Ruck running threes

Using an inverted backline shape, your runners from a ruck can give the 9 more options to pick up the best-placed player to break the defensive line.

An inverted three is a group of three players that line up so the furthest player is in front. All but the first player in the line can take the ball with a player in support to drive them out and away from the previous breakdown.
It’s easy for the outside players to adjust their timing to support the first player if he’s the receiver.

  1. Split the players into groups of four.
  2. Send one player to the first pad.
  3. The other three run to the cones to align as an “inverted three”.
  4. They should time their runs so when the first player picks up the ball they are moving over the cones.
  5. The passer looks to pass to any one of the three runners.
  6. They take the ball and either pass before the pads or go to ground onto of the pads, with the other two players clearing over.

  1. A support player can either take a pass, bind onto the ball carrier or clear over.
  2. The group then move onto the next set of pads and repeat.

  1. Set out three ruck pads (or tackle tubes) about 10 metres apart.
  2. You run to a pad put the ball down and a group of four players has to run to the pad, realign and develop a play against two defenders


  • Line up with the furthest players in front of the nearest players to the ruck.
  • Run in towards the ball.
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