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.

Blind passing when it makes sense

in Passing & Handling, Rugby drills

Develop the players’ understanding of when they can pass without looking at the receiver, using this simple exercise to embed the skills and communication needed. ACTIVITY A ball carrier sprints up the narrow channel, aiming to get to the middle cones before passing A supporting player runs behind the first ball carrier A defender races... MORE

Spider hands

in Passing & Handling, Rugby drills

Pass the ball down the line quickly while attacking the ball at pace. Instead of the players stretching for the ball, the catcher spreads the fingers of his farthest hand like a spider. The players will catch better, move faster and pass quicker. ACTIVITY Four attackers run backwards before lining up to take a pass... MORE

Picking up the ball one-handed

in Passing & Handling, Rugby drills

Picking up the ball at pace from the ground with one hand not only looks impressive, it can lead to turnovers, counter attacks and tries. It’s all done in one motion without breaking stride. ACTIVITY You roll the ball to a point 5m from where a runner has to pick it up with one hand... MORE

Counter attack randoms

in Attack, Defence, Passing & Handling, Rugby drills

Develop attackers’ ability to realign after a chase to retrieve the ball and then attack a different type of defence each time. Challenge the defenders to organise on the run too. By Dan Cottrell ACTIVITY Three defenders (A,B,C), each which a number allocated to them Four attackers, in a two and two, run back to... MORE

Chain-gang passing

in Attack, Footwork and evasion, Passing & Handling, Rugby drills, U12+

Develop a chain of passes with players running different angles and coming from different depths to challenge defences. By Dan Cottrell ACTIVITY ŒCall which colour cone to run around Three attackers run into the box ŽA feeder waits by the side of the pitch The attackers run around the coloured cone and then readjust to... MORE

Free pass chasers

in Attack, Defence, Mini tag, Passing & Handling, Rugby drills

Encourage a good free pass and acceleration of the ball carrier, with the free passing looking to support a possible return pass. By Dan Cottrell Two attackers start with a free pass when you call a colour The defender runs to the coloured cone you called The free passer aims to be support the ball... MORE

The fast hands grid

The fast hands grid

in Passing & Handling

Create a “flow” in your passing exercises that generates energy to keep passers working hard and accurately.   Why use it? Instil a natural flow of passing in your players with this activity that starts slow and increases in tempo and rhythm.   Set up   A 15m x 10m box, two balls. How to... MORE

Ruthless attack

in Attack, Defence, Passing & Handling, Rugby drills

Line breaks occur because there is either a mismatch, a deception or a defensive mistake. This session concentrates on the attack identifying the mismatch and exploiting that situation. By Dan Cottrell ACTIVITY Four defenders, two with ruck pads, run into the box Four attackers run into the box with one feeder ready at the side... MORE

Passing session builder

in Attack, Passing & Handling, Rugby drills, U10+

In the passing session builder we work in threes, increasing the movement of the players until they are passing under pressure in game-like situations. By Dan Cottrell 1. Post reactions Three players stand around a post. One player throws the ball at the post above hip height. As the ball rebounds off the post, they... MORE

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