Dan Cottrell’s Attacking Rugby Made Simple

50 Easy to Follow Activities to Develop Your Attacking Prowess
Dan Cottrell

Attacking Rugby Made Simple is a clear, direct, guide to coaching attacking rugby. I break down the skills and principles you need to coach and then provide sessions to work on each area.


Unless you’re just playing full-on matches, we have to coach attacking rugby by breaking it down into its component parts. Use my manual Attacking Rugby Made Simple, which has 50 different activities and games, to cover decision making, handling, contact, evasion and kicking.

I have 5 key rules for making attacking rugby simple and these are the focus of all the sessions in this book:

  • Focus on gaining ground first
  • Plays and moves only work if skills are accurate – make accuracy a feature
  • Let players experiment and try out skills – mistakes happen in the pursuit of accuracy
  • Every session has an attacking purpose – and you need to make sure your players know what it is
  • Put attack skills into game-realistic scenarios.

This manual contains 50 sessions that are designed so you can use them again and again to hammer home the skills and tactics you are working on with your players. Although there’s a wide range of sessions they all come back to one or more of the key principles of attacking rugby.

I know that good coaching is about more than just having the right sessions. So each section of Attacking Rugby Made Simple has an introduction from me covering what’s in each chapter, why it’s important, and what you need to look for when you are coaching it. The sessions all include, clear easy to follow illustrations and pointers on when to use them and how to perfect them.


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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.