As a coach, you have the ability to impact the lives of the players in your care and the community they belong to. It is a fantastic way to build relationships, gain knowledge of the community while developing your own personal qualities

Helping a player realise their potential on the field is one part and this can be so rewarding,  however many coaches find great satisfaction in helping players develop and shape their personal values away from the field as well.

By registering to be a coach in Counties Manukau, you are contributing to our countries #1 game and we would like to thank you for taking up the challenge!!


Why should I coach rugby?

There are so many great benefits to be gained from coaching a rugby team. In New Zealand we have been particularly blessed to have the greatest team of all time, the All Blacks, to learn from. This presents us, as coaches, the opportunity to help shape our tamariki, taane and wahine into great people, both on and off the field. 

Key benefits:

  • Personal growth,
  • Positive contribution to your community,
  • Growing others,
  • Connecting & integrating with others.


So... How do I become a coach?

It's easy!  Simply follow these steps:

  1. Contact a club or Provincial Rugby Union - rugby development staff
  2. Register as a coach with a club. A club near you can be found here
  3. Attend a coaching course applicable to the grade you coach
  4. Continue to upskill


...and what happens if I just want to help a team out?

Many of us don't have the time to commit for various reasons, so we can only be there part-time. This is totally ok. Simply notify the coach you wish to be involved with and highlight your availability. Strike up a working relationship and identify the areas you can assist with. Due to safety regulations and the welfare of the players in your care, you are required to attend a coaching course applicable to the grade you're involved with.

  1. Contact the coach or club
  2. Suggest your involvement and availability
  3. Attend a coaching course applicable to the grade the team is in


 Do we have to train twice a week, as we did when I played?

No. It is the traditional pattern, however times have changed and parents are becoming more time poor as life goes on. Where possible, Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union (CMRFU) encourage coaches to work out a training schedule that works for everyone in the team, especially the parents. 

Here are some example training patterns that may suit your team:

  • Train one night/afternoon per week
  • Train prior to the game (most applicable to new entrant grades)
  • Train no longer than 45 minutes for ages 10 & below
  • Train at a central location for the majority (where the club may be at a distance)
  • Keep learning outcomes limited to 2 key objectives for the session while maintaining a strong focus on fun


...ok, thanks but I'm not sure that I have the knowledge and/or patience to do a good job.

Don't worry, we've all been there. It can be a daunting task, and the fact that you are nervous means that you take it seriously. It can be a big undertaking & you may have to deal with some pressure, but many times that pressure is internal vs external. 

There are a number of techniques that can help ease doubt, however I find learning from someone with experience is a good start. If you know someone already involved, ask if you can shadow them for a while and slowly get more involved until you're immersed & loving it! Another way to go about it is to put your hand up and let people know that you have doubts about your ability and I guarantee you'll find helping hands will present themselves to you at will. It's the Kiwi way.

In addition to these strategies, CMRFU & New Zealand Rugby Union have rugby development staff, programs and resources to help you learn the latest and greatest coaching tips to help make your job easier.

Here are some links to check out. You can find more helpful sites in the Useful Resources tab 

  • Rugby Toolbox ( - this site is high on the priority list for new and developing coaches. You can find all sorts of information from understanding the game to coaching the game to all ages. It's free and is a vital tool to have in your kit.
  • Small Blacks ( - this is a great resource for junior coaches, parents and players. There are some great tools to help with your coaching and some cool stuff for the kids & parents to get involved with as well.


Do I have to be a female to coach female players?

No. We have many fathers who coach their daughters and mothers who coach their sons. Although it is more likely to be seen at the junior level, we also see it at the highest levels (Black Ferns coached by Wayne Smith)

Coaching is universal, and with a bit of knowledge around coaching, you will be able to coach any player in your care