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At The Coach Doctor we offer top class rugby tuition using our specific dynamic systems coaching philosophy. We offer one on one and group training sessions in core skills and decision making as well as position specific training with our positional coaches. 

Core Skills - Youth

Using a teaching games for understanding (TGFU) approach all athletes maximise time on task and minimise waiting time. Skills are overloaded and opportunities with the ball are intensified to increase the number of touches each young athlete has during a training session.

Core Skills - Senior 

Using the overload principle more commonly associated with strength and conditioning training we push the athletes to their skill limits using a constraints led approach. We take players out of their comfort zone to enhance skill level and decision making by applying external pressure they will not receive on the field. 

Position Specific

In our position specific training program, you will work with a coach who specialises in your position and all of its requirements. Whether it be tight head or fullback we have the coach for you.  Position specific skills training follows the same skill acquisition principles as all of our other training programs. 

Meet our specialist rugby coaches 

Joel Rivers

Currently the 1st Grade Head Coach of the Western Sydney Two Blues, Joel played over 100 games including 1st grade games at Sydney University and has since had an impeccable coaching record coaching Sydney University Colts, Northern Suburbs Colts, Sydney Juniors and NSW Waratah Gen Blue academy teams. Joel is our front row coach and set piece scrum and lineout coach. 

Chris Talakai

Chris is a current member of the NSW Waratahs Super Rugby team. Chris is another one of our front row specialist coaches and will help you develop the skills required to scrummage effectively, understand lifting roles as well as general play around the field.  Chris understands the steps required to make it in rugby playing through the representative pathways in club and school before moving into club rugby at Sydney University before earning his Super Rugby debut. Chris is also a qualified PE teacher. 


Tom Staniforth

Tom is a current member of the NSW Waratahs Super Rugby team. Tom is one of our back row and lock specialist coaches who has extensive knowledge of forward’s play. He can help you develop skills around the break down, ball carries, catch pass and tackle technique as well as the set piece and restart roles. Tom has a Certificate III in Fitness which also enables him to provide strength and conditioning elements in his coaching. Tom understands the steps and processes required to improve through stages of rugby, having played since Under 7’s in Canberra until Super Rugby.

Sam Devlin

Sam is a current PE teacher and former player with Eastern Suburbs in the Shute Shield. Sam has extensive experience coaching experience with roles at school boy and representative school boy levels as well as women's XV's and 7's and club XV's. Sam was an outside back in his playing days and is able to provide assistance to all positions in the backline in particular 11-15. 

James Barkell

James had a playing career overseas and started coaching in 2007. His roles have included Shute Shield clubs, school boy teams and representative teams and men's and women's 7's. James has published research in various sports science and coaching journals in the areas of skill acquisition and performance analysis. His knowledge of the dynamic systems theory in athlete learning is what underpins the coach doctor's philosophy. 

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