Shifting the drive

A good shift drive doesn’t happen by accident. Build it with this session, in which players have to execute the lift and jump under pressure, and shift the point of the contact before the drive is set up.

This drill will help you create a shift drive from a lineout.

  1. Start with a 3 v 3 lineout, with the defenders holding ruck pads.
  2. A player feeds the ball to a lifted jumper.
  3. Aim for a 2-second hold in the lift to allow the lifters to lower the jumper in a controlled way.
  4. This allows them time to set the drive, with the pad holders trying to knock them out of position.

  1. Next, add three attackers and two pad holders.
  2. Now, the fourth player (P1) comes round to take the ball quickly from the jumper, with P2 and P3 going either side to lock onto the lifters and jumper at the front.
  3. This is an orthodox drive – in line with where the catch was made.

  1. Finally, remove the pads and execute a shift drive against six defenders – with the ball moved to another area after the jumper lands.
  2. The shift occurs as the jumper lands. He hands the ball to P1, with the rear lifter and P2 supporting on either side.
  3. The jumper then takes the ball back, with the front lifter locking in the near side and P3 locking in the far side.


  • Lifters must get their inside leg in and beyond jumper to close any potential gaps
  • Jumper hands the ball to “shifter” in a controlled way
  • Locking players must bind tightly but allow player taking ball to move to back of drive
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