Highland Rugby Club employs one full-time member of Development Staff and several Community Coaches to service Club & Community across the Inverness & Highlands Region. Highland Rugby Club works closely with local schools and clubs to ensure that Rugby in the North of Scotland grows to be sustainable for every club in the area. As the North of Scotland’s Premier team, Highland Rugby Club understands the responsibility the club holds to promote healthy living, employability and mental health awareness as well as the game through quality coaching, recruitment & retention of volunteers and involvement within Clubs & Schools in the Community.

Highland Rugby Club is proud to work closely with clubs & Institutions in the local area providing a pathway for male & female players to progress along their Rugby journey in the local area. Our thanks goes to the following clubs for their continued cooperation in the bid to #GrowTheGame in the North of Scotland. Inverness Craig Dunain, Ross Sutherland, Strathspey, Nairn & University Highland’s and Islands/Inverness College

Development Staff

Ruaridh MacDonald – Rugby Development Officer

You can get in touch with Ruaridh MacDonald here.

core principles


The Highland Community Coaching Programme is supported by Scottish Rugby’s Coach Education Department and delivered by Highland Rugby Club staff and special guests.

The Highland Way, linked to the Technical Blueprint, is the Clubs strategy to develop all-round skilled performers to ensure a steady flow of players make their way through the Academy system and into Highland’s senior teams. The Highland Way puts an emphasis on Fun, Serious Fun. Through our coaching and dedication to The Highland Way we will develop skilled performers who understand and are desperate to be part of the club’s history & ambitions.

Highland Community Coaching Programme opportunities are not limited to Highland Rugby Club members and staff. We welcome coaches and officials from other clubs to get involved and join us as we #GrowTheGame. Please don’t hesitate to sign up or get in touch with Highland Development Staff if you would like to attend.

The Community Coaching Programme is delivered through Scottish Rugby’s Technical Blueprint and The Highland Way. (Technical Blueprint document can be found below)

All sessions are completely free and open to anyone wishing to attend.

Click Here to request to join the Highland Community Coaching Programme Mailing List. As part of the mailing list, you will receive regular updates including coach Education opportunities, sample session plans and much more.

Coach Education Opportunities at Highland Rugby Club will be available below


Highland Rugby Club, in partnership with Highland Council and Highland Active Schools offer Secondary School pupils the opportunity to participate in the Grow To Green School of Rugby Programme.

As part of the on-going development of rugby in Inverness-shire, Highland Rugby, Highland Council and Scottish Rugby will be piloting a two year ‘School of Rugby’ programme which will give pupils the opportunity to improve their physical literacy and rugby skills during the school term, and to enjoy the many benefits that participation in rugby offers.

The School of Rugby will give selected pupils from S1 the opportunity to train in a rugby environment for 1 or 2 periods of school time per week for the first years of their secondary school life. This pilot is designed as a social and academic development program that will not only help young boys and girls develop as players, but also aid them in their physical, social, emotional and academic development in their first years in secondary school.

The inclusion of Highland RFC & Highland Council, one of the driving factors behind this pilot, will ensure a sustainable link is created from school to club and will enhance and develop the current school pathway from primary school rugby to secondary school rugby. The School of Rugby will be supported by Scottish Rugby as part of the successful partnership with Highland RFC.

Sport can play a powerful role in providing the catalyst to improve the quality of life for young people in communities across Scotland. Rugby can offer potential life-changing opportunities to enhance education and skills, improve health and wellbeing and fosters an ethos of teamwork; discipline and respect for officials, opponents and team mates.

If you’re interested in the School of Rugby Programme get in touch Highland Development Staff

Information booklet for School of Rugby can be found below

The Highland School of Rugby Programme



Highland Rugby is committed to ensuring every P4-7 Primary School child & every S1-3 Secondary School child who lives within 50 miles of Inverness is given the opportunity to experience Rugby Union and its values in a fun, safe and friendly environment, local to where they live. Highland Development Staff are currently travelling all over the Scottish Highlands supporting coaches and assisting with delivery of sessions within their school or club.

If you would like Highland Rugby to be involved in your School/Event/Club or if you have any other queries please contact Highland Development Staff

If your club or School would like support from Highland Development Staff go to the Coach Development section for more information.


Just Play (The Highland Way) is a programme which works with local schools and clubs across the region to promote and encourage participation in informal small sided games.

When our Development Staff travel around the Highlands to deliver and support school and club rugby, we notice a distinct lack of ball games going on at break, lunch and after school. Nearly every park you go to in the Inverness area has a NO BALL GAMES sign keeping guard over a perfectly good patch ideal for small sided games.

Playground games do still happen, but not to the extent they once did. Through the Just Play initiative Highland Development Staff will demonstrate how to set up different types of games so Primary School Teachers, PE Teachers, Sports Leaders and Pupils can head out and organise informal games on their own, during school, after school with minimal equipment.

The programme is supported by a booklet containing over 20 small sided games which encourages players to problem solve, make effective decisions and improvise more. Better still, the games are designed as activities players will be eager to be involved in, This allows coaches the opportunity to pass more control of the sessions onto the kids therefore making a stimulating, challenging and dynamic environment much easier to create.

If you are a teacher or coach new to the game of Rugby Union, these games can be used as an alternative to having to design skill practices or sessions and are ideal for creating a quick and exciting start to any session.

Key features of the Just Play initiative:

– Just Play Pack – Including Headbands, Nightclub Clickers, Just Play | Small Sided Games Booklet, Technical Blueprint Resource,

– 1.5 hour session which demonstrates a number of Small Sided Games using Club/School coaches as participants.

– Group discussion opportunities for Coaches/Teachers to discuss how games can be adapted or tailored for varying facilities and for various ages and stages of player development.

– Each attendee will join the Just Play Mailing List where they’ll receive monthly updates on best practice and Just Play Coach Education opportunities.

– PDF copy of the Just Play | Small Sided Games Booklet for each coach that attends.

– Invitation to Just Play Festivals for Just Play Schools held at Highland Rugby Club.

If your school or club are interested in becoming a Just Play School/Club get in touch with Highland Development Staff

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