Passing & Handling

When it comes to coaching fundamentals, you don’t get much more fundamental than passing. Players aren’t all blessed with lightning pace or accurate kicking skills, but every player should be able to pass. The passing drills and handling activities in this section provide countless ways to improve your players passing and handling skills.

Hard and fast with the miss pass

in Attack, Passing & Handling, Rugby drills

A hard and fast flat miss pass can cut out defenders before they have a chance to change their running angles. It can lead to clean breaks as your attackers exploit the gaps. By scanning the line and hitting the ball at an angle towards a space, the ball carrier is going to be almost impossible to stop. MORE

Three passes

in Passing & Handling

In Minis rugby, especially in the younger age groups, putting together three successive passes in the same play is an outstanding achievement. Here’s how to make it easier.  MORE

Clearing pass

in Passing & Handling, Rugby drills

The clearing pass from a ruck isn’t always made by a scrum half. Every player in your team needs to be able to perform it as it is unrealistic to expect the 9 to be at every breakdown. This activity is designed to make as many clearing passes as possible to allow you to see everyone’s ability. You then help players improve. MORE

The ‘no-look’ pass

in Passing & Handling, Rugby drills

Test out whether support players are in place by having the ball carrier use a “no-look pass”, confident their support will be there and responding only to a call. The ball carrier passes as normal without looking, responding to a call knowing the support player is in place. This maintains go forward and speed in the attack. MORE

How to coach the disco technique 1


in Attack, Passing & Handling, Practice plans

This is a decision-making exercise I used with Ospreys U16s. To be successful, the attack must scan the defence and then adjust their pace and depth. Using the “disco” effect (different coloured cones replicating the different coloured lights) you can determine the shape of the defence, forcing the attack to take quick and effective passing and running options. It also works defenders, who have to reconnect after being pushed out of position. MORE

Perfect pop passes

in Passing & Handling

Develop the pop pass to a support player running at pace into space created by the ball carrier. Just before contact, a pass is flicked up off the fingertips to a support runner. It keeps the ball alive and draws defenders out of position to maintain go forward. MORE

Double up the tip pass

in Attack, Passing & Handling

A tip pass is a short flat pass where the passer can immediately support the receiver as they go into contact. It can unbalance the defence because of the change of focus and helps dent the defence. Creating 2 v1  mismatches is just as effective in close as in space. The power of two is a powerful weapon. MORE

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