48 Rugby Skills Games

48 ready-made skills games to replicate match-like conditions
Dan Cottrell

Let the game be the teacher with 48 ready-made rugby skills games to replicate match-like conditions and train your players to perform under pressure.


48 Rugby Skills Games gives you a wide variety of skills games to recreate match like conditions in training and build pressure. Games are recognised throughout all levels of rugby as one of the most effective means of building skills in a way that translates into matches.

Keep playing, and coaching, fun with these skills games. We cover all areas of the game so whatever areas you need to work on there’s a skills game to fit. All the games in 48 Rugby Skills games are designed to be:

Competitive: Tries are scored and points awarded. Players have to work hard to win.

Relevant: Letting you practise under match conditions, at an intensity you can control.

Easy for you to set up: You only need a ball and a few players.

Active: All players are active and involved in both attack and defence.

Outcome focused: Concentrate on the result – winning more matches.

Energetic: Introduce fitness and footwork into your training.

Promote teamwork: Foster team spirit and motivate the players.

In addition, the games are fun to participate in, watch and coach… and no referee is needed!

The games in 48 Rugby Skills Games cover the range of attacking and defending skills, to help your players improve your:

  • Tackling
  • Passing & handling
  • Support play
  • Rucking
  • Mauling
  • Kick & recovery
  • Attacking as a team
  • Defending as a team

The games are all competitive, with clearly defined objectives and scoring systems. They are divided into 3 categories:

  1. Small-sided games
  2. Conditioned games
  3. Game situations

Designed for all players, whatever their skills levels, 48 Rugby Skills Games is a useful resource for any coach who wants to replicate match-like conditions in their training sessions.


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12 reviews for 48 Rugby Skills Games

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    Steven Nkoko

    Very good

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    Players gain better understanding through games. Having 48 Rugby Skills Games as a reference book makes the choice, selection and progression all the more trouble free for the coach to support their players in learning.

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    Matt Rose

    Gamesense training is more effective and more enjoyable for the players

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    The games and drills were great. I used them for my high school team and our club women’s team. My only critique would be that most of games involve contact/tackling. I know, I know rugby is a contact sport. However, five months of the year, we are practicing in a school gym on a hardwood floor. I couldn’t risk any player hitting the floor hard. Other than that, very happy with this resource.

  5. David Ball

    David Ball

    I coach players from 12 years old to adult and make frequent use of this publication.

    I find it clear and easy to put across to my squads – which in turn helps them to develop. An excellent publication.

    – David Ball – UK

  6. Tony O'Dwyer

    Tony O’Dwyer

    I’ve found 48 Rugby Skills Games an invaluable addition to my coaching requirements.

    This book has a massive variety of drills that can be applied to all age groups

    There are time’s I’ll put it away for a while and try other things but I always keep it close and I always go back to it.

    It has helped me massively.

    This year I took the big step from 14`s to 18`s and without this essential part of coaching kit I would have found the transition a lot more difficult, having the manual gave me breathing space and confidence to deliver on a quality session

    – Tony O’Dwyer – Republic of Ireland

  7. Stuart Robinson

    Stuart Robinson

    I have found 48 Rugby Skills Games absolutely brilliant.

    The benefits of this book it takes every aspect of the game and puts it into a ‘game centered scenario and approach’ – Which I totally believe in, the players have fun while learning and playing.

    – Stuart Robinson – Canada

  8. Lois Sterner

    Lois Sterner

    Using the 48 skills games in all level of practices makes the practice go faster smoother and by incorporating the skills into existing practice schedules teaches more game like situations.

    I have been using them at the senior ladies and U-19 level, the players have found them to be fun and relevant to the game.

    – Lois Sterner – USA

  9. Danny Rossouw

    Danny Rossouw

    Like most coaches I have a selection of coaching manuals, books and other resources that I use to plan my coaching sessions.

    Some are used more than others. I can guarantee that’48 Rugby Skills games’ will not have time to gather dust on my shelf.

    I am using it on a daily basis and the feedback from the players is very positive.

    The manual is very easy to use, the layout is great and it certainly covers all the key skills needed in the modern game.

    – Danny Rossouw – Head of Rugby – Loretto School – UK

  10. Mat Hudson

    Mat Hudson

    48 Rugby Skills Games has helped me enthuse my players at training and improve their game.

    I used to spend 75% of training time on drills and was getting nowhere. Now, training through games has improved both the players’ skills and their decision making ability.

    Most importantly, the players love them too.

    – Mat Hudson – Australia

  11. Guzman Barreiro

    Guzman Barreiro

    That book help me transform skills practise, which very often are boring and nothing to do with match situations, to game a like scenarios and the development of those skills or techniques which are clearly more useful and (much important for me) a lot more fun to the players.

    – Guzman Barreiro – Uruguay

  12. Ben Vuna

    Ben Vuna

    This is an awesome skills games book.

    I used most of it for our conditioning, Team and individual skills.

    My team love to play games and I make sure I use different games from the 48 skills games to keep them enjoy our training.

    It’s a great program for us and I see a lot of improvement from my players individual skills.

    – Ben Vuna – Japan

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Dan is a practising RFU Level 3 coach and coach educator. He coaches with the Bristol Bears DPP programme, is the assistant coach with University of Bristol Women's team and is a coach mentor for Broad Plain RFC mini and juniors section. He was Head Coach of Swansea Schools U15 and has previously held coaching roles with the Young Ospreys Academy and as Assistant Coach with the Wales Women's Team for the 2010 World Cup. He was director of rugby for Cranleigh School, Surrey. Previously he played rugby for Bath and Bristol.