Double up in attack to draw in defenders and develop skills

From Rugby Coach Weekly

Double up in attack to draw in defenders or create space. This increases the ball carrying, offloading and technical skills of young players in a simple but effective way.

Why use it

Encouraging a player to run with the ball carrier to offer support not only puts an end to isolated attackers also but teaches that a support runner can benefit from being in the right place at the right time by scoring a try.

Set up

A coned off 15m x 10m box, four players, one ball.

Double up in attack to draw in defenders and develop skills

How to do it?

Two attackers (A1 and A2) stand one behind the other. Two defenders (D1 and D2) stand side by side. This allows the attack two options:

Option 1 Ask A1 to attack between D1 and D2 but closer to the edge of D1 (see picture 1a).

A2 then goes for the space either side of A1 depending on the actions of D2 and takes a pass (see picture 1b).

Option 2 Ask A1 to attack one of the defenders, stay on his feet but keep the ball away from the defenders.

Instead of driving onto A1, A2 attacks D2 and drives him away allowing A1 to pump his legs and free his hands for a possible offload (see picture 2).


  • Ball carrier works hard to keep going forward.
  • Hold the ball in both hands, close to the body, hips forward.
  • Second attacker: Only move when you can see what is happening.
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