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.
Set up a ruck-pad holder close to the 2m box, which has a ruck pad inside.
Put two columns of players behind three lettered cones each, with the front player on his knees.
Call out which player will come forward and to which cone.
He gets up, runs to touch that cone and then turns towards the box.
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.
The pad holder ensures the player enters the box in a low driving position.
The different cones replicate the different angles that a player will arrive at the tackle contest.
To develop, alter the layout.
Now it’s a race for the space over the pad.
Shout a letter, and the front player touches that cone before trying to win the space.
The switch pass is notoriously difficult to coach. Try out this activity to let your players develop the right sort of skill. There are lots of moving parts in a switch pass which mean, even at the top level, they can be difficult to execute. This activity gives the players more awareness of their running lines and potential passes. MORE
Using an inverted backline shape, your runners from a ruck can give the 9 more options to pick up the best-placed player to break the defensive line. An inverted three is a group of three players that line up so the furthest player is in front. All but the first player in the line can take the ball with a player in support to drive them out and away from the previous breakdown. It’s easy for the outside players to adjust their timing to support the first player if he’s the receiver. MORE
How to take the ball close to the gain line in attack to put the defence under more pressure. It will exploit quick ball from rucks by putting attackers flat, running angles and offloading before or after the tackle. MORE
Create pace onto the ball from a “free pass” to a static player by encouraging your players to organise themselves quickly and work in threes. When the rules state that a free pass has to be to a static player, your players have to be at ease with repositioning themselves to be able to generate some pace onto the ball. MORE