EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Inside support

One of the main principles of attack in rugby is support. The passer is often the closest player in support of the receiver and yet may not always follow the pass. Even if he does, he needs to get in the best position to receive a return pass. This session works on getting support players on the inside of the ball carrier.


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


What to think about

  • We always seem to run out of runners and support players after the third or fourth phase of play. What can we work on to improve this?This situation occurs because players are not supporting each other effectively. Most teams have two or three players who are “natural” support players and who tend to do the majority of the support running.You need to emphasise the importance of support play to all your players and make sure they understand their roles clearly.

    Once a player has passed, if he is still on his feet he must support the player he has just passed to.

    Games like “pass-follow touch” are excellent for reinforcing this essential skill.

Set-up

  1. Pass while running straight, then change direction to support the receiver.
  2. Stay deep in support ready to accelerate onto a pass.
  3. Communicate with the receiver to tell him where you are.

What you get your players to do

Pairs of players run along a channel passing the ball. One player works as the pass-support player and his partner is the receiver.

The passsupporter passes across the channel and follows his pass to give support on the inside. He receives a pop pass accelerating onto the ball and then changes direction and runs back to his original line. This can be repeated two or three times and then the players change roles.

The initial ball carrier passes and supports repeatedly while his partner acts as receiver.

The initial ball carrier passes and supports repeatedly while his partner acts as receiver.


Development

  1. Support in fours: Groups of four run in marked channels and pass the ball. After every pass the passer supports the receiver.
  2. Unmarked support: Remove the cones and let the players decide whether to pass outside or use the inside supporter.
After each player has passed he supports the receiver on the inside.

After each player has passed he supports the receiver on the inside.


Game situation

Pass-follow touch:

Two equal teams play on a suitable sized pitch for the numbers. At every touch the ball carrier has to go to ground and present the ball. The player who passed to the tackled player has to follow his pass and act as the half back to make the clearing pass. Make it harder by making the passer step over the tackled player with the previous passer then acting as half back.

Player 3 will give the inside pass to his supporter, player 2. Player 1 will react and provide the next wave of inside support to player 2.

Player 3 will give the inside pass to his supporter, player 2. Player 1 will react and provide the next wave of inside support to player 2.


What to call out

  • “Pass first then support”
  • “Supporter players: Hang back and accelerate onto the ball”
  • “Pass in front, so the receiver can go forwards.”
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