Close support, attack and defence
Work on the roles and skills of the attackers and defenders closest to the tackle area in a tight space. This activity puts the players in game-like situations to look for solutions.
Though there are some principles to follow, this activity will give the players an opportunity to try out different ideas. Expect messy outcomes.
Put an attacker on their chest with a ball in front of them, with a support player about 1m behind. Have two defenders about 1m in front of the attacker with the ball, but side-by-side.
When the attacker gets to their feet, the rest of the players react. The attacker aims to get to the line in front of them (5m away).
Using full tackling, the defenders aim to bring the attacker to ground, while the supporting attacker drives the ball carrier through.
If a tackle is made, the defenders have five seconds to grab the ball (legally). The support attacker has to protect the ball carrier.
Swap roles and repeat.
Start the support attacker to the side.
Adjust the starting positions of the defenders.
Have the attacker on their feet and receiving a pass from the support attacker.
Drive forward low, but square.
Keep busy with short, hard steps and the ball tight to the body but shifting to the left and right.
Tacklers, legs first then body.
Bounce back into the game from the ground.
Support attacker, get in behind ball carrier and keep talking.
About Dan Cottrell
Dan is a practising RFU Level 3 coach and coach educator. He coaches with the Bristol Bears DPP programme, is the assistant coach with University of Bristol Women's team and is a coach mentor for Broad Plain RFC mini and juniors section.
He was Head Coach of Swansea Schools U15 and has previously held coaching roles with the Young Ospreys Academy and as Assistant Coach with the Wales Women's Team for the 2010 World Cup.
He was director of rugby for Cranleigh School, Surrey. Previously he played rugby for Bath and Bristol.