Rugby drills

Rugby drills are the nuts and bolts of the game. Some people object to the word “drill” as it has been used negatively in the past to describe activities where players spend more time in lines than they do practising. But, they are a fundamental part of coaching. So whether you call them drills, activities, sessions, games… this is the most valuable section of the site for you.
 

The rugby drills in this section will help you coach your players in the core skills of the game. We’ll tell you what to look out for, how to get the ideas over to your players, and we’ll give you games and exercises to really power-up their skills.
 

Long dogs (or pencil placement)

Long dogs (or pencil placement)

By Ian Diddams, RFU coach tutor with over 20 years experience in coaching at grassroots level Post tackle ball presentation with the body parallel to the touchlines and head nearest the player’s own goal line is known as the “long dog”. It keeps the ball farthest from opponents and closest to support while keeping the […]

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Floor the jumper

Floor the jumper

Stop the maul at the lineout before it starts by focusing on the role of the defending player who is facing the opposition jumper. Why use it Lines up the opposite jumper and brings him to ground quickly once he has landed to prevent the maul forming and making progress.   Set up A ball, […]

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Get players engaging with the shoulder first in the tackle then driving firmly at the shorts or thigh

U11 & U12 Tackle at the right height

Get players engaging with the shoulder first in the tackle then driving firmly at the shorts or thigh. Set up a 10m square area with 1m coned gates in the centre at both ends. Put an attacker and a defender in the middle of the area by a red cone, facing their own coned gates. […]

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Noddy and Big Ears

Noddy and Big Ears

From Rugby Coach Weekly   Focus tacklers on getting their ears tight to the shorts of the ball carrier. This helps them engage their shoulder, keep their eyes open and use the right footwork.   Why use it   Where the head goes, shoulders follow. If the player keeps his eyes open in contact, he […]

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Side-on tackle reactions

U9 Side-on tackle reactions

Get players getting the head tight to the shorts of the attacker and the shoulder into the attacker’s legs when making a side-on tackle Put a tackler in the middle of the area and two attackers in front of him on the corners. Put a feeder behind the tackler on the other side of the […]

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Fends: Power through contact

Fends: Power through contact

From Rob Appleyard former Wales international rugby union player, former assistant coach to the Wales national under-20 rugby union team, defence coach to Newport Gwent Dragons. As a ball carrier approaches a defender he wants to keep the ball away from the grasping hands that prevent offloads and slow down placement. Today, I want to […]

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Tackle right: fall on top

Tackle right: fall on top

By Eamonn Hogan, experienced rugby coach working with representative teams in the UK and the US Players will be asked to perform a number of important roles once a tackle has been completed. This activity shows that being on top following a tackle allows them to get up quickly and back into the game before […]

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Run past defenders

U7 Mini Tag: Run past defenders

“Use pretend moves and dodges to change direction” 1. Divide your players into teams of four and put each team behind a line of cones. 2. Each player should hold a ball in two hands. 3. When you say “go”, the front players race to the other end of the lines making sure they swerve in and out […]

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Don't monkey with APES

Don’t monkey with APES

By Ian Diddams, RFU coach tutor with over 20 years’ experience in coaching at grassroots level A simple drill might look the best way to get your players handling the ball – but does it meet its aim of being Active, Purposeful, Enjoyable and Safe? Consider the following two drills. In which way are they […]

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