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 go forward from the lineout 2

Go forward from the lineout

in Attack, Practice plans, Scrums & Lineouts

The session looks at running and support lines from the back of the lineout. There is a run up of around 10-15m for the ball carrier before he meets the lineout defence and support players arriving from the side. Both attack and defence need to consider how to cover this space effectively to create or prevent breaks and quick ball. MORE

How to coach the disco technique 1


in Attack, Passing & Handling, Practice plans

This is a decision-making exercise I used with Ospreys U16s. To be successful, the attack must scan the defence and then adjust their pace and depth. Using the “disco” effect (different coloured cones replicating the different coloured lights) you can determine the shape of the defence, forcing the attack to take quick and effective passing and running options. It also works defenders, who have to reconnect after being pushed out of position. MORE

How to execute lineouts quickly 2

Lineouts: Set and lift quick

in Practice plans, Scrums & Lineouts

A quick launch of the jumper into the air at the lineout is a distinct advantage. If it is done without much movement or giving away when the throw will be, so much the better. This session challenges the jumping pod to set and lift quickly and efficiently under pressure. MORE

Coaching to drive to the edge 2

Driving to the edges

in Attack, Contact, Practice plans

Work on attacking the edges of the ruck defence. That means not attacking next to the ruck, but the area often less well-defended with two players out to the side of it. The ball carrier goes into contact with close support, with a view to driving in, down and then providing quick ball for the 9 to clear. MORE

Lineout phases

in Practice plans, Scrums & Lineouts

This session connects a lineout with what happens in the phase after the lineout. Players will have to make the transition and know their roles plus make decisions at the lineout. It acknowledges that not every lineout will be perfect. MORE

How to scramble rucks 3

Scramble rucks

in Practice plans, Rucking & Mauling

Even when your players run predictable lines, there are still going to be occasions when they need to support the tackled player. Perhaps picking up a loose pass or a move does not quite work: The ball carrier will be momentarily isolated on the ground and your players need to be over the ball to secure it. Here is a session to practise this. MORE

How to slice and block 2

Slice and block

in Attack, Backs moves, Practice plans

This session builds up a phase play move to break down an organised defence, focusing on the space outside their 10. It is easy to set up but requires a good level of skill to run the right lines and time runs. However, the angles should give your team a chance to get over the tackle line, if not break it completely. MORE

How to create phases from a static start 3

Phases from static starts

in Attack, Practice plans

Work on improving player timing and realignment by forcing players to begin a phase from a static start. Though many drills start in this way, you want to emphasise the stationary position. This will activate the mind because players will be thinking ahead. This might sort the more astute from the tactically less aware. MORE

How to target the ball through tackling 2

Target ball

in Defence, Practice plans, Tackling

There are currently two fashionable tackles: The chop, where the tackler “chops” the legs of the ball carrier and a ball tackle, where the tackler aims to put his shoulder and/or arms on the ball, thus preventing an offload. This is sometimes known as the “choke” as well. It requires a different set of footwork, because the angle of attack is upwards, rather than horizontal. MORE

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