Go through the gate

Make sure your players enter the breakdown legally – by getting tough through the tackle gate. This will also mean they’ll arrive square and in a better position to drive over the ball and win it.

Once the tackle has been made, all other players must enter through their own “gate”. In other words, from behind the ball and from directly behind either the tackled player or the tackler – whoever is closest to the gate-enterer’s goal line.

  1. Set up a ruck-pad holder close to the 2m box, which has a ruck pad inside.
  2. Put two columns of players behind three lettered cones each, with the front player on his knees.
  3. Call out which player will come forward and to which cone.
  4. He gets up, runs to touch that cone and then turns towards the box.

  1. He squares up to go through the front of the box (the tackle gate) and then steps over the ruck pad as the pad holder comes forward to offer resistance.
  2. The pad holder ensures the player enters the box in a low driving position.
  3. The different cones replicate the different angles that a player will arrive at the tackle contest.

  1. To develop, alter the layout.
  2. Now it’s a race for the space over the pad.
  3. Shout a letter, and the front player touches that cone before trying to win the space.


  • Face the hips up the pitch at the gate.
  • Go low just before the gate.
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