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 improve going forward and supporting 2


in Attack, Contact, Practice plans

Players love simple targets. Not just simple targets to achieve, but simple targets to understand like moving the ball from one end of a box to another. That’s why they will enjoy “blast”. It works on the ball carrier and his support making progress up the field whilst a defender attempts to prevent their progress. This expands into a match situation where the “blast” might be used. MORE

How to develop the switch pass 3

Cut to the chase

in Passing & Handling, Practice plans

Switch passes - also known as “cuts” - should be a natural part of the passing armoury. This session uses a simple exercise that can be set up with lots of stations. Players will learn that timing and angles are as important as the pass itself. MORE

How to clear out rucks effectively 3

Ruck wrecker

in Practice plans, Rucking & Mauling

A “willingness to fight to win the breakdown battle” is such a key area that the team that wins it almost invariably wins the game. “Ruck wrecker” will develop your players’ techniques and their attitude to winning the breakdown. MORE

How to improve defending through watertight positioning 2

Inside out

in Defence, Practice plans

Defending is about stopping the opposition taking the simplest option and making them do something more risky. Generally, the wider the attack, the riskier it is. “Inside out” will help build a defence to cut off the simple close options, making opponents take risks. It’s about trust, organisation and the players knowing their roles. MORE

How to coach gathering the ball off the ground 2

Go to ground and gather

in Passing & Handling, Practice plans

The ball spends more time on the ground in matches than we allocate time for in training. Dropped passes or aimless kicks are frequent so all your players need to be ready to drop on a ball on the ground, gather it and get back up. MORE

How to pass in close quarters 2

Close-quarter passing

in Passing & Handling, Practice plans

Performing quick passes in a small space improves players’ continuity and support skills. This session forces players to attack from different angles while using sharp passing. Changing direction in attack and good communication are also essential. MORE

How to work together to improve tackling 3

Win-win tackles

in Practice plans, Tackling

Tackling in pairs can be more difficult than a single tackle because it requires communication and co-ordination. I find the best way to perfect this out is to play win-win tackle games. Groups of tacklers soon work out how to make the best tackle, with both players benefiting from the other’s intervention. MORE

Cool hands no fluke

in Passing & Handling, Practice plans

Developing catching skills needs to be converted into a game context as soon as possible. This session will help the players take tough and unusual passes, and then turn them into good possession. It is a fresh way to mix up your handling training. MORE

How to improve body height positioning in tackles 3

Better heights

in Contact, Practice plans, Rucking & Mauling

It is a recurring theme that players find themselves too high in the contact area and, therefore, are not effective. Here is a simple session which you might have used parts from before in which the coach uses a flag pole for the players to run under. MORE

How to improve in 2v1s 3

2v1 questions

in Passing & Handling, Practice plans

Get your players working on 2 v 1s in tight and wide situations. In all cases the ball carrier needs to attack the inside shoulder of the defender. However, the different widths of the channels make the style of pass different. A good session for both backs and forwards working together. MORE

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