Pure lineout timing

Timing between thrower and jumper continues to be a key aspect for winning the lineout. This sessions develops better timing, leading to a competitive game-like situation. It concentrates on the pure jump only, with no lifting, ensuring that the ball reaches the hands of the receiver at the top of his jump.

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

What to think about

How much movement do you want before your player’s jump?

Some lineout systems prefer players just to jump straight up, beating the defence with the speed of the throw. Other systems favour more movement. The speed of the jump has greater significance because defending teams can choose to lift two pods if they want, cutting down the possible spaces in which to jump.

What is the trigger for the hooker to throw the ball?

The jumper may have a hand signal for the thrower, which shows he is about to jump. This has the advantage that it is easier to see than a nod of the head, though it might alert the opposition jumpers at the same time.


  1. Jumper: move into the lineout, stop and either jump up or step into your jump and jump off two feet.
  2. Hooker: visualise the target in your mind. Throw to meet the receiver at the top of their jump.


What you get your players to do

Place a hooker on his knees on the touchline. Line up your jumpers at the side of the normal lineout jumping area, opposite the 5m line. The first player enters the lineout area, and jumps to meet a throw from the hooker. Cycle through all your lineout players, and then get them to start further back.

Players run into the lineout and jump to meet the throw.

Players run into the lineout and jump to meet the throw.


Set up a number of receivers out of the line. Place a defender on the 5m line, another 3 metres behind and a third player 3 metres behind him. One receiver runs into a gap between the defenders to take the throw. To start with, defenders can only put their hands up to block the throws, then allow them to jump as well. This works players’ timing and the thrower’s accuracy.

Add defenders to compete for the ball.

Add defenders to compete for the ball.

Game situation

Put two pairs of jumpers in the middle of a 10 metre square box. Each pair of jumpers has their own hooker, and is marked by one defender. Two other defenders run around the perimeter of the 10m box. When you shout “GO”, each hooker has 5 seconds to “find their jumper”. The perimeter defender runs to be in front of their hooker, but cannot jump to defend. The ball must be caught in the air to count.

Hookers have to throw to either of their jumpers, who must catch the ball when they are in the air.

Hookers have to throw to either of their jumpers, who must catch the ball when they are in the air.

What to call out

  • “Extend the body when you jump, to maintain height”
  • “Bend your knees to prepare to jump, and then straighten your legs in the air”
  • “Look through your hands to target the ball”
  • “Hooker: follow through to the target with both hands”
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