Scottish Rugby yesterday held its first ever Women and Girls Technical Blueprint summit at BT Murrayfield to support coaches and players across the country as they develop the game.

Attended by dozens of the country’s women and girls’ coaches, the summit aimed to influence coaching practice by increasing understanding of foundation skills for female players and teams.

The governing body’s Technical Blueprint, ‘The Scottish Way’, offers a set of key principles, such as creating adaptive play and long term development, to aid coaches and players to improve the standard of all rugby in Scotland.

The women and girls’ focus retains the core theme of rugby speed and provides an aligned set of principles and terminology to ensure that coaches at all levels know which skills to focus on throughout the rugby pathway.

Scottish Rugby will support coaches in the women and girls’ games this season with a programme of development workshops and new training videos made available online through the Hive Learning portal.

Scottish Rugby Head of Training and Education Neil Graham said: “The women and girls’ game in Scotland is at a different stage of development to the men’s game, so providing coaches with additional guidance and focusing on the appropriate principles will benefit players and coaches alike.

“Over the past season we’ve seen the success of the Technical Blueprint and coaches’ desire to play in line with the principle of rugby speed. Ball-in-play time, breakdown speed and offload-to-tackle ratio have all risen as teams work with the blueprint and increase skill levels.”

While the Technical Blueprint provides direction for all coach, player and match official development programmes at Scottish Rugby, the series of workshops and new materials focuses on the specific challenges involved in women and girls’ rugby.

Scottish Rugby has considered the potential differences in experience and squad size between men and women’s rugby with the aim of future-proofing the game by developing players who have the skills and abilities to reach their potential in the game.

Scottish Rugby Head of Women and Girls Gemma Fay said: “The number of players in Scotland is increasing and with it the player pool for selection at age-grade and senior levels.

“Focusing on what the Technical Blueprint can do for women and girls’ rugby specifically will provide coaches with additional guidance and support as we strive to improve the standards of women and girls’ rugby across Scotland, whatever the level.”

Originally launched in September 2016, the Technical Blueprint has been embedded into the national age-grade programmes and was delivered to over 1,800 coaches last season through pro-coach masterclasses and regional coaching conferences.

The blueprint is part of an overarching strategy across performance and grassroots rugby as developed by professional, club and school coaches including recently re-signed Scotland Coach Gregor Townsend, grand slam winner Sean Lineen and Director of Rugby Scott Johnson.

For more information on the Technical Blueprint, visit scottishrugby.org/technical-blueprint.

Photo: Gordon Lyon