Tackle tubes – or sausages as they are sometimes known – have their critics because they do not provide a realistic tackle target. However, they are still an extremely useful piece of equipment for three reasons:
1. Non-contact work – A significant percentage of injuries in rugby occur at the tackle area. Usually, this can be down to having been taught poor technique at the contact point and this is where tackle tubes can be useful.
It is always a good idea to return to the basics of a skill if you believe your team can benefit from it. You will need to move onto moving targets at some point but simply allowing your players to use tackle tubes to begin a session can be a very valuable evaluation tool to start with.
2. Conditioning work – Whether it is part of a tackling fatigue test or 1 2 something to carry or push, the innovative use of a tackle tube can allow you a chance to freshen up a conditioning session.
For instance, players could carry a tube for 10m, hold it up for a partner to tackle then carry it back. Or they could tackle the tube five times, each time rolling over while holding it.
Another good activity is to place the ball on top of the tube, tackle it then reclaim the grounded ball as quickly as possible. This should be done five times in quick succession.
3. Small numbers – There will be occasions when numbers at your sessions are small. Having tackle tubes allows you to work on areas of contact replacing players with tubes. Contact work at rucks, and “jackling” (stealing the tackle ball) can both be developed with use of tackle tubes.
Tackle tubes can help you see if players …
- Are making tackle contact without wrapping their arms or hands
- Are making tackle contact with one shoulder more effectively than the other.