Improve rugby handling skills with the lateral pass

What you tell your players the session is about:

What you tell your players to do:

  • Get your hands up ready for the ball.
  • Use the “hand catch” to keep the ball away from the body.
  • Accelerate on to the ball.
  • Take and give the ball in one smooth action. The sooner you take the ball, the more time you will have.

What you get your players to do:

Warm-up: In a static line of four, players pass the ball from one end to the other. Time how long it takes to make 12 passes.

Main practice: Two sets of four players line up on either side of you. You feed two balls simultaneously to each team’s first player.

Both teams then run and pass the ball along the line to the outside player (4) who scores a try over the line. The team that scores first wins a point. Teams then swap sides and repeat.

Developing the session

The training session can be developed as follows:

  • Swap the players around so they appreciate different positions.
  • For older groups, add in miss passes, switches and loops.
  • Add in two defenders to oppose each group.

Game situation

Condition a game where the defenders can only defend in a set area of the pitch. Have a 5m channel at each side of the pitch which is “out of bounds” for defenders. Load the defence in the middle of the pitch.

The ball starts in the centre of the pitch. Encourage the attacking team to move the ball quickly to the outside channels so that scoring is easy.

This article is from Coaching Rugby manual, specially created for coaching core skills.

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