Develop your kick return

Work on your counter-attack policies for the back three. This activity covers two phases: first, players must find space from the return, then they need to play away from a quick ruck to exploit an overlap.

This will improve players’ organisational skills so they can attack a blindside after quick ruck ball. Using a small area for the initial kick return develops tactical appreciation.

  1. Put a back three inside the box in their normal kick return set-up.
  2. In front of them put a kicker and three chasing defenders. At the side, stand the receiving team’s 9 and 10. Have the kicker punt into the box.

  1. The back three gather the ball and attack back, using your counter-attack policies .
  2. The defenders aim to touch the ball carrier.
  3. Whether or not the back three make it out of the box, a new ball is put in the middle of the same line as where the defenders are stood.

  1. This represents a ruck. The attackers now realign one way (normally away from where the kicker stood), with the 9 and 10 joining the attack.
  2. The defence puts two or three players in place and the attack aims to beat them.


  • Attack the village, not the city (move the ball away from their forwards).
  • Keep communicating.
  • Realign quickly so you can attack the space.
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