Get your ruck angles right

Get your rucking players coming to the breakdown from different angles – replicating what happens in a match. And make sure they read the tackle situation to know how to protect or challenge for the ball.

Tackles can happen in front of, to the side and behind the supporting players and defenders. They need to work to get into position to make a difference at each tackle situation.

  1. Make three pairs of a ball carrier and defender, then get them to lie on their fronts and spread out.
  2. Put an attacker and defender to the side.
  3. When you say “go”, the first pair get up, with the ball carrier stepping to one side of the defender in front of him and taking a tackle.

  1. In the meantime, the other defender and attacker run over to win the ball or the space over it.
  2. When you shout “break”, the second pair get up to repeat the tackle situation, and the roving attacker and defender run over to support it.

  1. Develop further by having two players on attack and defence, with you calling out how many defenders go to each situation.
  2. Finally, get all the attackers and defenders from the previous tackle situation to join up with the next one, so that you’ll have eight players supporting the third pair.


  • Get square at the tackle and drive from low to high over the ball.
  • Low man wins.
  • Defenders shouldn’t go into the ruck if it’s lost.
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