Practice plans

Covering core and advanced skills, each Practice Plan provides the blueprint for an entire session for you to run with your team. A quick read through and you've got a ready-made session to take on to the pitch. Perfect for when you're running late and don't have time to hunt around for new ideas.

Practice Plans can be adapted by the coach to suit any age group from age 7 to 16, and are appropriate for adult teams. As a Rugby Coach Weekly subscriber you can access all 200 Practice Plans on the website covering the entire range of skills and tactics, in a format you can easily print and take to training.

How to coach zigzagging 2


in Contact, Practice plans, Rucking & Mauling

Work on a basic ruck tactic and at the same time improve your rucking skills.Players work from side to side and aim to keep possession and go forward at the same time. It is a tactic that can be used to retain possession when running down the clock or to set up a drop goal. MORE

Defensive curves

in Defence, Practice plans

Defensive systems aim to cut down the time and space for the attack. When a defence is outnumbered, it has to drift with the pass. It still has to go forward but must curve out at the same time. This session works on the curves and the decision making behind it. MORE

How to create 2v1s 2

Creating 2v1s

in Attack, Practice plans

This session aims to help the ball carrier attract defenders and execute 2v1s. The player runs out, then in, then out, in an S-shape to draw one if not two defenders to create a potential 2v1. There are plenty of opportunities to use this in Sevens. MORE

How to run flat and deep 1

Flat and deep

in Attack, Practice plans

This match-like session recognises that players are not always perfectly aligned from a ruck and have to adjust their running lines. By mixing up forwards and backs you can also identify decision makers who happily take on the role of first receiver. MORE

How to soak up tackles 1

Soak-up tackle

in Practice plans, Tackling

Not every tackle can be “aggressive”. Sometimes the tackler needs to accept that he cannot “win” the contact but still needs to bring the ball carrier to ground effectively and quickly. This session works on players reading the situation and not being afraid to give up ground as long as the tackle is made. MORE

How to flood support 2

Flood support

in Attack, Practice plans

Playing “heads up” rugby means a break can be made anywhere along a defensive line – there is no specific plan on where the break is going to happen. Therefore, support players must be ready to follow the ball carrier through the linebreak, either to take an offload or if there is a clean break, ready to take the next pass. MORE

How to thunder ruck 1

Thunder rucking

in Practice plans, Rucking & Mauling

Though players know this session is about rucking, it aims to reduce the thinking time involved in knowing when and what their specific roles are. That means the players need to “thunder” into the ruck – powerful and quick – when they identify that is their role. Any delay can mean slow ball or a turnover. MORE

Coaching to offline pass 2

Offline passing

in Attack, Practice plans

Push the ball carrier to change his angle of running and your support runners to react so defences are not faced with easy patterns to defend. This session works on “off-the-cuff” movements of players, so tests their recognition of space and reactions to their own team mates. MORE

How to exit within your own 22 2

Exit 22

in Practice plans, Rucking & Mauling

Practise strategies from your 22m area. You may need to create a couple of rucks to “flatten” the defence (see Things to think about, below) before your kickers are in position to clear the ball. This works on communication, rucking and decision making. MORE

How to twist and shake the carrier 1

Twist and shake

in Practice plans, Tackling

Lots of tackles are made close to the ruck as the ball carrier runs with a low body position at defenders. Develop your tacklers‘ability to twist the ball carrier and win back the ball. Then, work on playing the turnover ball away. MORE

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