Scrum defence training: Closing down their options

If each player knows their role, you should be able to mark all the attacking options from a scrum. Use these exercises to connect your defensive backline and forwards with your scrum-half.

Your 9 needs to clearly indicate who he’s covering. Get 9s and 10s to work with the forwards in training as much as possible.

  1. Set up a scrum on the left-hand side to defend.
  2. Put a defensive back row, 9 and two back-line defenders against an attacking 8, 9 and midfield.
  3. Run a couple of plays from scrums with the ball at the feet of the attacking 8.
  4. The defenders run the lines indicated above.
  5. Use touch tackling (this is an organisational session).
  6. Defensive duties: 9 covers their 10, 10 their 12, 12 their 13. 8 runs inside 9 and 6 covers behind the line.

  1. Then run the same play from a right-hand scrum.
  2. Here the defensive 9 can come around the back of the scrum or decide to move to the left-hand side to join the back line.
  3. Defensive duties: 9 chases round the back of the scrum 7 covers their 10, 10 their 12, 12 their 13 8 runs behind defence, 6 covers inside 7 NOTE: 9 can run back and around to the openside to make an extra defender.

  1. Develop by pushing the players around the scrum to defend from a wheeled scrum.
  2. So, instead of the flanker standing at the corner of the pad, he moves up the edge and so on. Further develop by adding a blindside winger on each side and with the 8 running off the back of the scrum.
  3. RIGHT WHEEL Defensive duties: 9 attacks 9, 7 covers their 10, 8 covers behind, 6 covers inside 7.
  4. LEFT WHEEL Defensive duties: 9 and 7 pincer their 9, 8 covers their 10, 6 covers inside 8.
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