EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Align for speed

One of the keys to allowing your players to use their handling and running skills is to start from the correct positions. Good alignment means your players can see where the spaces are, exploit overlaps and run on to the ball at pace.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 8-10
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-7


What to think about

When players are realigning, they can run facing forwards or backwards, but ideally they run with their heads looking at what the defence might be doing.

The session is primarily aimed at backs, but forwards can benefit from repositioning quickly.

Though the emphasis is on reaching your correct position fast, do not let simple techniques like hands out and following through to the target become compromised by the pace of the action.

Set-up

  1. Put yourself in a position to take a pass where you are running on to the ball.
  2. Pass in front of the player to draw him on to the pass.
  3. Run up the field, not across.

What you get your players to do

Split into two groups of four. Have one player act as the feeder and three as handlers in each group. Set them out as in the top picture. Each group must run back at least two metres before turning and passing the ball along the line so the last player runs past the line of starting cones before the other group starts.

Make sure that players practise passing both right to left and left to right. Spread the handlers out to create a challenge for each group’s passing.

Shout “GO”. Players must run back at least two metres before racing forward, passing the ball along the line to the end player.

Shout “GO”. Players must run back at least two metres before racing forward, passing the ball along the line to the end player.


Development

Using just half of the first session set up, add in two cones as in the middle picture. Add two defenders. When you shout “GO”, the attackers run out as before, while the defenders run to a cone each, turn and pressurise the first two attackers.

Use touch tackling. Develop by allowing the second defender to go for the middle or end player, forcing the middle attacker into making a decision to pass or run with the ball.

Shout “GO” and the attack and defence move out, with the defenders running around the two cones. They focus on the first two attackers.

Shout “GO” and the attack and defence move out, with the defenders running around the two cones. They focus on the first two attackers.


Game situation

Split into groups of three and put two groups standing alternately in the middle of the box. Put a feeder at the side of the box. Shout out which team attacks. They run to their end of the box, turn and receive the ball from their feeder. Meanwhile the defenders drop to their chests, get up and run to their end of the box before turning to defend. One of the defenders has to run to a cone outside the box before becoming involved.

The attack aim to score over the defenders’ end of the box. Use touch tackling to start with. The attack will need to align outside the box to have enough depth to run on to the ball.

Attackers run to their try line before turning. The defenders drop to their chests, and run to their line before trying to stop the attack.

Attackers run to their try line before turning. The defenders drop to their chests, and run to their line before trying to stop the attack.


What to call out

  • “Attack the ball”
  • “Look ahead at the defence as soon as you can”
  • “Pass quickly to the end player”
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