Planning four week “bites”: rucking

If you are designing your plan for your team’s training, you are better off focusing on an “arc” of learning for a specific area. This means spreading out the training over a number of weeks, rather than dedicating one session to this.

Here’s a four-week plan for quick ball rucks, but you can split this up into more sections if you want.

Objective: Apply pressure on the defence by recycling the ball from the ruck as quickly as possible.

Week one: Ball placement

Week two: Body positions into the ruck (height)

Week three: Body positions into the ruck (drive)

Week four: Speed to the ruck

Let’s say you dedicate 15 minutes each week to the activities and assuming you have warmed up before the start of contact, you could use a mix of games and drills.

Each session may include all of the skills from all of the weeks. However, each week focuses on the specific skill, the reasons why it is important and how the players could improve their own contributions.

The mix depends on the skills of your players. Here are four ideas to help.


The “arc of learning” is understanding where the quick ball rucks fit into your players’ development. While we want to avoid contact, we want to recycle the ball from the tackle quickly. Recycle means that your ball carrier gets tackled, goes to the ground and your team wins the ball back. The faster you do this, the more chance the defence is out of position.

In a four-week plan, you want to keep to one or two themed outcomes that the players focus on. For example, you might want to make sure the ball placement is secure and the first player over the ball is strong. The other aspects of the ruck which work well are a bonus.

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