Put a defender in the middle of the area. Put a group of three attackers on each corner of the area and number the groups 1 to 4.
The aim is for the attackers to run to the opposite try line without being tagged by the defender.
Shout out any number from 1 to 4. The attacker on that corner runs out and attempts to get across the area without being tagged. He is not allowed outside the area. If he goes outside or is tagged, the defender gets one point.
As soon as the attacker reaches his line, goes out of the area or gets tagged, shout out another number.
Play for 30 seconds, with attackers returning to their starting points after each run. See how many points the defender can score. Make sure everyone has a go as the defender.
What you say
“Decide whether to chase the ball carrier”
“Get close to the ball carrier”
How many players do I need?
You can start with 13 players (three on each corner and one defender) but you can load up the corners with more attackers if necessary.
Lots of defence drills get the players in position to tackle, but not enough spend time on setting and then, crucially tackling, especially under fatigue conditions. Play heads up, real-life situations in training.
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If I were coaching tackling to kids for the first time, I wouldn't focus on low tackles. I think it's better to work on the choke tackle. It's safer and more effective.
As a professional rugby coach, people often say to me, “oh, but you've never coached an eleven-year-old before.” Well, a year and a half ago, before COVID, I not only coached my son’s U10s and U11s, but I coached the rest of the school’s A, B, and C teams, from U9s up to U12s. During this period, I taught them to choke tackle. MORE