EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Back row running lines off the scrum

The back row needs to operate as a coordinated unit in defence, not three individuals. Use this session to develop their roles.

From a scrum, each back row player has a different running line so they can cover initial attacks, a possible break and then defend around the ruck.

ACTIVITY

  1. Put the back row on their knees in a scrum shape.
  2. Call out a coloured cone. The nearest back-rower (normally 7 or 6) runs to the cone.
  3. The other back rowers take a line to that cone which goes with their role (see below).
  4. The first back-rower goes to ground, while the other two back-rowers take up defensive positions either side of the ruck.

  1. Develop by calling a second colour to move to.

GAME SITUATION

  1. Set up a backline move (say with the other forwards).
  2. The 7 has to cover his man. If the move beats the 7 or attacks a space, either call “break” or “tackle”, so the other players know where to run to cover.

ROLES

The 7: Pressure on the 10. Be quick off the side of the scrum. Keep applying pressure on the inside of each ball carrier.

The 8: Cover the 7 on his inside and track his running lines, but slightly deeper. Covers the far side of the ruck.

The 6: Cover the blindside first and then track the 8, but deeper. Then cover a clean break. Go to the near side of the ruck and defend there.

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