EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Shoulder tackling

U9 | DEFENCE 9

Get your players to tackle safely with either shoulder

  1. Mark out a 4m square area with cones halfway along each side. Put a line of ball carriers on one side of the area opposite a single defender.
  2. When you say “go”, the defender jogs round one of the cones at the side of the area. When he reaches that cone, the first ball carrier runs forward into the middle of the area.

Shoulder tackling 1

  1. The defender aims to approach the ball carrier from the side and make shoulder contact with his head behind the ball carrier’s shorts, but not make a full tackle.

Shoulder tackling 2

  1. Once he has got into the correct position, the defender releases the ball carrier, runs back to his starting cones and then around the other cone to repeat on the other shoulder with the next ball carrier. At the same time the “tackled” player returns to the back of the line.
  2. Give the defender up to six attempts before players swap roles. Increase the intensity by having the defender make a full tackle – gripping hard and taking the ball carrier to the ground.

Shoulder tackling 3

Shoulder tackling

You will need

  • A 4m square area
  • 1 ball per ball carrier
  • Cones
  • Bibs (optional)

Got more players?

Set up more squares and run the drill with other small groups.

What to tell your players

“Get your feet close to the ball carrier”
“Lead with your shoulder, keep your eyes open”
“Get your head behind the ball carrier’s shorts”

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