Rugby fitness drills and games

Games for warm-ups

Use chasing and evasion games in your warm-up drills. Players will enjoy the competitive nature and won’t realise how far
they are running.

Games such as “piggy in the middle” concentrate on one player working intensively for a short period of time.

Big pitch games

Play small sided games of touch in a relatively large pitch so everyone gets involved. Include rules like “all the attacking
team must touch the ball in every play” and “all of the attacking team must be within five metres of the try line for their team to score”. Make sure the defending team get back three metres at every breakdown.

Aerobic touch is an excellent game for developing skills and fitness at the same time. This is where defenders have to
return to a cone once they have made a touch tackle and all attackers have to be within five metres of the tryline for a try
to be scored.

Rugby circuits

Use rugby skills circuits where running (short sprints) is mixed with wrestling, press ups, crunches, jumping and other rugby related activities. Work in small groups so players can encourage each other.

Relay races

Relay races are a great way to introduce and practise a variety of running and ball skills with a competitive edge. As with the circuits keep the groups small, so the players are working hard, and use exercises for the losing team to keep the competitiveness up.

A good tip is to choose the groups so you can match the players by skill and speed to keep the teams even.


Keep mixing up your aerobic drills so players don’t get bored. This can be as simple as changing the drills in a circuit or changing the rules of the touch games.

Want more ideas to enhance your players rugby fitness? Get Rocket Rugby for the complete guide to rugby fitness.

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