6 man lineout – front or middle ball

Why it works

  • It forces the opposition to pick areas of the line to defend.
  • Calls correctly reflect where the gaps are.
  • The movement allows gaps to be created and exploited.

Good if you have

  • Opposition players who are mirroring your set up. This move gives you options at the front, middle and back of the line.
  • Opposition players defending the front and middle.

Common mistakes

  • Not reading the defence to identify weak areas.
  • Not co-ordinating the timing of each player’s movements to pull the defence forward.

Think about

Encouraging both 4 and 6 to jump at the same time with the hooker throwing to the unopposed unit. This is difficult and leaves you exposed to an overthrow.


Pictured above:

  1. Players split into three pairs.
  2. 1 and 4 move back to meet 3. 5 shifts late to meet 6 moving forward with 8 following.
  3. The throw starts. 4 runs to the back to cover the overthrow and 6 is lifted in space by 5 and 8.
  4. Instead of 4 running to the back of the line, he forms a front pod with 1 and 3. 6 jumps earlier than 4, but either pod can take the throw.

This exercise is from The Lineout and How to Win It manual. When researching the lineout for their own teams, the authors discovered many confusing and conflicting theories on how the lineout should work. This is why they have created the complete solution to lineout problems. Click here to order and find out more.

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