Develop the front-line 9
The scrum-half usually plays a sweeper role. But if your first line of defence is missing a player, he might have to step up to cover. Improve your 9’s defensive decision-making with this activity.
When the opposition attack from quick ball, your 9 might have to go forward to plug a gap in your defensive line.
Put five attackers and four defenders plus a 9 on one side of the field.
Number the defenders 1 to 4.
On your whistle, one attacker goes to the first ball while the other four align ready to attack down the field.
The defenders sprint into position to create a defensive wall, with the 9 sweeping behind.
After 3 seconds, blow the whistle again. The attack now aims to beat the defence inside the first set of 20m cones.
Use touch tackling.
On a further whistle, the attackers move to the next cone.
At the same time, callout which defender drops out, so leaving an overlap.
The defending 9 must decide whether to step in.
If possible, the attack aims to run a forward against the 9.
On the next whistle, the attack moves to the next cone and a new number is called.
The previous player rejoins the game.
The 9 faces two decisions:
Does he continue to sweep once the team is a player down?
Does he step into the line at the guard position (close to the ruck) or go elsewhere?
About Dan Cottrell
Dan is a practising RFU Level 3 coach and WRU Course Leader. He is currently the Head Coach of Swansea Schools U15 and has previously held coaching roles with the Young Ospreys Academy and was Assistant Coach on the Wales Women's Team for the 2010 World Cup.