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Best Rugby Coaching Books

best rugby coaching books

Rugby Coaching Books: Can They Really Make You a Better Coach?Through a coachs eyes rugby coaching book

Of course it can, there’s not many rugby coaches out there that have never used the help that is written in a book I can tell you

I would imagine that the 5 Best Rugby Coaching Books that I have below have helped many a rugby coach like they did for me

I have been coaching rugby for a few years now and there has been many a book that I have turned the pages of to get a bit of help from

And Why Not?

There’s nothing wrong with getting a few tips from others that have shared their experiences and taken the time to write them down for us to read

And after going through the experiences myself, reading these books, and learning so much about how to become a good coach

I have decided to write one myself which isn’t quite ready yet but I am hoping to finish it soon.

That’s my eldest son on the cover

Take a Quick Look at This Short Video of The Books in This List

Beginners Guide to Rugby Coaching

How Can I Start Coaching Rugby?

The way I got into it was by taking my eldest son to his first training session

I noticed that they were quite low on coaches for the kids so I thought I would offer my help

You can’t turn up and start coaching the children though

You need to take an IRB Rugby Ready Course

That will show the RFU that you have the what it takes to do the job and it’s only a few hours of your time

You will learn how to get through to the children and get them playing and enjoying rugby

Which is a lot harder than you think.

Once you have done that then you can go on to do the Level 1 Coaching Certificate This link is for the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) site where I went through my courses but you can find your local rugby coaching courses just by looking on Google

The course that I went on was over 2 weekends and covered the basics of rugby coaching

You get to go out onto the rugby field and practice the things you have learned in the classroom, but don’t worry, it’s not like it was when you were in school

At the end of it you will have the knowledge and be able to teach the kids all about line-outs, tackling, handling skills, and so much more

You might even be helping a future rugby legend that plays for their country,

How great would that be?

If you enjoy coaching after passing your level 1 course then further down the line you will have the chance to take the level 2 course to improve your coaching skills, and maybe even get your reffing badge?

You also need to get a CRB Check which is a quick police check

That is only to see if you have any convictions against you that would make you unable to work with children.

Th rugby club that you will be joining as a coach normally have funds to cover the cost of training new coaches so I wouldn’t worry about paying for it all.

What About Online Rugby Coaching?

There’s plenty of online rugby coaching courses out there which are very good, but there’s only one way you are going to really learn and that’s by getting on one of the courses that I went on

I think it’s much better to actually test your coaching skills on the field rather than learn it all online

You will get much more experience that way and even make a couple of friends which you can arrange some friendly rugby games with

What do You Need to be a Rugby Coach?Rugby coach giving his team a team talk while they are all stood around him

As well as having all the usual rugby coaching equipment, there are a few little things you need to have within yourself to be a great coach, and they are…

  • Patience: If there’s one thing you will need in abundance and that is patience. If you are going to be starting with the lower age groups then they will be starting with no knowledge of the game so you need to stay calm when they are not getting what you teach them the first time.
  • People Skills: Dealing with the older age groups and of course the parents then you need to be able to communicate well with everyone involved in your rugby team.
  • Knowledge: This is pretty straight forward but you are going to need some Knowledge about the game that you will be teaching the children.
  • Passion: There’s no point in being a rugby coach if you don’t enjoy the game, how can you teach a sport to someone and get them enjoying it when you can’t enjoy it yourself.

Rugby Coaching Session Plan

I have been a rugby coach for quite some time now and one thing that you should always do is plan your training sessions ahead

If you just go into the session without a plan then you will probably spend most of the time trying to figure out what to do next, So Plan Ahead

If you struggle to come up with a plan then you can find some great session planning on the Rugby Coach Weekly website which is totally free to join and I would certainly recommend that you do

Why Use a Rugby Coaching Book?

As a rugby coach I know what it’s like to need a little bit of help from time to time and other than having the help from an assistant coach it’s always handy to have a coaching book just to look through to refresh your memory

You will even learn something new with the right book and that is why I wanted to show you a few of the books that have really helped me through the seasons

And I really believe they will help you too

Before You Look at The Books That I Would Reccommend Just Take a Look at This Quick Video of an Attack And Draw Pass Drill That You Could Use With Your Rugby Team


5. Rugby Drills

Rugby drills coaching book written by Eamon HoganCoaching Books For SaleWritten By: Eamonn Hogan

Published: 1st September 2014

Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback

With a list of over 120 practices, activities, and games for you to try out the author Eamonn Hogan has improved many a training session for myself and so many more rugby coaches across the globe

It will give you ideas about lineouts, defense, kicking, warm-ups, contact, ball handling, and a few other things to make your training session a very successful one

I don’t know about you but I like what I am reading to be organized and easy to follow and that’s just how this book is

On every subject it starts off with a simple task to get your team used to the training then as you go through the chapter it will show you how to make that particular training a bit more difficult and that’s where you will start seeing the best results from your rugby team.

What I liked About This Book: I love the fact that the training drills are very simply broken down and easy to follow, it’s half the battle if you can understand how to correctly set it all up for your team.

The diagrams really help with the understanding of what you have to put the team through.

This Book Summed Up

The development of rugby teams from all around the world have grown strong thanks to this book and I’m pretty sure that it will continue to do so for many years to come

It’s not just for the advanced rugby player, it’s for all levels and abilities and nearly all of them were created by Eamonn Hogan himself and the others are being used by some of the most successful rugby coaches in the world

And if you are wondering if you will need any particular expensive Rugby Training Equipment to achieve what many other coaches have done using these techniques then wonder no more as you won’t need anything but maybe a few cones and the patience to try something new to practice.

Have You Read This Book Already?

4. Coaching Youth Rugby

Coaching youth rugby coaching book written by Keith RichardsonWritten By: Keith Richardson

Published: 1st September 2014

Formats: Kindle, Paperback

You are going to get a lot from this book written by Keith Richardson if you are in the early stages of coaching the new starters to youth rugby

It’s not just for the newbies though, it’s for any level of player that will help you create a dynamic and exciting training session

It will show you a load of team games and drills which will really improve your teams gameplay

After using a few of these drills with your team and providing that they do them correctly then you will see an improvement in the whole team within a few weeks

Well, either that or you just aren’t working them hard enough

The simplistic way that Keith writes will make things so much easier to understand taking away the problems that some rugby coaching books have when they go into too much detail and get the reader lost in all the words.

What I Liked About This Book: As I said above the explanations of all the drills makes it one of the best coaching books that I have read and if it’s going to get you results that so many coaches and teams have got from reading it

This Book Summed Up

It also shows you how to make sure that your team is safe on match days and how to talk with other coaches and anyone that is somewhat involved with the team to ensure that the management of the team runs smoothly

I have to admit though, There hasn’t been many days when all goes to plan but that’s what I love about coaching, You never know what’s going to happen next

Have You Read This Book Already?

3. Legacy

Legacy rugby coaching book Written By James KerrRugby Coaching BooksWritten By: James Kerr

Published: 17th December 2013

Formats: Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook, MP3 CD

The writer of the best-selling book, Legacy, James Kerr was the first outsider to get into the backstage, so to speak, of the famous world-class rugby team, the All Blacks (New Zealand) and speaks about 15 of the very powerful lessons that every coach should know about.

This book will teach you all about making a success of your rugby team exactly the way the All Blacks do it and keeping the success going for many years to come

If you want to learn how to cope under pressure as a rugby coach then you really need to read this

It’s a bit different to your average coaching book as it comes from a journalist rather than a player or coach but I am really impressed with the information that I learned from it and I’m sure you will too

Not only will you be able to learn how to take your tam to the next level with the lessons in there, he also explains how to be a great leader and keep track of your team’s business.

What I Liked About This Book: The honesty that comes from this man will make you truly understand what being a rugby coach is all about and what it takes to be the best that you can be.

This Book Summed Up

It’s not so much a diagram “How To” book but a look into the ways to improve your rugby players thinking about the professional side of the game

You may not need this book if you are coaching the younger age groups but it won’t harm you if you do read it.

Have You Read This Book Already?

2. Rugby For Dummies

Rugby for dummies coaching book Written By Matthew Brown Patrick Guthrie and Greg GrowdenRugby Coaching Drills BooksWritten By: Matthew Brown, Patrick Guthrie, & Greg Growden

Published: 19th August 2011

Formats: Kindle, Paperback, Digital

Now I’m not saying you have to be a dummie to read this book, Well, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway

This has been written for Canadian & USA rugby players but the strategies that are in the book will work well for any country

It doesnt just look at beginner rugby playing, it covers all levels of the sport from High School Rugby, all the way up to the International Teams, and also Womens Rugby

So whether if you want to just brush up on your rugby knowlege or to start fresh as a new rugby coach then you will find eveything you need to know within this book

And when I say everything, I really do mean everything

It has been out for a while now but the authors update it regularly to keep up with the rule changes that happen often in rugby

It’s so easy to follow that even my 9 year old son can understand the rugby rules and positions that it explains and if he can understand it, anyone can.

I can promise you that no matter what you already know about rugby skills, fitness and technique you are going to learn something new when you buy this book.

It also talks about rugby being in the Olympics which was very interesting to read about

What I Liked About This Book: I loved the fact that it speaks in a very easy to follow tone and it explains everything as simple as you will ever see in a rugby coaching book

This Book Summed Up

If you are new to the game or even a seasoned player and coach then you will certainly benefit by reading this well written and easy to follow book.

Have You Read This Book Already?

1.Total Rugby

Total rugby coaching book written by Jim GreenwoodRugby Coaching EquipmentWritten By: Jim Greenwood

Published: 1st September 2015

Formats: Kindle, Paperback, Mass Market Paperback

This book by former Scotland & British Lions Rugby Union player, Jim Greenwood is all about giving detailed solutions to any coaching problems that you may come across

After reading this I could see that Jim Greenwood’s way of coaching was going to change the way I coached in a huge way, but a good way

The reason behind the title, Total Rugby is down to the fact that Jim’s way of thinking is that the whole 15 man squad should all know their positions when attacking or defending and work as one with them all knowing what the other players are thinking

I know that may sound a bit obvious but once you read this you will understand his way of thinking without me trying to explain it to you.

What I Liked About This Book: It has everything that you can think of to help your rugby team succeed and make you into a much better coach, you will find it in this book

I once had a player that couldn’t catch the ball tidy, I know that sounds easy to solve but whatever I tried he still kept dropping it

So I looked at this book and it showed me a technique that worked wonders, and I still use it to this day.

This Book Summed Up

This book has been a bit of a bible to thousands of rugby coaches and players alike

The methods that Jim uses to coach and how he teaches other coaches to get the best out of their team is such an eye-opener and it will probably change how you coach your team for the better

Jim Greenwood is a bit of an icon in the rugby coaching world and has written another 2 great books that will also help you understand the game a bit better

And They Are…

Have You Read This Book Already?

Final Thoughts

Reading rugby coaching books will only help you so much, the best way to be a better coach is to get out there and get involved with a rugby team and experience it first hand

You will always learn more that way but it’s always hany to have one of these books at hand to keep looking through for a bit of guidence every once in a while.

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Have any Questions or Comments?

6 comments on “Best Rugby Coaching Books

KD Forsman

Hi there, great list of rugby coaching and related books. I would think it’s imperative that coaches keep their skills current and reading would form an essential part of that. Your suggestions seem like a good place to start! Cheers, Karen


Thanks, I think it’s really important for rugby coaches to learn both on and off the rugby field and these books will help tremendously.

Ashley Copp

Great article on rugby coaching books! I’m always a fan of ‘for dummies’ series, it always seems to break it down really clearly for you.

Which one do you think helped the most as you started your journey for coaching kids? Or is it a case of everything you learn is transferable and it’s up to you to adapt what you’ve learnt to your coaching style?

Any other material as well you would recommend pairing these books with to keep upto date with the latest in rugby coaching?


They all gave me a little help combined but the only way to truly learn how to coach a rugby team is to get out there and get stuck into it. No book in the world can prepare you for being out there in the thick of it but they will give you an understanding and some great ideas to put into practice.  


Hi Shwni,

Great article!

I think it’s beneficial to learn from books. People have put all their experiences in books. I have educated my horse alone thanks to a great book I bought, and I didn’t have a lot of experience:) And I made delicious cakes thanks to great books too. Anyway, my husband plays rugby for years now, and today he wants to coach his own team. So I think it would be a good idea to buy him a book. I really like the Rugby For Dummies since it covers all level and it is for women too. We never know, I may join the team in the future:)
I just would like to make sure if it’s possible to change the book in case my husband doesn’t find it interesting? Which I doubt but we never know:)

Thank you for this excellent post!


I have been coaching a rugby team for a few years now and even though it can be stressful at times I wouldn’t change it for the world, Your Husband is going to love it.

He won’t get everything from a book as I said but any of these books would be perfect for just starting out as a rugby coach.

If he isn’t happy with the book you have 30 days to return it for a full refund but I have every faith that your husband is going to get a lot from reading “Rugby For Dummies” 

Let me know how he enjoyed reading it or if he didn’t like it 🙂


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