The Rugby Growth and Participation Manager will provide strong leadership and strategic direction of the IRFU’s work to grow participation within the game and to integrate social forms (i.e. Touch, Tag & Community Sevens) of the game more effectively into its overall strategic plan.

The successful candidate will demonstrate a wide range of management and leadership capabilities to grow the sport of rugby. With transferable experience from a commercial / FMCG / retail or product focused environment, the post holder will be an outstanding communicator with the ability to present written and verbal communication to a broad stakeholder base including funding partners, internal IRFU departments, member clubs, volunteers and commercial partners.
Working closely with (and reporting to) the Director of Rugby Development, the role will take the lead in managing the IRFUs participation data, interrogating this and developing insights into trends within the game and in wider society which may affect the sport. With overall responsibility for increasing the numbers of people playing rugby on a regular basis, this role will maximise existing opportunities and develop innovative solutions to address identified challenges.
Whilst they will have a particular focus on strengthening the capacity in IRFU member clubs and Schools to grow the game, they will also be responsible for identifying, and partnering with, appropriate external organizations to support this work. In undertaking the above, the candidate will work closely with the Provincial leads for Rugby Development.
Due to secondment of the present manager, this role is being offered on a 2 year fixed term contract basis.
The post is responsible for the line management of 6 full-time staff and a variety of season staff
  • Excellent organisation, communication and teamwork skills.
  • Experience in managing a full time team of staff, and a volunteer workforce
  • Ability to work as part of a team of dedicated staff, and with staff from other Rugby affiliated bodies (i.e. Provincial Branches and Clubs)
  • Strong Customer service and/or product development background
  • Marketing background;
  • Experience working for an FMCG;
Strategic direction
  • Establish and manage a range of strategies to support clubs to grow the opportunities to play the different variants of the game within their existing operational capacities
  • Assume overall responsibility for the further development and implementation of the IRFU Participation strategy across Clubs and 3rd level, including the implementation of  Play Rugby and Social variants of the game (i.e. Tag, Touch and Community Sevens)
  • Establish and manage a clear strategy to support the development of targeted and pro-active work to engage more male and females in regularly playing of the game
  • Initiate strategies to undertake in depth and targeted work to grow the game in identified geographic locations and with identified population groups
Participation Rugby Operations
  • Assume overall responsibility for the further development and implementation of Regional Model approach to developing rugby (i.e. identified geographic locations and with identified population groups).  This will require the post holder to actively engage with the Provinces to optimise the annual resource (€3.4M) allocated to the four provinces for the development of the game.
  • Responsible for central coordination, including policy and procedures, of Summer Camps, Play Rugby and other initiatives to increase participation in clubs and schools
  • Manage and facilitate ongoing sponsorships of the Participation rugby programmes, in conjunction with the IRFU Commercial & Marketing department
  • As directed, leaded event management/coordination activities for National and International Tournaments
Solutions development
  • Lead the creation of innovative solutions to develop the promotion and take up Rugby
  • Utilising the experiences of other sports and other nations develop creative solutions to encouraging more people to take up Rugby and to play it on a regular basis
  • Working with partner organisations and the rugby community to identify barriers to participation and create innovative solutions to break down these barriers
  • Develop creative solutions to encourage  and support more institutions, and participants, to take up the playing of Rugby
  • Working closely with colleagues, identify the changing needs of rugby clubs as they develop new and different growth strategies and ensure that innovative solutions are created to support clubs in this move
  • Working closely with the Training Manager, develop an annual programme of professional development for Community Development officers which enhances the participants rugby experience
External relationships
  • Develop and nurture relationships with specialist organisations  identifying opportunities for joint working and initiating joint programmes of work capable of achieving mutual goals
  • Supported the IRFU Branch Staff in building working relationships with identified Local Authorities and County Sports Partnerships develop and strengthen the required local infrastructures to support the growth in rugby provision
  • Delivery of all agreed Participation Rugby annual objectives as agreed
  • Maintain effective relationships with staff across the IRFU and Provincial Branches
  • Carry out duties and responsibilities in line with outlined policies & procedures
  • Establish efficient work practices
  • Make effective and informed decisions in relation to the role of ‘Participation Rugby Manager’
  • Portray a competent and professional image of the IRFU
To apply for this position, please send your CV along with a one page cover letter to Eoin Ward, HR Generalist through the Apply Now section below. Please note that the closing date for applications is strictly 13:00 on Friday, 28th August 2015.
Interviews will be conducted on either Tuesday, 8th or Wednesday 9th September 2015.
Please also note that this position is based in Dublin 4 and is offered on a 2 year fixed term contract basis.
The IRFU is an equal opportunities employer