EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Close-quarter passing

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.


Warm up time: 5
Session time: 6-9
Development time: 6-9
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7


What to think about

Close-quarter passing is often about manufacturing a pass rather than using a set skill. The ball only has to travel a short distance, so a flick of the wrists can be just enough.

Use this session to help players build confidence to pass before contact. This confidence comes from good communication. The first task may take time to perfect. The fact that it changes all the time means the players will always be slightly out of their comfort zone – just like in a match.

Set-up

  1. Pass before contact.
  2. Pass the ball into the space just in front of the receiver – trust he will be there.
  3. Run towards the ball carrier and shout you are there.

What you get your players to do

Spread out the three different colours of cone in an area 5-10m in front of a try line. Have four players walk into the area and shout out which cone to move to. As they reach that colour they start to run towards the try line.

Have another player pass the ball into the player nearest the try line. This receiver runs forward 2m and passes to another one of the players who repeats until all the players have received a pass. They aim to achieve this before they reach the try line.

Have four players walk into the area of cones. Shout which colour cone they need to run to.

Have four players walk into the area of cones. Shout which colour cone they need to run to.


Development

Mark out two boxes as in the bottom picture. Put in defenders who have to put one arm behind their backs.

Three attackers run through the box and then turn and run through next box. They are not allowed to be touched by the free hand of the defender while in possession of the ball. If they are, they become the defenders for the next round of attacks.

A feeder passes a ball to the front player. He runs forward 2m before passing. The other players have to do the same.

A feeder passes a ball to the front player. He runs forward 2m before passing. The other players have to do the same.


Game situation

Split into teams of four. Put one attacking team of four in the middle of the box. Put two defenders at each end of the box.

The attacking team have one minute to score as many tries as possible. If they score at one end, they turn and aim to score at the other end.

If they drop the ball or run into touch, they all must all touch the try line and turn to attack the other end. Use full tackling.

Three attackers run through the first channel. If touched in possession, the attackers become the defenders.

Three attackers run through the first channel. If touched in possession, the attackers become the defenders.


What to call out

  • “Keep the ball off the chest”
  • “Pass with the lower arm and wrists”
  • “Keep going forward”
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