Seventy two coaches from all over the province of Connacht and the surrounding areas attended the I.R.F.U. fitness workshop in Galway. The workshop is part of the IRFU continued professional development programme for fitness coaches. Mondays night’s workshop is one of a series of workshops run in each province in the first quarter of the year in conjunction with the fitness staff in each province. The workshop is aimed at coaches working at all levels from mini’s to adult. The topics covered on the night were as follows –

Topic 1 – Improving Function, Speed, Strength & Power in Young Players.
Presenter – Des Ryan (IRFU Fitness Education Manager)

Topic 2 – Modified Wrestling Drills for Rugby
Presenter – Antoine Mobian (Connacht Rugby Academy Fitness Coach)

The workshop was both theory and practical based, using some of the young players from Connacht Rugby as subjects. The new state of the art Connacht Rugby Gym was an excellent venue for the workshop. Coaches who attended the workshop were given details on what is the most appropriate and practical method to develop young players. The workshop also gave coaches some ideas for something new and challenging to introduce to their training.

Many thanks must go to Connacht Branch of the I.R.F.U. for the use of their excellent facilities and for to the Rugby development section of the Connacht Branch for their help in organising the event and contacting the schools and clubs.

Main Message

Coaches were advised to continue their development by attending the following Courses –

·    I.R.F.U. Certified Conditioning Coach Course

When the coach has the above completed they are informed about the Setanta College courses to develop their fitness coaching competences.

·    Resistance Training & Weight Training for Sport
·    Physical Fitness & Conditioning for Sport

Next Workshops

Munster (Charleville – 24/2/10)
If you require more information on the workshop please contact – Niamh Nash on [email protected]  or 01 6473835.

Ulster (Ravenhill – 24/3/10)
This course will be advertised it two weeks

Photos from the Night

Antoine Mobain demonstrating modified wrestling drills for rugby with some Connacht academy players.


Des Ryan demonstrating med ball exercises for young players.


Presenters –

Des Ryan (IRFU Fitness Education Manager)

Des Ryan is the fitness education manager for the I.R.F.U. Part of his role is to run the I.R.F.U. certified conditioning coach course and the I.R.F.U. / I.A.WL.A. weight lifting level 1 & Level 2 courses. Des also manages the continued professional development system for IRFU Fitness Coaches.
His role includes managing the fitness development structures for rugby players Under 19 years of age and below. Before Des started his position with the IRFU he worked for Connacht rugby for 10 years, working as the head fitness advisor for the Connacht Rugby Senior team from 2000 to 2008. During this time Des has worked with the Ireland A rugby team for 3 years and assisted with the Ireland senior team. Outside of rugby Des has worked with the Roscommon and Galway senior football teams and has been fitness coach when both counties won a Connacht senior football championship. Des has also trained the Galway U21 footballers when they won the All Ireland title in 2005. He is currently a tutor with Setanta College who offer courses in the area of fitness and conditioning.

Antoine Mobian (Connacht Rugby Academy Fitness Coach)

Antoine Mobian has been the Connacht Rugby Academy Fitness Coach since November 2006. He has an undergraduate degree in Sports Performance and Training and a Masters of Science in Strength and Fitness Conditioning from the University of Strasbourg. Before his move to Ireland, Antoine held positions at several academies and sport’s clubs across France including U.S. Colomiers Rugby and he also worked in England as Fitness advisor for the sports department of Cambridge University. In 2006 he completed the IRFU Certified Conditioning Coach Course.
Antoine is responsible for the development of the Academy players in areas such as speed, strength and fitness. He was also responsible for the fitness of the Connacht U18 Youths intro provincial winning teams. Antoine worked with the Irish U18 Youths team for two years where the reached the FIRA European Final on both occasions.


Mini rugby in focus: Buccaneers RFC