The IRFU ambitiously reviewed its organisational structures and workforce skills across all four domestic provinces, within its Irish Exiles programme, as well as within the Union itself. Our work in the domestic game then transitioned to the professional game ahead of Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup 2023.

Client challenge:

  • Identifying and addressing significant landscape changes and changing attitudes to the game amongst the next generation.
  • Redressing structural inconsistencies and skill gaps at an organisation-wide level.
  • Implementing disruptive operational changes to grow the sport in Ireland and refresh existing service levels.


We reviewed organisational structures and people skill sets to help Irish rugby continue its renowned position ‘punching above its weight’ in world rugby. The work collated the views of some 112 staff, 61 Board/Committee representatives, 73 clubs, and 24 schools – and sought a range of opinions from young Academy players to Provincial Head Coaches to the IRFU Board itself. Our aim was to help maximise and refresh operations by:

  • Performing baseline analysis across all levels of the game – ‘From Six to Six Nations’.
  • Reviewing key people skill sets using a combination of one-to-one interviews, online survey, and facilitated workshops.
  • Introducing an organisation-wide ‘13 point’ change plan to drive a new era of rugby development going forward.


The IRFU adopted all 13 of our recommendations to help position Irish and Provincial Irish rugby at the forefront of the Northern Hemisphere game, and help support Ireland’s bid to stage the Rugby World Cup 2023. We have since been retained to prepare rugby development ‘plan on a page’ strategies 2017-20 for the IRFU and all four of the provinces, as well as run a programme of executive coaching for senior frontline development managers.

“Inside Track has demonstrated a deep understanding of a complicated environment. You have delivered insights into how we manage and deliver rugby in Ireland which we might not otherwise have been able to get, and this will allow the IRFU to improve the delivery of the services and programmes we provide.”

Philip Browne


“We have all learned from Inside Track’s work which puts us in a stronger place to effect positive change.”

Martin O’Sullivan

Chair Professional Game Board, IRFU