The best forwards’ coaches are often likened to nutty professors. Absolutely embroiled in the detail of lineouts and scrums, they find even the most mundane technique exciting. But their enthusiasm and understanding is all for nothing if their sessions are not interesting and engaging for the players. Watch England’s former lineout guru Steve Borthwick, now with Leicester, at work and you will see he’s constantly looking for ways to make training as close to the game as possible. Mike Cron, who’s done so much with the All Blacks over the last decade, is the same. MORE
Quick bind, quick set
Give your players the mental and physical edge at scrums by being the first to be ready to scrummage. Make them set themselves quickly and also bind effectively and efficiently. In a match, they will be arriving at each scrum tired, so this session aims to replicate these moments.
Warm up time: 5
Session time: 6-9
Development time: 6-9
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7
What to think about
A side that is ready to scrum often has a mental advantage. However, this will soon crumble if the binding is not efficient.
Binding by props on the hookers is personal. As a rough guide, the hooker goes to the mark, the loose head (left side) prop binds first, then the tight head.
You must check the following: the props’ shoulders are square, the hips are square and the feet are pointing forward. A front row should be able to crouch and remain stable.
- Hooker: Set the mark. Arms up and hooking foot forward.
- Loose head: Bind on to hooker. Get square.
- Tight head: Wait for loose head and then bind, get square.
- Be ready first, be balanced and secure.
What you get your players to do
Split the forwards into groups of three (this can be run with all the forwards).
Each nominates a hooker, a loose head and tight head. Have the groups walk around a box and then shout “scrum”.
The groups form into a front row and then crouch. Go around and check for good binding and body positions.
Make examples of certain groups to show good and bad practice. Repeat, with players swapping roles, to help players speed up the process.
Put two groups of three players by a cone as in the middle picture. Have them jog in to form up and then engage. Make the sure the engagement follows the sequence: “Crouch, bind, set”
Once they have engaged, they do not push, just hold so you can check binding.
Play a game of touch rugby. If the ball goes to ground or there is an infringement, call for a scrum. The first team to have three players ready in the correct position will gain possession at a three-man passive scrum.
What to call out
- “Shoulders square, hips square”
- “Bend at the hips first, then knees”
- “Hooker: control the binding”