The best forwards’ coaches are often likened to nutty professors. Absolutely embroiled in the detail of lineouts and scrums, they find even the most mundane technique exciting. But their enthusiasm and understanding is all for nothing if their sessions are not interesting and engaging for the players. Watch England’s former lineout guru Steve Borthwick, now with Leicester, at work and you will see he’s constantly looking for ways to make training as close to the game as possible. Mike Cron, who’s done so much with the All Blacks over the last decade, is the same. MORE
Backwards set piece
Not every set piece works out, and this session looks at some simple recovery strategies. It mainly involves one player retaining the ball, staying strong and then his team mates coming back to help him.
A physical activity to develop ways to mop up errors.
- Put two attackers and one defender (holding a ruck pad) facing each other, two thirds of the way up the box.
- Roll a ball into the larger area of the box. The attackers have to run back, recover the ball and drive back up the box (no passing).
- The defender runs to the end of the box, turns and puts pressure on the ball carrier.
- Add more players to each group.
- Have a couple of players from each team wrestle before you throw the ball back.
- Put four players in two and two scrum formation (prop, hooker, lock, flanker), leaning against three ruck-pad holders (or three players) in the box.
- Put a ball at a feet of the back two players and kick it backwards – though not too hard.
- The players have to break, recover and drive back up the box.
- Slide onto the ball, getting up immediately, but in the low position to drive forward.
- As a support player, work hard to be in behind the ball carrier – keep communicating to give them confidence.