Ball delivery by the number 8

When you run a move from the back of the scrum, the quality of ball delivery by the 8 is crucial. So work your 8 and 9 in isolation to develop an understanding of what’s best to use and when…

If the 8 can pass, or run and pass, from the base of the scrum, it allows the 9 extra options to be part of a move.

  1. Start with an 8 leaning against a tackle tube, and with a ball at his feet.
  2. Have a 9 close by.

Step and pass  [TOP PICTURE] Using his feet, the 8 pushes the ball onto his right foot, as if it’s just been heeled. Then he puts his left foot forward, disengages and lifts the ball to the 9 (not pictured), who stands to his right or just behind him (picture 1, top).

Flick pass  [BOTTOM PICTURE] Using his feet, the 8 pushes the ball between his legs. Then, with his right hand (away from opposition 9), he flicks the ball through his legs like an American Football “snap”.

Pick and roll  When attacking left, the 8 puts the ball on his right foot, disengages and picks up. Pivoting around his left foot, he backs into the rival 9 and feeds the flanker, who’s running to the left.

Attack and pass  The 8 puts the ball onto his right foot. After a signal from the 9, he disengages, picks up and runs right at 45 degrees to engage their 7, then pops the ball to the 9. Use a tackle tube and cones to replicate a scrum scenario.


  • Put the ball on the correct foot.
  • Communicate with the 9 when to make the play.
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