EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Runner from the deep

The pace of the attacking line can be enhanced by a player entering from a deep position. The timing of this run comes from using lots of practices like the ones in this session. Players get to know the passing shapes of their team mates and so find it easier to read the running lines and get their timing right.


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


What to think about

  • Is the strike runner always too flat to be effective?This is a common problem, usually caused by the player not believing that they will get there in time. A great way to develop timing is for you to hold the player back by their top or waistband and only release them when you want. After a while players start to appreciate how late they can set off, yet still arrive and be effective.
  • The ball carrier doesn’t know when and where the strike runner is going to be. How can I improve this?The strike runner’s communication must be accurate. He needs to talk to the ball carrier from deep and tell him exactly when and where he is going to be.

Set-up

  1. Front line of attackers: use passing, footwork and changes of direction to fix defenders and create space.
  2. Strike runners: hold your depth and hit the line at pace at the last possible moment.

What you get your players to do

Set up a ball carrier and two support players in the middle of one side of the box. The ball carrier and one supporter go round the first cone into the channel. The second supporter (the strike runner) runs round a cone further away and tries to pick a gap and run onto the ball at pace. The first two attackers draw the two defenders, who have run around a cone on the opposite side of the box, to create a space for the deep runner.

Encourage players to try different ways to create space (for instance, as shown in picture 2). Also remember that the late runner can provide a decoy for the ball carrier.

The first supporter runs close to the ball carrier. The strike runner runs wide to score.

The first supporter runs close to the ball carrier. The strike runner runs wide to score.


Development

  • Make the channel wider and play four against three with one attacker coming from deeper.
  • Add another defender deeper so the attackers have to continue to support the strike runner once he has gone through the space.
The first supporter runs wide to fix the defender. The strike runner hits the hole created in the middle.

The first supporter runs wide to fix the defender. The strike runner hits the hole created in the middle.


Game situation

Set up a four man attacking line working from a scrum half pass, with one player coming from the full back position. They play live rugby against three defenders and get a point for every try they score.

Let one team have five attacks and then swap round. Change the starting position of the attackers and defenders to create a variety of situations.

Run a normal back line with a deep runner coming from the backfield.

Run a normal back line with a deep runner coming from the backfield.


What to call out

  • “Ball carrier: attack the defenders at pace”
  • “Support player: be vocal and be ready for a pass”
  • “Strike runner: look for the gap and attack at pace”
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