EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Wrap up and turnover

Wrapping up the ball carrier in a smother tackle stops them passing or presenting the ball on their terms. It also slows the attack down, letting your defence get organised.

There is the added opportunity to regain the ball if the tackler can pull the player down and turn them to your side.


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

Wrapping up an opponent should become the cue for the nearest team mates to zone in and target the ball as the attacker is taken down and twisted.

Not every tackle can be a wrap up. Many will be more orthodox low tackles, so your players, even in defence, have to make good decisions.

Encourage the wrap up tackle, especially when the attacker turns his back to your players or when tackling a slower player from the side.

Set-up

  1. Wrap your arms round the ball carrier. Twist and fall, keeping a good grip on the player.
  2. Support players zone in and regain the ball.

What you get your players to do

Organise the players into groups of three in a defensive line, with a tackle tube opposite the central player in each group. Have each player take it in turns to be the tackler, with his two partners as support players who regain and secure the ball.

Have all three move out in their formation, with the support players only helping once the tackler makes contact with the tube. As the tackler wraps up the tackle tube, twists and drops, place the ball tight against the pad just before the support players arrive. They regain and secure.

The initial contact and correct technique of wrapping up a player means they cannot off load or pass the ball.

The initial contact and correct technique of wrapping up a player means they cannot off load or pass the ball.


Development

  • Set up three tackle tubes, one opposite each defender. Number them one, two and three. As the players move up in defence, shout out a number. The players have to react to this tube.
  • Line up three attackers each with a ball opposite the defenders, again numbering them one, two and three. As the defenders move up call out a number. The extra two attackers drop their ball and assist their tackled team mate.
The three defenders move forward together in their defensive shape, with the two support players only moving in after the wrap up tackle is made.

The three defenders move forward together in their defensive shape, with the two support players only moving in after the wrap up tackle is made.


Game situation

Split into two teams of eight. Play a contact game with all re-starts being a tap and pass. All attempted tackles have to be wrap up tackles with a big emphasis on turning over the ball by using support players to the tackler.

You will find, as things develop, more double and treble tackles will be made. Eventually, the ball carriers will also become more aware of what they must do in a situation where they have been wrapped up and turned, so your players benefit both ways.

Vary which defender completes the wrap up, with the other support defenders and support attackers moving in to compete for the ball.

Vary which defender completes the wrap up, with the other support defenders and support attackers moving in to compete for the ball.


What to call out

  • “Wrap, twist, fall”
  • “Stay low and powerful”
  • “Rip the ball out and secure”
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