Box shape attack

Mix up forwards and backs in attacks from rucks by running a box formation. Have two players at the front and two at the back. The ball carrier has multiple options to pass to when he attacks the line.

Instead of spreading across the pitch, encourage at least two players to stand in behind the first receiver. Use this session to develop this tactic.

  1. Set up six numbered attackers and three defenders along with a feeder.
  2. Indicate which player (Player 2 or 4) will receive the ball by means of a signal the defenders cannot see or hear by holding up fingers.

  1. The “box” of players around that ball carrier then attack. So that’s 1, 3 and 4 with 2, and 3, 5 and 6 with 4.
  2. The defenders move up on the feeder’s pass using grab tackling to prevent the attacking from scoring.
  3. NOTE: This will be messy and perhaps chaotic at the start. Eventually, players will start to run angles to play off the ball carrier. If this isn’t happening, remove the defenders and run with tackle tubes on the ground to indicate gaps.

  1. In a game situation, the 10 might have a forward either side of him and a back outside.
  2. This forms a box formation, where the ball carrier can attack the line and release a big forward into the defence.
  3. The defence has to match up against the attackers, potentially leaving spaces or half gaps to exploit.


  • The ball carrier should manipulate defenders by running at spaces.
  • Support runners need to maintain depth and pace on to the ball.
  • Every ball carrier must have options left and right
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