Defensive duties – great for pre-season

Work on defending, realigning and defending under pressure and fatigue conditions. Good work for normal rugby and for touch rugby too.

The quick the defensive line is back in position, the quicker it can go forward. This is harder when the line constantly moving backwards and certainly more tiring. That’s why this exercise, which replicates the movements of touch rugby defence will stand your players in good stead for defensive conditioning.

  1. Put seven or more attackers at one end split between the two boxes and three defenders 5m inside the box, standing around the middle.
  2. When you say go, half the attackers attack from middle into one of the boxes.
  3. The defenders slide across to make a tackle (full or touch).

  1. On the tackle, the ball carrier runs to the next red cone in the middle and passes after your countdown into the other box.

  1. In the meantime, the defenders recover and line up 5m back from the ball carrier’s passing point.
  2. This pattern continues until there have been four attacks. If the attack beats the defence to score, the ball carrier and the defence go to the end line and then return to the next cone (tiring out the defence).


  • Communicate who is covering who.
  • Come up together in a line.
  • If you are set before the pass, then come up quickly.
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