Alternate rucks

Stop your forwards running to and from every ruck, making sure they choose every other ruck to work to. This also creates the ruck specialist.

Many forwards run towards every ruck, whereas backs see themselves not needed. This practice helps your team share the workload, with the nearest players working immediately and effectively at the breakdown.

  1. Set out numbered ruck pads and/or tackle tubes and/or coned gates. Each station has a ball in front of it.
  2. Set up a mini set-piece play in the start zone, ideally with around 10 players. They should run through three to four passes before calling out a number.

  1. The first three players run to that ruck and bind tightly over the ball
  2. The players drop their current a ball and pick up a new ball 3m in front of the tackle tube by the nearest player who goes in and places it.
  3. The first three players run to that ruck and bind tightly over the ball.
  4. The rest of the players realign, with the scrum-half passing the ball out.

  1. The nearest three players simulate a clean out, then stay in place, tight and low.
  2. The 9 passes and play carries on, briefly, until you call another tube number.
  3. The exercise stops when all the stations have been used.


  • Arrive in a low position.
  • Stay low and tight.
  • Look forward.
  • Place the ball carefully and calmly.
  • Support players must all be there within 3 seconds.
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