"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
Core three – handling, running, support
Execute core skills under pressure in a competitive environment where players have to handle and support well when they are tired.
This will take time to work. Be patient!
- Set up eight players as above, with four players working down the middle channel to start with, and two in each of the narrower channels on the end.
- Start the ball with the outside player for the pairs.
- Have the players run out and pass the ball.
- Once the ball reaches the end player, they put it down on the “put down” cone.
- The players in the middle now become the pairs on the outside and the pairs become the four in the middle.
- They repeat, but this time, the pairs use a “switch” pass so the ball ends up at the next put down point. Repeat once again.
- Give the group a time limit to complete a certain number of lengths.
- Change the widths and lengths to create different challenges.
- Have another group working the other way, which could create chaos!
- Keep your depth so you can run onto the ball.
- Concentrate on passing for the receiver to run onto the ball.
- Communicate when you want the ball.