EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Scrum ready for the season

Whether it’s in pre-season or you need a boost during the season, use this series of three sessions to ensure you have a strong scrum base. Here are the first two weeks.

Even amongst older players where individual scrummaging skills are pretty secure, a few short but highly focussed scrummaging sessions keeps your forwards tight and skilled without using much training time. All such live practices should be done with boots on a suitable grippable surface.

WEEK 1 Body shapes

This session concentrates on each player having a good scrummaging body shape, which also benefits rucking and tackling in particular.

  • A quick run through in pairs with each member of a pair checking their partner’s body shape (for example using the Tower of Power).
  • Then move to each pair critiquing each other in a static position against a scrummage machine or suitable non-moving structure such as a corner of a building or floodlight pole (with the usual risk assessments in place).
  • The session should finish with gradually built up live mini scrummages of 1 v 1, 2 v 2 and 3 v 3 emulating the real pressure areas of actual scrummages. These are practices for all scrum participants. All the players show move across the positions.

WEEK 2  Driving and channels

The focus now is actually on working as a unit as a scrummaging pack. If numbers permit by all means scrummage live with one pack against another although a scrummage sled may be useful anyway just to make sure everything is in place correctly.

Set up the scrum and look for “spines in line”.

Now work on driving forwards together. Primarily, players should drive with their inside legs – that is the leg closes to the scrummage midline drawn between the hooker and number eight’s heads.

Technical outcomes of inside leg drive

  • Props:  maintains their square shape, that is directly up the pitch helping prevent their inside shoulder from collapsing and them ending up “boring in”.
  • Second rows: this also helps their prop’s hips stay square
  • Flankers: maintains shape.
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