"With the return to rugby, I’m really worried that my team (U13s) will have forgotten lots of things about rugby. In particular, I’m trying to work out when and how to introduce contact and tackling." This question came from a coach in Gloucester and is typical of lots of concerns around this area of the game. It is true that the players will have "forgotten" lots of skills. Here's how I would approach this situation. On the next page are two tackling exercises to support training. MORE
Placing the ball
U10 | CONTACT 6
Get tackled players placing the ball away from the body and lying so they are facing towards their own goal line
- Start with an attacker 3m back from one side of the area and a defender standing on the opposite side. Put a feeder to the side of the attacker.
- When you say “go”, the attacker runs forward, receives a pass from the feeder and enters the area. At the same time the defender runs into the area to confront the attacker.
- The attacker aims to beat the defender without being two-hand touched. If he is touched, he must fall to the ground and present the ball back towards the side he came from.
- Develop this by allowing the defender to make a tackle instead of a two-handed touch.
- Further develop by having a 2v2 in a wider box. Use either touch (as above or tackling). When the tackled attacker presents the ball, the other attackers aim to protect and win the ball.
You will need
- A 5m square area
- 1 ball
Got more players?
This is a quick drill so you can have other players waiting their turn, or set up other games alongside.
What to tell your players
“Two hands on the ball when going to ground”
“Twist and stretch back with the ball”