Ruck triangle rugby drill

What you tell your players this ruck rugby drill is about

  • Clearing out threats.
  • Arriving quickly at the ruck and at a good angle to be effective.
  • Reading which rucks to get to.

What you tell your players to do in the ruck drill

  • Read where you are going and get into position to make a difference at the ruck.
  • Drive into the ruck through the tackle gate, but only if you are clearing out a threat.
  • If there are no threats, stay out.

What you get your players to do in the drill

  • Put three defenders inside the 6m triangle and at least four attackers on the outside.
  • Put a ball at each station (A, B and C in the picture).
  • Call out a station. Both groups move to retrieve the ball. Blow the whistle and call out another station to move the players around.
  • The last player on the ball at each station must return it to its starting point. Referee each contact rigorously. Work for at least four rucks before stopping for feedback, unless there is a fundamental technical problem.

Ruck triangles 1

Ruck triangle 1

Shout which station the players have to attack and defend. Both sides compete for the ball.

Ruck triangles 2

Ruck triangles 2

Change the station either when the ball is won or if the ruck is slow. Either side chooses whether to have all or some rucking in each contest.

What to call out in the ruck drill

  • “Identify threats and drive them out.”
  • “Low man wins – the lower player always wins, as long as he is balanced.”
  • “Stay on your feet through contact.”
  • “Enter at a slight angle.”

Develop the drill

Take away the pads and tubes, and just have two cones about two metres apart in the middle of each side of the triangle. When you call a letter, throw the ball to the attack as they move towards that lettered area.

Game situation

  • Split into teams of six attackers and four defenders. Put them inside a square with “named” sides (A, B, C and D in the picture). Shout out a letter and the attack has to score over that side.
  • Don’t allow passing, so the ball can only be transferred by mauling or picking it up off the ground.
  • Restart after every infringement or try.
  • Give the attack six attempts before swapping.

Four try line game

Four try line game

Shout out which try line to attack. The ball can only be transferred by mauling or picking it up off the ground.

Key rugby coaching tips

Driving a player away from the ball requires a combination of strength and good body positions. To utilise the maximum strength there needs to be a stable base, with the knees bent and the back straight. Watch for players not getting both feet close to the point of impact.

Once in the contact, the players should imagine they are driving through “their head”, which leads them forward with added leg drive. If they drop their heads or look down, that’s inevitably where they will end up – on the ground. The contact is still from the shoulders.

Click here for six tips to winning quicker ruck ball.


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