03/16/2023 |

Adapting tag sessions into full rugby sessions

We have plenty of tag resources on this site, and I’m keen to ensure they can easily be upgraded into full sessions. Perhaps they won’t be doing much rucking, but there’s plenty else to learn from tag beginnings. MORE

Mini tag

05/14/2022 | Mini tag

Parent stations: Overtakers

Use parent stations to allow you to run lots of activities with a parent overseeing each activity. It requires one parent, minimal setup and minimal instructions. Each station runs for two to three minutes before the players move to another station. MORE

05/13/2022 | Mini tag

Parent stations: Now you see me

Use parent stations to allow you to run lots of activities with a parent overseeing each activity. It requires one parent, minimal setup and minimal instructions. Each station runs for two to three minutes before the players move to another station. MORE

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

03/3/2023 | Passing & Handling

Deck hands

Ged Hall challenges players to be effective in finding space and passing, either on their feet or from the ground (the deck!). Good for fitness as well as decision-making. Deck hands is seemingly a very simple game to play, but beneath its simple exterior is a game that challenges players physically, mentally, tactically and technically. MORE

02/27/2023 | Small-sided games

Two games to change the picture

Twenty years of writing about coaching makes you reflective. I did use games 20 years ago. I invented some at the time, and still use variations of them. You would think by now I would have seen them all. MORE

02/26/2023 | Attack

3D square attack and pluses

Keep the players thinking about where to attack as the defence move around dynamically, adding in players as the attack becomes more successful. MORE

How to go forward from the lineout 2

Go forward from the lineout

The session looks at running and support lines from the back of the lineout. There is a run up of around 10-15m for the ball carrier before he meets the lineout defence and support players arriving from the side. Both attack and defence need to consider how to cover this space effectively to create or prevent breaks and quick ball. MORE

How to coach the disco technique 1


This is a decision-making exercise I used with Ospreys U16s. To be successful, the attack must scan the defence and then adjust their pace and depth. Using the “disco” effect (different coloured cones replicating the different coloured lights) you can determine the shape of the defence, forcing the attack to take quick and effective passing and running options. It also works defenders, who have to reconnect after being pushed out of position. MORE

How to execute lineouts quickly 2

Lineouts: Set and lift quick

A quick launch of the jumper into the air at the lineout is a distinct advantage. If it is done without much movement or giving away when the throw will be, so much the better. This session challenges the jumping pod to set and lift quickly and efficiently under pressure. MORE

02/19/2023 | Small-sided games

Game: Don’t get tagged!

Use this quick-to-set-up game, including an easy-to-adapt playground element, with rewards and forfeits thrown in. This is a game I will use at the start of sessions as a pulse raiser, sprint activation and to develop realistic evasion skills. It takes less than a minute to set up and can be played with three or more players. MORE

01/28/2022 | Warm Ups

Warm-up games for contact

Get your players ready for contact with these games. They'll warm up your players’ shoulders and upper bodies in a fun way to prepare for sessions involving contact. It will put them into dynamic positions that they might not usually be used to. MORE

01/13/2022 | Rugby drills

Wicked warm-ups

Get your session buzzing with these three activities for an active warm-up. By using games, chaos and lots of movement, the players will be using all the key physical literacy skills in a busy environment. MORE

03/21/2023 | The Coaching Knife

The Coaching Knife: How to coach a large group,...

Welcome to The Coaching Knife when we cut to the root of the matter. In this episode, we speak to Nick Wilkinson, senior coach at Sidcup Rugby as well as delivering rugby in schools. Focusing on coaching large groups, we are going to cut to the root on how to make training a good experience for everyone.  MORE


Mix up your lineout training and tactics

Lineout training should be based around getting the basics right first. When Gary Gold was coaching the South African team with Victor Matfield and they were the best lineout in the world, he used to say: "They know where the ball is going, but Victor will always beat them into the air." But a lineout is not just about the jump/lift. It's also about what happens afterwards. Here are four activities to develop different aspects of this set-piece situation. MORE


Priority skills for passing and catching

There are so many elements to passing, which ones do you concentrate on first and how do you train them? Here are a bunch of the priority skills you need and then great ways to train them. MORE


Sessions that develop better tackle height

The RFU has brought forward plans to reduce the tackle height at age grade rugby to below the armpits. Talking to experienced school coaches in particular, they don't see much change in the impact on the game as a whole. However, it is an excellent opportunity to reexamine your tackle technique training. MORE

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