Talent identification and development in an English Premiership rugby union club: the perspectives of players and coaches

Dimundo, Francesco and Cole, Matthew and Blagrove, Richard C. and Herbison, Jordan D. and Turnnidge, Jennifer and Till, Kevin and Vitali, Francesca and Kelly, Adam L. (2023) Talent identification and development in an English Premiership rugby union club: the perspectives of players and coaches. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 5. ISSN 2624-9367

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The pathway towards senior professional status in sport is affected by a multitude of factors. An abductive examination of the talent identification and development processes at an English Premiership rugby union (RU) club was undertaken for the present study. Part one examined the perspectives on the selection and development processes of senior academy male players (n = 8), whereas part two explored the perceptions of male coaches (n = 7). A total of three focus groups were used. Three main themes were confirmed by players and coaches: (a) task constraints, (b) performer constraints, and (c) environmental constraints. Specifically, although athletes and coaches believed that performer constraints were highly impactful on players' career in RU, there were inconsistencies surrounding the task and environmental constraints. Despite an indication that three common themes impacted an players path, this preliminary study shows an imbalance in the understanding of some of the key factors perceived to be important for talent progression in the present rugby academy. More research using similar qualitative methods is recommended to better understand the differences in opinions between players and coaches. Meanwhile, practitioners should consider implementing objective and holistic strategies to improve the talent pathway in English RU academies.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3389/fspor.2023.1120033
24 October 2023Accepted
6 November 2023Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: qualitative, long-term athlete development, multidimensional analysis, sport psychology, talent identification and development, environmental constraints, rugby union
Subjects: CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-02 - sport and exercise sciences > CAH03-02-01 - sport and exercise sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Life and Sport Sciences (C-LASS)
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2023 14:50
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 14:50
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14920

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