In rugby, footwork and evasion skills are the “fine arts” – ways to run with the ball and beat players with skill, pace and panache. These articles include ways to coach players to have “rugby speed” not just pace, and evade contact with nifty “rugby footwork”. Try one of the footwork and evasion drills below at your next session and see how you get on.
Help your players discover the power of passing and evasion under pressure with this game. “Danish long ball” can be used to trigger lots of skills exercises, with players returning to the game afterwards. For instance you could work on long passing, sidestepping or communication in between bouts of play. MORE
Develop the ball carrier’s ability to change direction at pace without breaking stride. They learn to lean to maintain their speed using this competitive session. Unlike a side step, a swerving player gently changes angle. Build up the skill with the players learning how to lean and run. MORE
Develop a go-forward mentality with your ball carriers, and then ways to keep the ball alive with their supporting players. This is a more physical activity, but also rewards good footwork and creative ways to pass the ball out of the tackle. MORE
“Same shoulder, same foot” is one method of making a powerful tackle, because it maximises the power through the body and into the tackle. It requires good technique and good timing, both of which this session works on. MORE
If a player changes direction just before contact, he has a greater chance of breaking the tackle. Younger and less experienced players need to find out which methods of changing direction work best for them. “Footwork fireworks” develops the basics in realistic match-like situations. MORE
Skilful footwork can improve acceleration, agility and balance. But get a two-in-one benefit by using footwork ladders to also develop your players’ heads-up decision-making. It’s a simple session to improve agility in decision-making exercises – and very easy to set up and vary. MORE
The best players use footwork before the tackle. But if they have to go through close contact, they lean forward and drive through with short, powerful steps. Replicate these skills with these drills. MORE