It’s not always easy to get young players to embrace contact which is why we’ve spent so much time devising and testing contact drills that will help your players grow in confidence. Use them alongside our tackling drills to develop a team of players that are comfortable making and taking contact.

Base ruck

in Contact, Rugby drills

Simple to set up, these activities work on improving individual and group skills. There are no bags, just bodies to drive out from the tackle contest. It challenges players to find a rucking solution with a low body position. MORE

Smack and grab

in Contact, Rugby drills

This is a high-intensity, physical session that works on ruck and tackle contest techniques. It encourages players to work hard in support and when they are fatigued. Poor technique will be easily recognised. ACTIVITY ŒA ball carrier weaves through the middle cones and drives into the pad before going to ground The other two supporters go... MORE

Close support for the contact area

in Contact, Rugby drills

Retain more possession in the tackle contest to generate more quick ball. Make the nearest support player to the ball carrier get closer and make better decisions. This works well in close quarters where there are lots of defenders. ACTIVITY   A ball carrier runs at the edge of a ruck pad, going to ground... MORE

Up and at ’em

in Contact, Rugby drills

This is a tough, physical session that works on players going forward in narrow spaces. The emphasis should be on ball retention in contact, with players using footwork to get to the edges of defenders while going forward. ACTIVITY Four attackers aim to score in one phase at the far end of the first box.... MORE

Mauls and peels

in Contact, Rugby drills

If you have control of the maul with the ball at the back, you can continue to attack close to the maul by “peeling off”. This keeps your forward momentum going and pressurises the fringes of the defence. ACTIVITY Put three attackers on the midline, with a ball carrier at the front Put two defenders... MORE

Physical handling games

in Attack, Contact, Defence, Rugby drills, Small-sided games

These two adaptive games are ideal warm-ups to more intensive training sessions. One looks for players to find catching solutions, the other is a simple maul contest – though there’s never anything simple about mauling. By Dan Cottrell GAME 1 Dive zone The blocker moves side to side in the middle 5m The two attackers... MORE

Second man in

in Attack, Contact, Rugby drills

The second player in support of the ball carrier needs to work out how to support the tackle contest. This session explores a range of situations, all based on the principle of going forward whenever possible. By Dan Cottrell Put three attackers and three defenders in position, with one defender on their knees opposite the ball... MORE

Ruck session builder

in Contact, Rugby drills

Session builders take you from one player to a unit to work on their skills piece by piece. In this builder, we look at the contact area and rucking. By Dan Cottrell The player pushes the ruck pad along the ground for 5m A ball carrier rips down from a defender who just has their... MORE

Stay on your feet

in Contact, Rucking & Mauling, Rugby drills, U12+

Not all mauls are set up from lineouts. Sometimes a player stays on his feet through the first contact and is then held up. He should choose whether to drive on with support, or go to ground. This session works on staying on the feet. By Dan Cottrell CHALLENGE Retain possession in contact while going... MORE

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