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 adapt when attacking 2

Adapt in attack

in Attack, Practice plans

It is important that your players are aware of the different roles in attack from broken play. Though some may rarely play that role in the game, a greater understanding of the needs of other players will improve their own all round decision making. MORE

Collective movement 3

Collective movement

in Attack, Practice plans

Simple patterns of play from breakdowns can create overlaps. Here is a pattern where the players behind the breakdown situation move to one side of the breakdown, leading to an overload. It works on running and handling skills with a real “in-game” feel to the outcomes. MORE

How to improve the ability to beat well organised defences 2

Obtuse, acute and right

in Attack, Passing & Handling, Practice plans

Use this session to improve your players’ ability to break down an organised defence, simply by changing their running angles. It is not about fancy footwork in front of the defence. The ball carrier must hit a point and then move off at an angle with pace and force. MORE

How to improve the ability to beat defenders through gliding 3


in Attack, Practice plans

Subtle changes of angle at full speed help the ball carrier beat defenders who don’t have time to adjust or are set to make the tackle. It can be used either as a one-onone skill or against an organised defence, to break the line. Gliding maintains the player’s balance, so he can pass at pace as well. MORE

Three man D

in Defence, Practice plans

A basic defensive system works around the cohesion of units of three players. If the players drift apart, any defensive line can be breached with good pace and angles by the attack. Of course the attack will attempt to disrupt the unit, so this session works on keeping the three defenders together in different attack situations. MORE

Receive and score 2

Receive and score

in Attack, Kicking & Catching, Practice plans

Developing a positive attacking mindset can affect your opponents psychologically. At kick offs, the chasing team does not expect you to open out and attack straight away. They may also be following up in an uncoordinated manner. Take advantage of these opportunities and punish their lackadaisical attitude. MORE

How can it be that simple 2

How can it be that simple?

in Attack, Practice plans

Create more 2 v 1 opportunities with the simple tactic developed in this session. When I have used it, my players have been amazed at how easy it can be to isolate a defender and then beat him. The tactic works especially well from rucks, even slow ones. MORE

How to attack the ball 3

Attack the ball

in Attack, Passing & Handling, Practice plans

This session works on a common problem – drifting out with the pass. The drift is a natural action that has two unfortunate effects. First it reduces the space for the outside players. Second it allows the defence to drift across. Help your players to break the habit with “attack the ball” running lines. MORE

Pop play 1

Pop play

in Passing & Handling, Practice plans

Though the pop pass is short, it still needs timing and accuracy. As a basic skill, all players should be able to draw a defender and deliver a pop pass into space for a support runner to accelerate onto. “Pop play” will help your players develop not only the technique but also their awareness of when to give a pop pass. MORE

Active sets 1

Active sets

in Attack, Passing & Handling, Practice plans

Once the ball is won at the set piece, the number on a player’s back should have no relevance to the skills and techniques they use. Working together in small groups (sets) and getting used to various tasks helps the players individually and collectively become more aware of what is needed and when, especially at the tackle situation. MORE

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