Stage 4


Players in this category are two-fold; players (18-21 approx) & ‘junior 1 & above’
players. Players have now committed themselves to rugby as their chief sport
and are willing to invest a significant amount of time and energy to become
successful. They are driven and are fiercely competitive with a greater capacity
for all game related competencies. Players pay more attention to developing
themselves as positional specialists in order to undertake their functional
With their increase in knowledge and maturity, players are capable of strong
opinions and of taking greater responsibility while also contributing more
towards problem solving.
Since the characteristics of players are such that they have the capacity for
greater input, the role of the coach shifts towards facilitation. Allowing opportunity
for opinions and problem-solving is critical if players are to develop confidence
and relative autonomy.
The coach will still need to employ teaching, challenging and guiding skills where
appropriate, the emphasis should be on developing players’ ability to ‘navigate’
rather than ‘replicate’.
The game is fiercely competitive with positional specialists clearly influencing
events, mini units & units well synchronised and team play concentrated on
reducing error and maximising success. The focus is on achieving desired
outcomes in respect to attack & defence goals (team, unit, mini-unit).
For example, winning the lineout is more important now than thinking about
the performance; however the essences of the previous stages (performance,
structured, fun) are all brought to bear in the pursuit of achieving the  ‘outcomes’.