Fun activities and games to improve evasive skills

Rugby is both a collision and an evasive sport. Defenders want to collide into attackers. Attackers want to evade defenders.

That’s why footwork is a core skill for rugby. Skipping through a few ladders might add some agility, but it’s best to deal with actual, moving bodies. Sometimes it’s just straight-line speed you need. Other times it’s lateral or sideways movement. Often it’s a bit of both.

All players can benefit from better footwork, even if they don’t see it as a strength. Here are some fun and competitive activities for you to try out in training.

The first is called Zombie escape. Aimed at younger players, it still works really well with older ones too. Initially, the players will be dodging through static defenders. Then, all of a sudden, it all changes, so cue mayhem.

The next is a full session called Get out of my space. There’s lots of movement and heads up evasion, with a race and then a game to challenge players.

Tom Farrow introduces a game-related speed activity which he first used with his sevens players. It replicates a line break and how attackers and defenders react to being chased.

Finally, Turtle tag is a multi-directional exercise. Again, suitable for all ages, this game is very chaotic and ideal as a starter activity at the beginning of a session.


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