"With the return to rugby, I’m really worried that my team (U13s) will have forgotten lots of things about rugby. In particular, I’m trying to work out when and how to introduce contact and tackling." This question came from a coach in Gloucester and is typical of lots of concerns around this area of the game. It is true that the players will have "forgotten" lots of skills. Here's how I would approach this situation. On the next page are two tackling exercises to support training. MORE
Attacking round the corner
Practise creating and exploiting try-scoring opportunities by using this attacking drill on a regular basis. Your players will need to work hard to get round the corner of breakdowns.
Replicate this scenario in a match and you’ll stretch the opposition defence until they run out of numbers. It’s also a great fitness workout.
- Line players up in groups of three.
- As the first three set off towards their individual “gates”, player 1 passes the ball to player 2, who passes to player 3.
- Player 3 places the ball on the ground in front of the cones.
- As soon as they’ve passed the ball, players 1 and 2 hit tubes 1 and 2 respectively, while player 3 (who will lag slightly behind them) places the ball on the ground and tackles the third tube.
- As in a game situation, all three must bounce straight back to their feet and attack round the corner.
- They retrace their steps through their gate before turning to enter the end 5m channel.
- On his way, player 3 scoops the ball up (another good skill to work on), straightens and passes wide to player 2, who hits player 1 on his inside.
- Quick hands for the first three pop passes.
- Alternate shoulders when hitting bags.
- Support runners should communicate as they come round the corner and call for the ball.
- Straight running lines.