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.
Evasion is a fundamental movement skill. Players use in pretty much all their activities, without necessarily focusing on the specific skills they need. Without becoming too bogged down in the technical requirements, you want to improve your players starting and stopping, balance, change of direction and acceleration. With that comes an awareness of space, time, teammates, the opposition and the ball. MORE
If a player has made an outside break, they have to either make it to the try line or go as far forward as possible. That means straightening up. This activity develops this skill. Work on adjusting the line of running once a line break has been made. It’s good for all players to work on. MORE
Use this quick to set-up warm-up evasion game to challenge the players to avoid contact and, as defenders, work as a team. The defenders will have to think about where to put their strength, the attackers on how to overload the defenders. There could be some interesting solutions. MORE
Encourage your players to use good footwork in small spaces by avoiding contact. These two fun activities are excellent for warming up body and mind. Though rugby is a contact game, avoiding it is a core skill. There are no set techniques because each player will have their own style. Let them develop it in these two activities. MORE
This session builds up a simple skill: Landing on two feet and stepping away from contact is a pre-sidestep motion It is a good technique for all players. When moving at speed and with a potential tackler in pursuit, they can jump, land and step, either to beat the defender or offload. MORE
Get your ball carriers used to running forward to score tries. This session can be run as a warm-up or as a proper tackling session as well. Often players fail to run forwards even when they know the try line is that way. This session should encourage them to attack a space in front them and go for it. MORE
Develop your players’ go-forward skills with evasion in this competitive scenario. It’s easy to set up and you can add lots of variations. Even though some of the players will “cheat” by not exactly stepping to the side of the cones, their swerves and go-forward will help them replicate these skills in a match situation. MORE