An extra split second of pressure on the opposition can be the difference between success and failure. Rugby defence is not just about defensive systems. The best defensive teams enjoy defending. They are positive in defence and loud and accurate with their communication. So, does your rugby team see defence as a chore or as a great chance to win back the ball? Use the defence drills below to get your team working together to form a more cohesive defensive unit.

Soak up tackles

in Defence, Rugby drills, Tackling

This session works on players reading the situation and not being afraid to give up ground as long as the tackle is made. Sometimes the tackler needs to accept that he cannot “win” the contact, but still needs to bring the ball carrier to ground effectively. MORE

The weakest kink

in Defence, Rugby drills

Work on defensive line speed and communication with the “weakest kink”. Defenders have to adjust their running lines to make sure they are not exposed. Instead of “drilling” the defensive lines, the defenders will have to work out the solutions for themselves. A good session as well for attackers to scan where the space is. MORE

Magic threes!

in Defence, Rugby drills

Defence is all about teamwork and trust. An effective defence is a simple defence and nothing could be simpler and more effective than “magic threes”. Work on communication and looking ahead, while being aware of who’s next to who. MORE

Quickfire winners and losers

in Attack, Defence, Rugby drills

Challenge attackers and defenders to play from a dynamic situation to score or prevent a try. Keep your players thinking about which skills to use to be successful. In this case, good evaion, closing down the space, using the support player, running in support. MORE

Don’t break the chain

in Defence, Rugby drills

Improve your players’ awareness of how to move together as a defensive line. A defensive line needs to know who’s covering who and then double up if they can to make a tackle. MORE

Onto the fringe and into the fire

in Defence, Rugby drills

One of the most difficult things to teach a group of players is their ability to change from a defensive mindset to an attacking one effectively. Here is an activity that does just that. Make the players think that they need to defend as an organised unit and then be able to attack at pace when the ball is turned over. It’s not going to be easy. MORE

Get ready for a safer rugby experience in 2021

in Defence, Email Newsletters

Here’s a headline that’s not going to get your players back to training quickly: Tackling and Fitness Training. However, as we focus on safety and reducing the exposure to a concussion, all the most recent data suggests we need to have better-prepared players. In particular, the fitter the player, the stronger they are, and more... MORE

Around the corner two-step defence

in Defence

Following on from last week’s defence exercise, replicate moving across to the pitch to defend from a slow or quick ruck. It’s a matching up then coming forward exercise. Defenders have to scan what’s in front of them whilst running across the pitch to get to the next ruck. They have to number up and adjust quickly. Once the ball is out, the outside defenders must close down the space in front of them. This session develops these ideas. MORE

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