Use the aggressive 9

If your scrum half is a good tackler, it’s a waste to place him behind the defensive line. So let him step up – this activity raises the intensity from Develop the front-line 9 by adding a blindside and full-on tackling.

Often our 9 is one of our best players. So if he likes the physical side, bring him into the defensive line to
make more of his talents.

  1. Put four attackers and three defenders plus a 9 at the side of the box, and set up two different-coloured 3m squares 14m apart – each represents a ruck
  2. Call a colour.
  3. The run to that box of with the attack picking the ball and setting up in an attacking formation.

  1. The defence covers both
    sides of the ruck.
  2. The attack can pass, pick and go, or pick and pass.
  3. They can’t go through the ruck or go wider than the other box of cones.
  4. The defence aims to tackle the carrier before he reaches the offside line (back foot of the ruck).
  5. They should drive him back if possible.
  6. The defensive 9 has to decide where best to enter the line and at what stage

  1. Once the tackle is over and a ruck has formed, or there’s an infringement or the attack has scored, call the players to run to the next ruck.


  • The 9 must organise the front-line defence, pushing players out or telling them where he’s joining.
  • Defenders should come forward and low off the line, not sideways.
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