Tramline returns rugby training drill

This rugby training drill concentrates on attacking through the tramlines.

What you tell your players the session is about

  • Counter attacking from between the 5m and 15m lines.
  • Using the chip and chase (or threat of it) to get behind the first line of opposition chasers.

What to think about

  • Who is involved in this rugby training drill?
  • It is possible that the player returning the kick is playing out of position because it could be the third or fourth kick in an aerial bombardment.
  • Therefore it is worth putting wingers, 9, 10, 15 and back row players into these situations because they might be covering behind. Chasing defenders can be any player.

Returning tactics

This session looks at a couple of the tactics your team might use in the tramlines. Alternatives include passing the ball inside, or kicking long, back down the tramlines.

What you tell your players to do

  • Gather the ball and run at a gap between the defenders at pace.
  • Chip into the space behind the defenders or step through the gap.

What you get your players to do

Practise with the potential receivers chipping and retrieving the ball by running towards the posts, chipping over the bar and catching the ball before it bounces.

For the main session, put a ball on the halfway line, in the middle of the tramlines. Have a retriever stand to the side of the tramlines and two defenders about 20 metres away.

Put a support player for the retriever behind the defenders. On your signal the retriever gathers the ball and attacks through the tramlines as the defenders and support player move forward.

What to call out

  • “If you are chipping, drop the ball onto your foot so you don’t break stride.”
  • “Kick back through the tramlines into the space behind the defenders.”
  • “Stay on your feet in the contact area if you take contact.”
  • “Don’t go into touch.”

Rugby training drill to get players kicking into the tramlines

Develop the rugby training drill

Give the retriever targets to achieve, such as distance made, holding up the ball for support, or keeping the ball inside the tramlines. Change the position the defenders start from and set up different places along the touchline for the play to start from. Discuss the best options.

Put the drill into a game situation

From the halfway line, set up a kicker and four lettered chasers (as in the bottom picture). Place three opposition players in the 13, wing and 15 positions.

Condition the kicker to only kick into the tramlines, varying the distances behind the widest defender. You shout out which lettered players have to chase the kick. The retreiving group attack back through the tramlines.

For a complete training plan for dealing with tramline kicks why not subscribe to Smart Sessions Advanced Skills, ready-made training plans for experienced players. Click here to find out more.

Click here for a tramlines rugby training drill session.

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