12-13 Switch (S2)

Best from

  • Anywhere outside your 22.
  • Either a scrum or lineout. It’s easy to set up from a second phase but is not good against tight defence.

Why it works

  • Defences tend to drift out more after a pass from 10. This attacks “against the grain” even more than a “10-12 switch”.
  • It straightens the attack, thus keeping the opposition defensive line “honest” for future moves. They are less likely to drift as fast after this move.
  • A quick back row can link well off this type of move, so it’s a good move for setting up a second phase move in a sequence of plays.

Good if you have

  • A quick footed 12 who can attack the gap between the opposition 12 and 13.
  • A strong running 13 who can bust through tackles.
  • A good 7 who can pick up the running line of 13.

What players should do

  • 10 passes early to allow 12 some running space and time. He must also support the switch once it has been made.
  • 12 attacks the space between the opposing 12 and 13, and then runs at the opposition 13, thus drawing both players towards him.
  • 13 delays his run as long as possible. He runs straight before cutting back in to take a pass from 12 on the “switch”.

Common mistakes

  • 12 runs sideways immediately. He needs to interest the defence by running forwards to start with.
  • 13, on receiving the ball, runs towards the cover defence. He should straighten up.

Think about

  • 13 should be looking to bust through the defence and offload to either 10 or a forward. Therefore loose forwards need to be aware of the play to make sure they pick their best running lines.
  • 15 should be prepared to offer 12 a “get out” pass if 13 runs incorrectly.


A quick ball to 12 allows him plenty of time to go forwards to interest the defence.


12 attacks the gap between the defenders.


13 runs in behind 12 to take a short switch pass to bust through.

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