RugbyWA Pathways

Here is RugbyWA’s Emerging and Pathway Plan for Rugby in the state.
RugbyWA Pathway Plan


By definition and intent, our approach to Emerging, Pathway and high-performance captures all levels from elite to youth rugby, while the delineation of the pathway concerning remit is to be defined as a process to alignment.

A top-down and bottom-up approach is required to improve delivery to improve holistic modeling that services the needs of RugbyWA-WF participation and high-performance aspirational players. Ensuring greater consistency and quality in coach and high-performance principles across all programs will support the player's development.

RugbyWA's role is to support these principles by providing strong linkages between representative, emerging and community rugby with increased participation and engagement in the game at club level and in schools. Currently, RugbyWA, through existing partnerships with the government, SoB and Rugby Australia, has a commitment to:

  • State and Regional representative teams
  • Country expansion and development
  • Emerging squads
  • Youth 7's and Open 7's
  • Premier and Community Rugby
  • Junior Club Rugby
  • Schools competitions
  • Education and Game development RugbyWA's Emerging squads and State Pathway support an agreed delivery model to enhance player and coach experience that aligns with national outcomes. While the pathway and emerging program and competitions are important, the key elements will be to enhance:
  • Coordinated talent identification and recruitment system using accredited high-performance coaches familiar with junior age development principles of potential and performance
  • Aligned national pathway modelling designed to deliver Long Term Player Development support to enhance and challenge rugby-nous, physical capacity and game performance.

A clear link to community club and schools through investment to teacher and coach development to support aligned growth development principles.


• To ensure an effective emerging program that is player-focused, and state delivered and aligned to national talent identification and Western Force outcomes.

• To provide opportunity and selection for club and school players and coaches into Regional and State-based programs.

• To assist in the improvement in standard of rugby player developed in Western Australia.



RugbyWA's Emerging program is layered by age and designed to transition playing talent. This is through the emerging, regional, and state pathway using development game approaches targeting selected youth. The Emerging development program is central to the state pathway that progresses talented youth players through a systematic, graduated program to identify and test performance and potential.

The age bracket for the program ranges between 14 and 18 with players entering the program at various points. The program runs parallel with RugbyWA internal State Championships and the national level state teams (U16, U18 and U19 teams).

The U19 National Rugby Championships (URC) being the final gateway for Junior Wallaby (U20) selection. Young players who enter the Emerging program learn from and train with the older players along their journey.

The Emerging Female (U16-18's) program captures junior age club players focusing on preparation for State U18 's and representative 7's to retain, develop and align to clubs and support the school and junior age girls.

The aim of the programming is to provide representative match opportunities for a core group of developing female athletes. In addition, there is a key goal to increase and further develop of female coaches. At the same time, the game's growth in WA remains central to planning and long-range concepts for the women's game generally.

Program Principles

• To source developing players who demonstrate the most distinct attributes to progress into RugbyWA competitions, regional, state teams and the Western Force Academy.

• Provide players with a developmental and educational program that captures a player-centred principle.

• Programs will support State teams while the individual player's development will form a central aspect of our programming.

• State Coaches and Emerging coaches to work with WF Academy staff and Level 3 (coaching panel) program coach to support players and coach development.

• Emerging squad selection is a preparatory program only. It is not a selection criterion for regional and state teams.

Program Focus

• Provide a holistic focus on game understanding, applied skill and functional performance while creating a broader team tactical understanding for the player.

• While game knowledge is central to the program, individual exposure to broader concept (i.e., well-being) themes will complement the players learning.

• Assist in developing the athlete into a ‘self-learner’ so that they can continue to evolve and progress outside of the program.

• The Emerging Academy will enable the broader strategy of developing coaches, creating opportunities to participate in next-level programs led and mentored by accredited high-performance coaches.

Selection Guidelines

• The RWA Pathway Manager will monitor and identify players between the ages of 14 and 18 throughout all school, club, intra-state and national level matches.

• The RWA Pathway Manager will consult with regional and state team coaches regarding the commitment and attitude of identified players in their respective programs.

• The RWA Pathway Manager will consult with the General Manager, WF Academy and WF Coach regarding identified players and their potential for growth.

• RWA Emerging Academy will consider junior clubs, school coaches, teachers, and club coaches' recommendations.

• Screening and resources will dictate numbers, while performance and talent ID screening will be offered as a consideration to squad entry.

• RWA Emerging Academy can add players as a consideration to performance or as the schools, club competitions progress. In contrast, players can be de-selected and at the discretion of the Pathway Manager.

Additional accredited staff may be added for TID and emerging coach purposes at the discretion of the RWA Pathway Manager.



The Female Development (U16s) and Emerging (U18s) programs focus on engaging a core group of talented female players.

It is centred on technical and tactical development to enhance their ability to progress to state and senior representative teams. In addition, the program aims to develop the State pathway for female players and coaches, as well as providing mentoring opportunities from senior female players.


• To provide representative rugby opportunities for developing players through the Rugby Schools Cup, Regional State Championships and U18s School Girls National Championship

• To enhance and develop the standard of female rugby players through Development and Emerging program selection.

• To instill a more targeted and professional approach to training; build and develop a team culture.

• Introduce and foster an understanding of basic strength and conditioning.

• Further develop players technical skill and tactical understanding of the sport.

• To provide players with greater exposure and diversity to coaching and senior player mentoring.

• To increase player engagement and transition them through the junior age groups and prepare them for senior rugby.

• Contribute to developing skills, game knowledge, game-specific strength and conditioning, personal growth and confidence through activating education, mentoring and general game exposure through our existing competitions and network.


WA Junior female players have representative opportunities in 7's, Regional State Championship and the U18s National Schoolgirls Championship. Club rugby serves as an entry level for female participates who then trial to participate in regional representative teams.

Players are selected for the development (U16s) and emerging (U18s) programs through performance in the regional state championship series of matches, as well as club coach recommendation. Selection for State representative teams for interstate tournaments are based on performances in all of the above.

In addition, the newly launched programs such as the Rugby Schools Cup, Touch 7s and regional rugby programs can be nominated and screened as necessary. A panel of selectors will assess match performances in the U17s and U14s regional state championship matches in consultation with RugbyWA staff and club coaches to select participants for the development and emerging programs. Program modelling will support crucial age layers of development:

• U12-15s

• U16-18's Selection

  • Via selection committee
  • Club, schools, state representative series, senior coach nomination
  • The preferred pathway for players is to be involved with their Junior Club and school. The development and emerging squads will provide exposure to additional layers of learning and player development.
  • The development and emerging program will run in the club offseason each year between November – March (TBC)

2022 Calendar

High Performance & Pathways 2022 Calendar