Rugby fitness drills and games

Use games for your rugby warm-ups

Use chasing and evasion games in your rugby 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 rugby in a relatively large pitch so everyone gets involved. Include rules such as, “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 rugby 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 fitness skills. Work in small groups so players can encourage each other.

Rugby 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 rugby drills for the losing team to keep the competitiveness up.

Make sure you choose the groups so you can match your rugby players by skill and speed to keep the teams even.

If you need a ground-breaking approach to rugby fitness and skills work, then check out the Skills Conditioning and Fitness for Rugby DVD.

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Click here for rugby warm-up drills to develop players’ speed skills.

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