With up to five players in action, use this exercise to work on footwork, decision making and teamwork. Quick to set up, it can be used as part your RTP sessions or into the main season as a warm up activity. MORE
Pass, pop, pass
Passing is not a regulation activity. There are different distances to pass depending on the defence in front of the player. Mix up these distances in exercises to challenge your players in more game realistic situations.
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
This session is about the outcome. A forward may not have the most technically correct method of shifting the ball a short distance, but if it is effective then do not change it. However, even if the player is successful, you can suggest better ways to hold or pass the ball. For instance, he could hold the ball in two hands, carry the ball in the middle of the body, or follow his hands through to the target after passing.
Encourage players not to slow down too much before they pass, otherwise they may not engage the defender. By the same token, they should not sprint into the defender, because they may lose their balance and struggle to make even a short pass.
- Attack the defender by moving him to one side.
- Listen to your support player and push a short or long pass to them.
- Follow your pass by pushing your hands through to the target.
What you get your players to do
Put two attackers and two defenders with ruck pads (optional) in a training area marked out as the top picture. You can and should adjust the starting point of the ruck pad holder to either challenge players, or help them have some success.
Have the attackers move forward, with the ruck pad holder going forward towards the ball carrier only. The ball carrier uses a short pass to his support player, who goes through the narrow gate. Repeat this through the larger gate.
- Have the ruck pad holders go for either player, so the ball carrier might dummy.
- Have a wide gate followed by a narrow gate.
- Take away the ruck pads to make it full contact.
Put three attackers at one end of the box near the 10m channel. Place two defenders on the 10m channel line, one about 7m behind the other. On your call, the attackers and defenders move into that area.
In the box, it is likely that there will be a longer pass, but in the channel, only short passes. Play full contact rugby.
What to call out
- “Pull the defender to one side”
- “Push the ball towards your support player”
- “Aim short passes at the support player, long passes in front”