Get ready for match tackling

I think it’s important to make sure your players are on board with using tackles in the warm up, so I’ve tended to set out my warm-up ideas before the season starts so the players can have some input. I’ve found, even with a contact element in the warm-up, some will go off and do some extra “hits”. However, I still want the players to have made their first proper tackle before the game starts.

Why use it

Increases confidence and reminds players of the key points of tackling.

Set up

In pairs on the try line.

Get ready for match tackling

How to do it

Play 1v1. The attacker faces the defender with his arms folded across his stomach at arm’s length from a tackler. On your call, the tackler, quickly steps forward, makes impact just below the chest area (or waist depending on your rules at this age group), wraps his arms around the target and drives him back one step (see picture 1).

Repeat five times before swapping over.

Then stand the defender on try line, with the attacker on the 5m line. On your first call, attackers start jogging on the spot (see picture 2).

On your second call, attackers step into the space to the left or the right of his defender who must make a chest high (or lower) tackle with the correct foot forward to stop the attacker getting over the line (see picture 3). The attacker simply steps – he does not run.


  • Foot and shoulder in right place at point of tackle.
  • Arms gripped tightly, head in close and on the correct side.
  • Tackler driving back attacker one step using footwork.

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