Using circle grids for rugby drills

The main aim of the circle grid is to coach close-up technique drills, for instance drills that coach core skills such as maul technique or the offload.

The players start on the outside of the outer of two circles and work towards the centre. They cannot practise the drill inside the inner circle. Cones act as markers to indicate the limits of each drill station.

The coach stays inside the inner circle, moving around talking to each drill group. Any rugby drill demonstrations can take place inside the inner circle and then be quickly activated by the groups. Ideally the group sizes are no more than four, so there is plenty of activity.


  • Players have a good view of all the participants in the drills, so can see where they can improve, or mimic what is going on.
  • The coach can move quickly to each station to correct technique and deal with problems.
  • Any demonstration or quick coaching point can be made in the centre of the grid with all the players focused on the coach, rather than having to gather players around.
  • Using grids for drills is good for less experienced players who are not used to instruction.
  • This is a different style of coaching, so can motivate players who are tired of the normal routines.
  • A second coach can move around the outside of the circle, offering one-to-one advice and still be in good sight of the other groups.
  • The coach at the centre is the focus of the technique.


  • The coach has their back to some of the groups. If there’s only one coach, then they will need to be moving around as much as possible.
  • You cannot practise any width in the drill. For example, you cannot pass over more than a very few metres.

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