Rugby coaching session to practise attacking mauls

What you tell your players this rugby coaching session is about

  • Retaining possession and going forward in a maul.
  • Committing defenders to create space elsewhere.
  • Working together and communicating in a maul.

What you tell your players to do

  • The ball carrier should go into the contact on his feet, turned slightly, with the ball on one hip and carried in one or two hands.
  • The second player into the contact should drive in and put his hands on the ball, so there are now three or four hands on the ball. The next player to arrive should drive in and work the ball towards himself.
  • A successful maul is due to the collective effort of all the players involved. Communicate to work together.

What you get your players to do

Warm-up: Set up a 3 v 1 maul in a 5m square box. At walking pace, the three players have to move the maul from one corner to another without leaving the box.

Rugby drill: Set up a 5m box within a 15m square. Three players in the box pick up a ball and drive towards the side of the square. Three defenders in the square prevent this. They are not allowed in the box. The ball can only be transferred by maul, with no passing. When you shout "CHANGE", the teams swap around.

rugby coaching session to practise mauling

Developing the rugby coaching session

The mauling training session can be developed as follows.

  • Add an attacker and ensure at least one attacker is not attached to the maul.
  • Allow the defenders to tackle inside the smaller box before the maul has formed, thus encouraging players to stay on their feet.
  • Allow the attackers three attempts, to "score", but move the "try line" each time.

What to call out in the drill

  • "Three or four hands on the ball until it can be moved back." (That is, two players drive in together, holding onto the ball.)
  • "Take short driving steps, not walking."
  • "Keep low body positions."
  • "Ball carrier – tell the others who you are."
  • "Get the ball to the back."

For more rugby drills and games to coach the basic skills, click here to order a copy of Coaching Rugby, a practical guide for new rugby coaches.

Click here for more mauling tips and skills.

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