05/11/2021 | Footwork and evasion

Prison break

A fun game to help work on defensive footwork as well as evasion skills from attackers. Develops evasion skills, plus defensive footwork and communication. MORE

04/11/2021 | Rugby drills

Build contact confidence: Touch-Tackle-Ruck

Introduce players of mixed ability to contact by building up the skills through games and questioning. I’ve found that using this progression of activity, the players develop contact skills together. You can adjust the pitch sizes and timings to suit your players. MORE

Mini tag

07/28/2020 | Mini tag

Return to play: Minis and juniors try chasers

Get your ball carriers used to running forward to score tries. This session can be run as a warm-up or as a proper tackling session as well. Often players fail to run forwards even when they know the try line is that way. This session should encourage them to attack a space in front them and go for it. MORE

Small-Sided Games

04/19/2021 | Small-sided games

The standards game

I've been fortunate enough to have Eddie Jones deliver some sessions. This is the game he started with and it is excellent for reinforcing key messages around core skills or principles of play. MORE

From basics to tactics

Work on core passing skills and decision making in quick succession. Make sure players continue to develop their basics and tactical awareness. An ideal session to rebuild confidence or even for pre-season. MORE

The speculator 2

The speculator

This session concentrates on players kicking a ball ahead on the ground. They have to control it, gather it and score, as they might when pouncing on a loose pass from the defence for instance. They might have to dribble the ball, or pick up and pass it. Any player may be in this situation and it will be a good source of tries over the season. MORE

How to improve working in pods 3

Pod rugby

The use of pods, that is small pre-defined groups of players, used to be the preserve of the top teams. However you can utilise these groups to help your players gain more structure and, crucially, know where they have to run and who they have to support. MORE

04/17/2021 | Warm Ups

Escape the square

‘Escape the square’ is a quick game that can be used in warm ups to get players focused on moving the rugby ball in attack, scanning for space and communicating with team-mates.  MORE

09/22/2020 | Email Newsletters

Evasion skills warm-ups and games

Evasion is a fundamental movement skill. Players use in pretty much all their activities, without necessarily focusing on the specific skills they need. Without becoming too bogged down in the technical requirements, you want to improve your players starting and stopping, balance, change of direction and acceleration. With that comes an awareness of space, time, teammates, the opposition and the ball. MORE

06/9/2021 | Rugby Coach Weekly with Dan Cottrell

Nick Scott: Language, asking the right sort of question,...

Nick Scott is director of rugby at Rugby Colorno. He previously spent 20 years helping to build a world respected coaching department at England Rugby, with 9 years as National Coach Development Manager. We chatted about: Why Nick isn't a reflective coach When not to use questions Speaking a different language in a different country Building better relationships with people, not just players MORE

06/6/2021 | Rugby drills

Roundup Rodeo Ep53: Reviewing the best content

Host Phil Llewellyn with guests review some of the many great podcasts, books, articles and webinars from the last week. This week's guests: Cody Royle, former Head Coach for Canada Men's AFL, author and coach mentor, Doug Lemov, author and educator and Darren Lewis, former performance analyst and founder of Codex Analysis. MORE

06/4/2021 | Rugby coaching

Five ways to deal with disruptive players

The make-up of your squad is a wide variety of abilities and personalities, which is good because you don’t want clones. But there are always a few players who can be disruptive and affect the learning experience for the group – here’s how to stop this… MORE


Better communication and support

If our players communicated more effectively, then the ball carrier would know when to pass or when to take contact. Create more opportunities for this to happen by making it matter. The best exercises provide chances for players to see the value in calling for the ball. Here are four good activities to use. MORE


Lions’ selection: The coach’s joy and pain

Did Warren Gatland pick the right players for the British and Irish Lions summer tour to South Africa? His team of selectors will have been looking at balance and the style that they want to play. They might not pick the best players but more likely combinations that will complement each other. MORE


Train pods to break down organised defences

Against an organised defence, you can use closely packed groups of forwards to dent the line and then attack the recovering, disorganised defence. Often known as pods, this requires organisation, especially around the roles of the players in terms of carrying the ball and supporting that ball carrier. In its simplest format, after a set-piece like a scrum or lineout, the forwards who were not involved in winning the ball back after the first tackle, realign to take the next pass. This is in the expectation that the backline doesn't penetrate the line the first time. MORE

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