Front on rugby tackling drills

Front-on tackling drills are a great way for your players to learn how to tackle a bigger opponent running straight at them.

As the ball carrier falls, the tackler also learns to twist them so the ball ends up on the right side for you and the wrong side for the attack.

What you tell your players the drill is about

  • Improving your tackling technique.
  • Coping with bigger opponents.
  • Improving your team's opportunity to turn over the ball.

What you tell your players to do in this drill

  • Move forward and grab the pad or the player aggressively.
  • Keep a tight grip at about chest level, drop and twist, turning the opponent onto your side.
  • Keep a grip of the player on the ground for a couple of seconds before releasing.

Rugby drill to get players tackling using tackle pads

What to call out in the drill

  • "Accelerate and meet the pad or opponent quickly."
  • "Make contact with the shoulders and both arms."
  • "Bend your knees as you drop, pulling your opponent down with you."
  • "Try to get your hands on the ball as you drop."

What to look for

  • Players that try to pull the opponent down using only their arms.
  • Players that cannot twist the opponent round while dropping. They need to bend and twist the knees as they fall backwards.

What to think about in this drill

  • What situations in a game would this type of tackle be most common and most effective?
  • What part of the ball carrier's body is best to grip for a successful grab, twist and fall?
  • Can your players get their hands on the ball to prevent the ball carrier passing or placing?
  • How long will a referee allow your player to keep a grip on the opponent once they have hit the ground?
  • What do your support players do in this situation?
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