Footwork and evasion

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.

Step zone

in Footwork and evasion

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

How to develop decision making through 1 on 1's 2

In the corner

in Attack, Footwork and evasion, Practice plans

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 telephone box

in Footwork and evasion

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

Natural sidesteppers

in Footwork and evasion, Mini tag, Rugby drills

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

Four ways to unbalance a defender

in Footwork and evasion, Rugby drills

If your players can create a one versus one opportunity, it is a chance to breach the gain line. If they can unbalance their opposite defender, then they should succeed. Players need to understand that there are a number of ways to unsettle the defender both with and without the ball. It helps for the attacker to know what the defender is trying to achieve and reverse the psychology. Here are four of them. MORE

Evasion skills warm-ups and games

in Email Newsletters, Footwork and evasion, Rugby drills, Warm Ups

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

Beating the cover

in Footwork and evasion, Return to play

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

The corner goal game

in Footwork and evasion, Small-sided games

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

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