Recycle players, recycle ball

If you’re on the ground you’re out of the game – which is bad news given the speed of rugby nowadays. So condition your players to spring to their feet and return to the defence in a productive way quickly.

With the modern game being played at a much faster pace, the need for players to be on their feet and active in defence is more important than ever.

  1. Have two ball carriers stand between two cones at the start.
  2. A defender stands 5m in front of them.
  3. To the left and the right of the defender, and 5m behind him, place cones to make six numbered gates.
  4. The first ball carrier runs at the left or right shoulder of the defender, who makes the tackle.

  1. Once the tackle is made, the second ball carrier is given a gate to run to.

  1. The defender must get up as quickly as possible and chase down BC2 before they enter the gate – start with two-handed touch on the waist, before progressing to a full tackle.


  • Post contact, use the momentum of BC1 attacking the shoulder to swing their lower body around.
  • If you ensure players end the tackle on top of BC1 (chest facing ground), they should be able to bring their knees towards their chest and push up away from BC1.
  • Focus on BC2’s hips because going low helps when chasing a defender.
  • Going high can allow the attacker an easy fend-off.
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