Stage D contact training RUCK activity ideas

Here are some activities to support your stage D ruck training. Using small groups (no more than four), they look at rebuilding ruck skills in a low impact environment and developing a game-related understanding at the same time.

Before you start, remember the Stage D regulations:

  • All contact activity cannot exceed 15 minutes per session.
  • No more than six players in each group.
  • Rucks: Ball carrier, tackler, plus one player from attack and defence. No team play activity.
  • Lineouts: Unopposed, lifting, throwing, keep lifter and front catching contact to less than three seconds in the setup.
  • NO mauls or scrums.
  • Tackling: Waist height and below. 1 v 1, ideally only working in pairs. No team play. No tackling to prevent offloads.
  • Tackle bags and pads: Cleaned and sanitised after use. No shared between groups unless this is done.

Also, we are gradually returning to contact.

Use a proper warm-up and keep the intensity low.

Stripping back the ruck to its basics, Spider crawls for 1 v 1 rucks works on good body positions before contact.

For slightly more experienced players, use a Scott “Razor” Robertson favourite, Baby Black ruck decision making. The players don’t know their exact roles until the last moment.

You can apply the basics of rucks using Minis and juniors: Ruck testing, which is a good activity for the re-introduction to the contact area. The final part of the activity will be a good development for the next stage of return to play.

Finally, a Rob Appleyard favourite, High-return ball placement is a low impact contact activity that focuses on good ball placement and accurate rucking.

Here are two 15 minute plans.

For less experienced players

5 minsSpider crawls 1 v 1
5 minsRuck testing, without the development
5 minsHigh-return ball placement

For more experienced players

5 minsSpider crawls 1 v 1
5 minsHigh-return ball placement
5 minsBaby Blacks ruck decision making
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