players can be skillful, fast and fit for the duration of a game.
  3. The third topic examines the strength and power development needed for the players. It looks at circuit training, body weight training, partner exercises as well as weight training – all of which can contribute to strength and power development.

A Certificate is presented to all successful participants. Examination is by completion of a timed and supervised MCQ

This course examines the function and ability to use the body that players have and use.

  1. The first topic of the course examines Functional Screening of Rugby Players to determine the compensations that they develop over the years.
  2. The second topic examines how the body functions. Every action the player makes involves two opposing muscles working together. The Functional Screen will help identify the muscles can limit or restrict how the player function. This can affect speed, skill and stamina of each player.
  3. The third topic demonstrates the exercises for stretching the tight muscles involved and the exercises needed to develop the strength of he opposing weak muscles. In this section the various compensations noted in the players on the course are the issues selected.

A Certificate is presented to all successful participants. Examination is completing a Functional Screen on a fellow student and prescribing exercise for two observed compensations.

IRFU logo white

Irish Rugby Official Courses

SAFE Rugby

The Standard Approach to Field Emergencies in Rugby (SAFE) programme aims to provide rugby specific, pitch side emergency care training and skills to medical staff and non-medical individuals involved at all levels in Irish rugby.

IRFU Coaching

Irish Rugby’s Youth Coaching Course is an introduction to the 15-a-side game for coaches and helpers with limited experience in rugby. The course is suited to people working with players aged 12+ with an emphasis on and enjoyment and coaching through best practice. 


Students will be trained according to IRFU standards to officiate club and school rugby.

World Rugby Certification

Players will receive the following certification throughout the year

as well as learning aspects of coaching at different levels 

Rugby Ready
Laws of the game
Concussion management
Keep rugby clean – Anti doping

Premier Sports College

Certificate in Speed Development Coaching

This course includes both practical and theory lessons. Each week a one hour lecture is delivered, followed by a 90 minute speed training session.

The lectures cover speed and agility while the practical sessions are varied between acceleration sprints, run-in sprints, agility sprints and a regular speed testing session where performance times are taken at 10m and 20m intervals. These are then used to examine the progression of the player throughout his or her participation in the Academy.

A Certificate is awarded to all successful students who complete the written assessment by means of Multiple-Choice Questionnaire test.


Language learning with Avanti

Rugby Academy Ireland has partnered with Avant Language Institute to offer international participants the option to learn and improve English and other languages whilst at the academy.

Email us to find out more!

A career in rugby is possible

We can help you begin a professional career in rugby. The journey requires commitment, discipline, practice, hard work, dedication, sacrifice, respect, skill and technique, but you won’t regret it.

  • Semi/Professional rugby player
  • Semi/Professional coach
  • Semi/Professional referee
  • Strength & Conditioning coach for a variety of sports
  • SAQ coach for a variety of sports
  • Club administrator / manager
  • Program/Season planner
  • Player agent
  • Sports/event manager
  • Corporate sports officer
  • Sports facility administrator
  • First aid assistant
  • Analyst for a variety of sports

Contact us to find out more!

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