Rugby speed into practice

A good practice for rugby it replicates a situation where the players have broken the line and need to beat the last defender while being chased. By Tom Farrow at Arete Performance

  1. Two players “spar” in the middle of the box by bashing shoulders. They can be placed anywhere in the box, as long as they are at least 15m away from the others.
  2. Two pairs of players mirror each other’s movements. Player A in each group has their back to the box
  3. Player A tries to escape player B
  4. The size of the box should be bigger for older and faster players.


  1. If you shout “Stop”, both players freeze
  2. If the players are not in the same ”space” denoted by the cones, player A scores a point
  3. ‘Player B scores a point if they are opposite player A

  1. ’If you shout chase, player A turns and aims to beat the sparring players
  2. The player B chases to touch their partner



The aim of this “game” is to mix lateral agility and top speed, with a rugby related theme. I like the idea of turning a skill into chaos, and build on the speed work I’ve been doing with the team. The player who turns will need speed to outrun their partner. They will also need to swerve to beat the sparring player who was in the box.


Cones for a box and starting lines.


  • Two players “spar” inside a box. That means they try to touch the other’s shoulders. They can be anywhere in the box, as long as they are least 15m away from the pairs.
  • Have two pairs line up opposite a line, with cones denoting areas (gates) in front of each player. Player A in each pair has their back to the bigger box. One pair is further away from the large box than the other.
  • On “Go”, A tries to lose B, but both players can only move sideways and not over the line.
  • Either shout: “Stop”, they both jump to stop. A wins if B is not directly opposite them.
  • Or shout: “Chase” and they run to the far end of the box behind A. The B player chases their partners.
  • Also, if you shout: “Chase”, the two sparring players now try to touch the As.
  • Let your players come up with a scoring system.

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