Teach high performance Rugby League game skills

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to teach players Rugby League competition skills. It requires the ability to plan, conduct and evaluate drills, activities, and games which focus on the development of player skills to a high performance level according to the International Laws of Rugby League.


This unit applies to those coaches known as High Performance Coaches who develop Rugby League skills to a high performance level for semi-professional and professional players who are involved in state or national competitions using the International Laws of Rugby League. They operate with complete autonomy and supervise and mentor other coaches.

High Performance Coaches include head coaches of National Rugby League (NRL) professional club teams, national and state coaching directors and coaches of national and state representative teams.

In this unit professional team participants also refers to semi-professional high performance players.



Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Plan high performance Rugby League sessions.

1.1. Identify and assess participants' needs and characteristics to plan tailored Rugby League sessions.

1.2. Identify and assess participants' readiness and current knowledge of the international game of Rugby League to determine session aims and objectives.

1.3. Develop a plan to meet professional team participants' needs in accordance with relevant regulations, organisational policies and procedures.

1.4. Identify risks and incorporate safety procedures to manage the risks associated with high performance level Rugby League drills, activities and games.

1.5. Access and select location, equipment and resources and check to ensure safety and suitability.

2. Brief professional team participants.

2.1. Communicate instructions and relevant information about the Rugby League session in a detailed manner understandable to professional team participants.

2.2. Inform participants of known and anticipated risks; safety procedures; responsible, safe and appropriate behaviours; and, the International Laws of Rugby League.

2.3. Discuss, clarify and establish a suitably cooperative communication system to promote teamwork while participating in drills, activities and games.

2.4. Advise procedures for dealing with emergency and non-routine situations.

2.5. Encourage participants to seek clarification, information and feedback during the briefing and the session.

3. Conduct high performance Rugby League sessions.

3.1. Use teaching and coaching techniques appropriate to the needs of participants to develop players' high performance skills of Rugby League in attack and defence and to impart required player knowledge.

3.2. Conduct the coaching session according to accepted best practice in Rugby League coaching and appropriate endorsed standards promoted by sporting organisations.

3.3. Conduct specific warm-up and introductory activities for participants to reduce any escalation of injury or the risk of new injury.

3.4. Monitor individual participant's performance and maintain effective communication during high performance Rugby League drills, activities and games.

3.5. Liaise with other coaches and specialist staff to monitor and deliver high performance Rugby League drills, activities and games.

3.6. Provide positive encouragement and feedback to each participant throughout the session.

3.7. Observe participants during high performance Rugby League drills, activities and games, and adjust or refine individual or group technique as required.

3.8. Allow time for, and conduct, adequate cool down activities at the end of the session.

4. Complete post-session responsibilities.

4.1. Inform participants of opportunities to further develop their Rugby League skills to a high performance level.

4.2. Provide opportunities for participants to identify their personal progress and satisfaction with the session, and encourage their feedback and questioning.

4.3. Evaluate relevant aspects of the Rugby League session and review the level of learning achieved.

4.4. Identify areas of improvement for future high performance Rugby League sessions.

Required Skills

Required skills

communication skills to:

consult with participants to plan a high performance Rugby League session that satisfies their needs

fully brief participants in all aspects of the session

interact with participants to create a safe and positive team environment

provide detailed, proper and specific feedback

receive and evaluate feedback from participants

literacy skills to:

produce detailed, in-depth written plans for Rugby League sessions

complete full written post-session evaluation reports on the quality of player and self- participation in the session

complete any required forms to apply for permission or permits to use a suitable location or Rugby League field

numeracy skills to manage time within session timeframes when delivering a series of drills, activities and games

problem-solving skills to:

plan suitable Rugby League sessions according to participant's needs, characteristics and expectations

address participant difficulties in developing high performance skills and techniques

anticipate and respond appropriately to non-routine situations

planning and organisational skills to:

source, allocate and coordinate resources, equipment and a suitable location

organise participants into manageable groups for Rugby League drills, activities and games

analytical skills to monitor and evaluate player and self-progression

teaching and coaching techniques to suit a range of participant's needs, characteristics and learning styles

personal Rugby League skills, to a very high level of technical correctness, to:

understand progressive skill acquisition

demonstrate, explain and break down skills and techniques to participants

first aid and emergency response skills appropriate to the location.

Required knowledge

regulations that apply to the use of private and public Rugby League facilities and gyms

site-specific information to assist in the planning process and enable management of potential risks and any special restrictions applying to the location

the primary components of occupational health and safety legislation in order to monitor OHS practices as a coach management function. This would include the basic aspects of the club's responsibilities to comply with relevant state or territory OHS laws, especially its requirement to:

develop systematic OHS practices inclusive of policies and procedures

consult with players and other coaching staff

identify hazards, conduct risk assessments and control risks

keep records of any incidents

provide OHS information and safety training to players and other coaching staff

the full content of the organisation's OHS policies, procedures and reporting processes in order to manage their implementation and the legal ramifications of failure to observe these

risks associated with training for, and playing Rugby League, according to International Laws of Rugby League and techniques to manage these risks

emergency response and rescue procedures, appropriate for Rugby League, to ensure risk minimisation to self and group

the complete content and intricacies of endorsed standards promoted by sporting organisations

the complete content of organisational policies and procedures for conducting coaching sessions

the complete content and intricate interpretations of the International Laws of Rugby League

the roles and responsibilities of all player positions for Rugby League competitions using the International Laws of Rugby League

the key features of Rugby League related injuries, a range of physical and motor performance abilities and appropriate player fitness levels to analyse the readiness of participants to engage in progressive skills acquisition at this high level

formats, styles for and inclusions of complex plans used by high performance Rugby League coaches and the organisation in particular

the essential features and usage of accepted best practice techniques for coaching Rugby League to players at a high performance level.

the intricacies and usage of adult teaching and coaching techniques and practices applicable to a range of learning abilities and adult, or near adult, aged professional team participants

the intricacies and usage of Rugby League skills at a high performance level and specific drills, activities and games that promote progressive skill acquisition in individuals and groups

the essential features and use of equipment and technological aids used in the development of Rugby League skills to a high performance level

the intricacies and appropriate usage of complex communication systems used between players, coaches, referees and support staff during high performance Rugby League drills, activities and games using the international rules of the game of Rugby League.

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the following is essential:

conducts multiple and diverse safe drills, activities and games that reflect the needs and characteristics of a diverse range of participants at a high performance level that are of sufficient duration and breadth to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance

plans and delivers precise relevant information, explanations and demonstrations for high performance Rugby League sessions to ensure activities are conducted safely according to participant's needs and characteristics

observes and monitors the progress of participants and provides constructive feedback and intervention to improve and develop player skills in Rugby League to a high performance level

uses and modifies teaching and coaching techniques and drills, activities and games to cater for a range of individual learning styles and player differences

evaluates and reflects on own coaching performance to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas that need improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure access to:

resources and information on participants and location to accurately plan, coach and document Rugby League sessions for participants at a high performance level using the International Laws of Rugby League

Rugby League training and competition facilities

equipment such as Rugby League balls, uniforms, appropriate footwear and personal protective equipment

groups of high performance level Rugby League players to take part in the Rugby League sessions

support staff, such as first aiders, physiotherapists, other medicos and experienced and qualified assistants all support staff

referees qualified to manage a high performance match using the International Laws of Rugby League

International Laws of Rugby League

current relevant regulations, policies, procedures and codes that apply to coaching teams in high performance Rugby League skills.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

observation of planning processes, such as talking with participants at a high performance level to determine their needs and characteristics

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of relevant rules, regulations and policies

observation of safe Rugby League coaching at an high performance level and monitoring and adjusting activities that meet participant's needs, characteristics and responses

evaluation of portfolio of session plans and self-evaluations

evaluation of third-party reports from a supervisor detailing performance.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

SISSRGL512A Teach high performance Rugby League tactics and game strategy.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Participants' needs and characteristics may relate to :


maturity for age

preferences or protocols of different cultures, nationalities and religions

player motivation for participation

compatibility between players in match situations.

Readiness may involve:

previous experience in team sports, especially Rugby League at an advanced level

level of current Rugby League skills and knowledge of applicable laws

emotional capability to deal with competitive emotional stability at a professional and high performance game level

fitness levels and physical capabilities

motor performance factors

history of injuries and illnesses.

Session aims and objectives may include:

progressive skill acquisition during drills, activities and games

improvement of individual player skills

improvement of teamwork skills

improvement of player fitness

management of player injury.

Professional team participants also refers to:

semi-professional high performance players

Plan may include:

session aims and objectives

date, time and duration


coaches, participants and squad ratios





tailored drills, activities and games.

Regulations may relate to:

occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation

permits from land management authorities or local councils

authority or permission from Rugby League clubs or associations

privacy legislation

working with children checks applicable to players under the age of 18

environmental protection regulations.

Organisational policies and procedures may involve:

risk management


management of players' past, current or recurring injuries and illnesses

conflict resolution

communication protocols

use, care and maintenance of equipment and field

training and scheduling commitments

coaches, participants and squad ratios

codes of safety, conduct and ethics

harassment-free sports policies.

Safety procedures may include:

group management in emergency situations

prevention and first aid treatment of common Rugby League injuries

management of players' past, current and recurring injuries and illnesses

equipment checking and usage

field safety

safe and clear communication systems.

Drills, activities may involve:

developing skills to a high performance level through appropriate sequencing of skills

progressive skill acquisition

breaking down complex skills

modifying skill drills

grid work

coordinated positional plays

speed and accuracy skills training

weight, strength and conditioning training

warm-ups and cool downs.

Games may include:

those using the ARL International Laws of Rugby League

simulated games

high performance level competition games

modified games to meet specific player and team needs

practice matches to develop skills to a high performance level.

Location may include:

Rugby League fields

open fields

any off-field location such as gyms and other facilities where coaching may occur.

Equipment may include:

ARL approved training and match Rugby League balls


appropriate footwear

personal protective equipment

approved and safe ankle braces and thigh protectors

tackle bags

stop watches


cones and other approved and appropriate organisational aids.

Resources may include:

teaching and coaching tools

visual media equipment

food and water, as advised by nutritionists, and approved and safe containers

first aid kit.

Relevant information may include:

objectives of the session

skills focus of the session

equipment and resource requirements, selection and use

responsible and safe behaviour.

Risks may include:


injuries including:






exhaustion from exposure to extreme heat or cold weather


Communication systems may involve:


hand signals

eye signals




electronic communication media used by various coaches

messages delivered on field by trainers.

Teaching and coaching techniques may include:

six levels of learning as identified by the Australian Rugby League


breaking down high performance skills into components

progressing through and linking skills

monitoring and observing progress

fault detection

assessment of participants' skills

providing positive reinforcement and feedback during and after drills, activities and games.

High performance skills in Rugby League may include:

game sense and decision making at a high performance level

body protection

running with and a without ball

running in and out of traffic

ball handling:


passing left and right

draw and pass

running with the ball in possession before contact

quick playing of the ball

ruck play

holding and controlling the ball


hit spin and pass

standing pass in static and dynamic situations

off ground

on run - in clear and in traffic






run around


receiving and controlling the ball



drop kicks

place kicks

punt kicks

deception kicks

line kicks


forming and binding

feet placement

steadying and stability for safety


safe post-scrummaging plays

attack skills:

attacking moves in stationary and dynamic environments



dummy half





change of pace

creating a gap

defence skills:

defensive patterns


situational defence

at or near goal line

from broken play


contact (tackler or tacklee)

side on

front-on (blocking and driving)

from behind

multiple players in tackle

spatial awareness


field positioning

positional skills.

Required player knowledge may include:

the International Laws of Rugby League

when to use different Rugby League skills

role of player positions

basic biomechanical principles

strengths and weaknesses of opposition and own team

equipment selection, use and maintenance

communication systems used in high performance Rugby League games

safety and risk management.

Accepted best practice in Rugby League coaching may include:

positive role modelling

good sportsmanship

preventative practices to minimise safety risks and hazards

positivity in providing feedback on player performance.

Endorsed standards may include:

Australian Sports Commission Harassment-free Sport policy

Australian Sports Commission Junior Sport policy

Australian Rugby League Anti-doping Policy

Australian Rugby League Code of Conduct

Australian Rugby League SafePlay Code.

Participant's performance may include:

use of appropriate communication systems

team participation

attitude and behaviour

ability to link and use the skills of Rugby League to a high performance level.

Coaches and specialist staff may include:

assistant and specialist coaches


medical assistants

biomechanics and science specialists

strength and conditioning specialist.

Relevant aspects may include:

the quality of own performance in the coaching session

effectiveness of the teaching and coaching session

suitability of teaching and coaching methods

feedback provided to, or by, participants

initial and final assessment of participants' abilities

validity and reliability of coaching and assessment tools.



Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

The Australian Rugby League (ARL) governs the game of Rugby League in Australia through its network of affiliated Leagues and Clubs. Clubs of any type must adhere to prescribed ARL policies in order to participate in Rugby League competitions at any level. Clubs are required to engage only coaches who are accredited through the ARL's National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS).

The ARL has specific training and assessment requirements for the industry accreditation of coaches. Those developing training and assessment to support this unit should undertake consultation with the ARL, acting as the industry occupational registration body, to determine any specific requirements for courses, trainers and assessors and any partnership arrangements which could facilitate RPL for candidates to achieve coach registration status as a High Performance Coach.