EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Run, support, realign, handle

Pressure comes from competition and working under fatigue. This advanced session works on the second element before introducing the first, concentrating on handling, running and support.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 5-8


What to think about

It is important that you mix backs and forwards in these exercises. Though the backs will move more easily through the session, they will need to adjust to the different paces of the forwards.

It is essential your team works hard for short bursts of activity. Make each group responsible for high standards. You should concentrate on one key area in each burst, though they may be repeating the same exercise several times.

Expect a drop off in skill when players become tired. When you return to these exercises later in the season, you should see an improvement.

Set-up

  1. Keep your depth so you can run on to the ball.
  2. Concentrate on passing for the receiver to run on to the ball.
  3. Communicate when you want the ball.

What you get your players to do

Set up eight players as in picture 1, with four players working down the middle channel to start with, and two in each of the narrower channels at the sides. The ball is with the outside player of the pairs and an end player of the group of four.

Players run and pass the ball. Once the ball reaches the end player of the group or pair, he puts it down at the “ball down point”. The players in the middle now become the pairs on the outside and the pairs become the four in the middle.

This time, the pairs use a “switch” pass so the ball ends up at the “ball down point”.

Turn and repeat returning to the original pairs on the outside.

Repeat a third time to complete the exercise.

Four players in the middle and a pair at each end. The three groups each have a ball that starts with an end player. Each group moves forward and passes the ball, so it reaches the player nearest a put down point (where the ball carrier puts the ball down). Two balls will be put down at one point and one at the other.

Four players in the middle and a pair at each end. The three groups each have a ball that starts with an end player. Each group moves forward and passes the ball, so it reaches the player nearest a put down point (where the ball carrier puts the ball down). Two balls will be put down at one point and one at the other.


Development

Give the group a time limit to complete a certain number of lengths.

Change the widths and lengths to create different challenges.

Have another group working the other way, which could create chaos!

After a swift realignment, the four split into pairs, and the pairs come together to make up a four in the middle. The ball is picked up the ball and working down the end channels.

After a swift realignment, the four split into pairs, and the pairs come together to make up a four in the middle. The ball is picked up the ball and working down the end channels.


Game situation

Put five attackers at one end of a 20m square box, and five defenders at the other end. Only two defenders can come out at any time to defend (they rotate after each attack).

When you shout “GO”, the attackers have to score at the far end without the ball carrier being touched. If he is, or there is an infringement, both sets of players return to their original ends to start again.

Run for one minute and then swap.

The end pairs use a switch pass in their channels, while the middle four pass the ball along the line. Both groups return ball to next put down point and repeat the original exercise in the last section.

The end pairs use a switch pass in their channels, while the middle four pass the ball along the line. Both groups return ball to next put down point and repeat the original exercise in the last section.


What to call out

  • “Hands up early”
  • “Keep moving, looking and realigning”
  • “Run forward with the ball before passing or changing angle to pass”
Share this drill
Follow us
X
X