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.
The basis for good defence always starts with strong tackling. However, the defenders also need to be connected as a group to ensure that the attacking options are closed down. Here are some defensive activities that you can run in training, even if you are not allowed to use tackling. All of them require good connections and decision-making. The attacking group will want to "win" and score, so the defensive group has to find creative ways to stop them. MORE
Develop players’ balance and reaction in attack and defence. The session has lots of chances for good communication and teamwork. The movement disruption will mean players have to adjust their depth in attack or reconnect to the line in defence. MORE
Put pressure on attacking teams by changing the angles of defensive lines. Either they are drifting out or cutting in to force the attacking team in or out. This is a simple session to create a sophisticated defence where each defender decides the best course of action to stop an attack. A very competitive activity.... MORE
Get your players working hard on their footwork and in unison so they can come forward fast from the defensive line to cut down attacking plays from rucks. If defenders can adjust their feet quickly while still focusing on the attack, they can sprint off the line together, rather than become disorganised. MORE
The three point stance is used in American Football, where getting low and exploding forward is essential for players in the front line. Defending the channels close to a ruck is very similar. Players need to be ready to go but patient, waiting for the ball to be played. It’s then a race to get to the gain line and stop the attack. MORE
Effective defence wins games. You need to have as many players defending for as much of the time as you can. Players who like a rest after making a tackle, or like to lean on a ruck that is already lost are not helping your defensive cause. “Get back in the game” should become the mantra for your players after every tackle. MORE