Ruck defence organiser and the two-step call

by Chris Capps-Jenner

Get your players to quickly react to their roles and who they are marking, plus get off the line quickly with these ruck defence warm up exercise.

Why use it?

At rucks, defenders have to cover the sides of the ruck and read what’s in front of them. The two-step call helps the players come forward powerfully from the
defensive line.

Set up

The 22m area, four pairs of coloured cones, four ruck pads and a ball

Ruck defence organiser and the two-step call

How to do it

Line up eight defenders on the try line, and four ruck pad holders and a 9 on the 22m line. Call out a colour.

The first two defenders run to the coloured cones called out, and go to ground, representing the tackler and the player going for the ball.

The next two defenders take up a position either side of the cones, acting as
guards, while the other defenders match up according to the position of the ruck-pad holders.

The four ruck pad holders spread either side of the cones, while the 9 puts the ball down.

The 9 either passes the ball away, in which case, the defenders come forward, and the outside defenders make contact with the ruck pads. Or, if the 9 thinks the “guards” are not looking after the space at the side of ruck, he runs himself.

Develop by removing the ruck pads, adding more attackers and using grab tackles.


• Communicate who’s covering which opposition player.
• Come up off the line together – use the “two-step” call.
• Make sure the “guards protect the channel at the side of the ruck.

This session comes from my manual, Defensive Rugby Made Simple. To find more drills like this order your copy now

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