Create good ball placement habits after footwork with this great warm-up exercise. It is a key part of the contact core series. MORE
Ruck session builder
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 hands on the ball. The ball carrier then presents the ball, with the defender aiming to try to grab the ball within two seconds
- Three players compete from a hands-and-knees start, aiming to get their hips over the ball
- Two pairs start with three one side and one the other side of the pad. Call which side is the attack and they enter the “ruck” from the ball side of the pad
- Play 3v2. Throw the ball to either side
- The aim is to score or steal the ball. Play just one phase
1. ONE PLAYER
Push the angle
Have a player push a ruck pad along the ground, making sure their hips are in line with their shoulders. If not, they will probably be pushing it into the ground which is poor technique.
2. TWO PLAYERS
Fight to the ground
In pairs, have one player with a ball in a strong grip and another with their hands on the ball but about one step away. The ball carrier rips the ball down, goes to ground presents the ball so the other player cannot grab it within two seconds.
3. THREE PLAYERS
One player goes on their hands and knees facing two players doing the same. Have a ruck pad and ball in between them. The ball can be on either side of the pad. When the one player moves, the others can. It’s the first side to have their hips over the ball, but on their feet that wins.
4. FOUR PLAYERS
Split into pairs, with three of the players on one side of a ruck pad which is in the middle of a small box, and another player on the other side. Have a ball on one side of the pad, indicating which side is the attack. Shout out who’s attacking. Each group run into position to win the contest over the ball.
5. FIVE PLAYERS
Play three v two in an 8m box. Start the teams not more than 3m apart. Throw the ball to either side and they aim to score. If they are tackled and go to ground, they aim to retain possession. A point for scoring or a point for gaining/retaining possession. Play only one phase and don’t allow passing.