Denis Betts, former head coach of Rugby League side Widnes, spent four years as a rugby union skills coach at Gloucester. Here he shares his thoughts. MORE
Pick up and play – ideal for younger players
The ball is often fumbled or passed poorly as players get used to handling. That means more ball on the ground. Help your players recover the ball and play away.
A moving rugby ball isn’t an easy thing to pick up. And once gathered, the new ball carrier has to make decisions on what to do next. Use this session to work on techniques and options.
- Roll a ball into a small box.
- A player (the picker) comes forward to pick it up.
- He then runs forward again and out of the box to pass to another running player who was waiting in front of that new box.
- The idea is that the picker has to run forward as soon as he gets the ball, and the other player has to time his run based on the pick up.
- Develop by adding a tackler at the end of the first box.
- Now the support player is behind the picker. The picker has to beat the tackler and offload the ball if he can’t.
- Develop further by working in a larger box and playing 2 v 2 where one player from each team comes forward when you roll the ball into the box (and towards one of the players).
- As soon as the ball is touched, the other two players enter the game.
- Swoop to gather the ball.
- Get one foot to the side of the ball.
- Pick up and accelerate away.