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.
Here are four session ideas to develop footwork, body shapes, target areas and finishes for a variety of contact situations.
Up and tackle develops side-on tackles, where most tackles are low. With players recovering from a prone position, it reduces the speed of play, giving the less-confident a better chance to complete a tackle.
Work on side-on tackles where the defenders are scrambling across to cover the attack. They will need to keep square so they don’t get sidestepped, and keep in the line with their team mates.
Moving from a prone position means initially they will be disrupted and will have to find their positioning quickly. MORE
Use this four stage exercise to build better tackle technique. By emulating a boxer, the tackler develops balanced footwork, staying square to the target, punching the hands forward and then, at the end engaging the shoulder. It help players become more confident in contact. MORE
Improve your players' ability to enter a tackle from a strong position, even though they may be off-balance. Use this exercise as a full contact activity or as part of preparation for a full defence session. MORE
This is my favourite tackle drill because it works on both shoulders and gets in lots of dynamic repetitions of the tackle. You can easily dial up and down the pace of the drill to suit the needs of your players.
Ideally, you focus on one aspect of the tackle in this drill, running it for no more than five minutes at a time. MORE
Our problem is that one of our players, who is not small (quite tall and lean), despite training okay with tackling, during a game just doesn’t commit to a tackle. He will be running along in a good position and never move into the tackle. MORE
Getting close to the ball carrier is a key technique to be able to make an effective tackle. But chasing games don’t help build up the game skills replicated in the game. Try out these four ideas instead. MORE