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.

Ideal support positions

Ideal support positions

By Colin Ireland, Physical Education teacher with sixteen years’ experience working for the Scottish Rugby Union Overview Minis are so enthusiastic about supporting each other they often find themselves overtaking the ball carrier or end up taking the pass standing still. Players will begin to realise that being in the right support position means they […]

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Receive, react, pass

Receive, react, pass

From Rugby Coach Weekly A simple activity to get your players completing lots of passing and realigning. It also builds up good technique which increases passing confidence. Why use it Improves handling skills under match-like pressure and also forces players to play with their heads up. Set up A coned-off 5m square, seven players and […]

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How to set up an overlap

How to set up an overlap

Improve your players’ ability to take and give a pass under pressure and at pace, allowing them to set up space for an overlapping runner. 1. Set up a 15m x 9m area. Split the area into three 3m channels and number the channels 1, 2 and 3. 2. Play 3v2 – put attackers in […]

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2 v 1 in tight and wide situations

2 v 1 in tight and wide situations

From Rugby Coach Weekly Get your players working on 2 v 1s in tight and wide situations. In all cases the ball carrier needs to attack the inside shoulder of the defender. However, the different widths of the channels make the style of pass different. A good session for both backs and forwards working together. […]

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Improve fluency in catching and passing

Improve fluency in catching and passing

By Mark Calverley, RFU Level 3 and IRB Level 4 qualified coach, and owner of the NZRFU Practicum award – the highest coaching award in New Zealand Overview Understanding how good technique helps fluency in catching and passing to develop skills that will lead to more efficiency and success. Set up A 20m x 10m […]

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Youth rugby: Passing pace

Youth rugby: Passing pace

Encourage accurate passing and communication when running in support. 1. Set out a 10m x 6m area with sets of three 2m cone gates at 3m, 5m and 7m. Put three attackers along one side of the area with the cone gates in front of them. Give a ball to a player at one end. […]

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U9 U10 Handling: Draw to Score

U9 & U10 Handling: Draw to score

Get your players used to drawing the defender and passing to the player in support and put handling into a decision-making practice. 1. Set out a 15m x 5m area with two sets of three coloured cones, spaced 2m apart, along one of the long sides. 2. Put an attacker with a ball and a defender […]

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High speed pop passes

High speed pop passes

By Ian Diddams, RFU coach tutor with over 20 years experience in coaching at grassroots level Overview Short, sharp passing in close proximity can prove effective not only in keeping the ball away from contact but also in defeating tightly packed defences. Set up You will need: A 20m x 5m channel Groups of five […]

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3 touch rugby games for better handling

3 touch rugby games for better handling

Touch rugby is a good way to build skills but you need to have a number of modifications up your sleeve. Here are three that work on handling: 1. Three-second touch The ball carrier has three seconds to release the ball after he has been touched but can keep running. This promotes offloading and support […]

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