GPS: Game Intelligence

After International Rugby, Super Rugby, the National Rugby Championships, Club rugby is often referred to as the ‘4th Tier’. 

Despite it’s low recognition in the world of high performance, I’ve found Club footy to be some of my most enjoyable coaching experiences and hope to continue helping out.  

Approximately once a week I’d write an email to the Coaches (we had 10 teams) in the hope of stimulating thought. 

Here is one of those articles. 


Game Intelligence

As Coaches, it is easy to get sucked into throwing a bunch of drills or Activities together, call it Coaching and hope our Players improve on Match Day.

We do our Tackling Activity & follow it up with a Passing Activity and then do a Rucking Activity and then break to do Lineouts and then come together for a Team Run.

Yet, when we think of the best Players in the world (the Larkhams, Pococks, McCaws, Carters, etc.) only the most novice of Coaches would think it’s just their skills that make them great.

Most of us understand it’s their ability to execute their skills at precisely the right time that separate them from the rest.

It’s their Game Intelligence (GI) that makes them great.

Question for the Day:

What percentage of your Training sessions is dedicated to Game Intelligence?

If the percentage of GI in training is low, we can’t expect the GI on Match Day to be high.

So let’s think how we can improve GI in our training…

Idea: add a scenario to most (every?) aspects of training. 

Example: think of the differences in the actions (lineouts, restarts, breakdown skills, tackling, team run, etc.) your Players might execute in the following scenarios:

  1. 6th minute of the game. Score 0-0, attacking field position.
  2. 37th minute, 10-0 down, opposition have a Player in the bin.
  3. 48th minute, 20-21 up, in own half.

By infusing scenarios into our Activities & Games we are improving our Player’s GI, and like any other skills, if we practice it we have a chance in improving it.

As with everything, please do not hesitate to reply with questions or comments.



During the 2016 club rugby season I was appointed the Director of Strength & Conditioning for the GPS Rugby Club– a fancy title for an amateur Brisbane rugby club. For more info follow me on Twitter (@Grant_Jenkins) or contact me here

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