React to three man rucks

The RFU U11 rules of play only allow three players from each team into the ruck area (ball carrier/tackler plus two). All teams can learn to use these skills to win this contact collision contest.

To win the ruck contest, it’s a combination of quick thinking, good technique and then sheer grunt. Use this activity to work on reaction times to secure or turnover tackle ball.

  1. Put two teams of four about 5m apart in the middle.
  2. One team pass the ball along to their end player who then throws it across to the player opposite him, who then repeats with his team.

  1. Call out “play” at any point.
  2. The player in possession takes the ball and aims to beat the opposition player in front of him.
  3. At the same time, two players from each team join the contact situation.
  4. Stop when a try is scored, an infringement is made, or the spare player can pick up the ball because the ruck has been won.
  5. You can add another player to each side, but still only allow two players into the contact situation apart from the ball carrier and tackler.


  • A: A good ball placement makes it easier for the attackers. Drive forward, fall forward and then place the ball (long or jack knife).
  • B: Arrive balanced and ready to go forward, not falling forward.
  • C: Come through the “tackle gate”, that is from behind the back of the tackle.
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