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.
Use this activity to improve players’ ability to scan what’s in front of them. It will allow the players to develop their footwork options before contact or in open play.
All the targets are in front of the ball carrier, so they will need to go forward but still avoid the defender. MORE
Play a game of six versus six and give the attacking team two balls. Strategically the attack should split themselves into two groups as should the defence, the decision making and spatial awareness will become apparent as the game develops. Once a try is scored everyone focuses on the remaining ball. Start with touch rugby before developing into full contact. MORE
Nic Dolly, from Build U Fitness, gives us a bodyweight leg workout that your players can do at home, which will help strength and endurance. HOW TO TRAIN One set is: one jump squat, one jump lunge left, one right. Complete 100 of this set of exercises and record the time. See if you... MORE
Encourage your ball carriers to run at pace, looking to avoid contact by anticipating where the spaces are.
This is a scanning exercise for just the ball carrier. They will make mistakes, yet start to become attuned to looking for gaps. MORE
Develop the players’ ability to make extra yards by moving to the side of their opponent, while still moving forward.
A player who’s moving forward is harder to stop than one who’s moving sideways. Develop a step that’s both forward and sideways. MORE
Some players have the natural ability to beat a player one-on-one, but don’t know when to use it or have lost their confidence. Others need the skill to be developed. Even if the player cannot get past his opponent by using this skill, he should at least get beyond the defender and create “go forward” ball. MORE
The ball spends more time on the ground in games than we train for. Players drop the ball or pass it poorly and there can be a lot of aimless kicking. All your players need to be ready to drop on a ball on the ground and get back up to gather it. MORE
The best sidesteppers seem to be able to beat another player inside the space of a telephone box. Use this exercise to make even the least fleet-footed replicate this skill. Develop light feet with a jump and step to create a really dynamic sidestep. MORE
Create a competition to get to the line, with the attacker either using speed or evasive skills to beat a defender coming from a different angle. This easy to set up activity can be run as a breakout from games or as a large group in lots of boxes. Mix up the players so sometimes... MORE