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LTPD Pathway
Functional Screening
Anatomical Adaptation
Game Demands
Conditioning for Rugby
Periodisation in Rugby

Long Term Player Development Pathway and key principles

The stages of the Long Term Player Development Pathway

While each stage can be associated with a chronological age, it is important to stress that for the early stages (Fundamental and Learn to Play and Practice), chronological age is not a very accurate means of determining the actual stage of physical development of the young player.

However, at the outset it is important to note that while there may be a very evident mismatch in terms of physical stature and development within the first three stages in particular, the practicalities of team organisation and preparation for the game invariably necessitate a general ‘team’ approach.

Table 1 outlines the different stages of development. Note that, for convenience, each stage is equated with a chronological age range.

Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5






Age guide

6-12 years

12-16 years

15-18 years

17-21 years

20 & over

Table 1: The stages of development during the Long Term Player Development Pathway. Note the corresponding chronological age for each stage is given, even though this may vary depending on the maturation age of the player