VIDEO: Attacking realignment skills breakout

Challenge your players to realign quickly in attack and defence. Then, develop their play from the ruck so they can exploit mismatches. This is a quick activity to set up, with easy ways to progress towards the full game. You can also work on “shapes” from a ruck.


  1. In a 20m box, put a ruck pad at the middle of one edge and a ball on the attacking side.
  2. Have a feeder by the ball, and four attackers and two defenders touching the ruck pad.
  3. When you shout “go”, both teams realign. You can use some cones with less experienced players to give them some ideas on good alignments.
  4. The feeder passes out when the attacking team is ready.
  5. Using touch tackling to start with (two hands below the waist), the attackers have to beat the defenders.
  6. Quickly reset for the next go.
  7. Swap directions after a while, so the attackers are passing in the other direction.


  • First receiver, don’t get too deep (that is too far away from the gain line, or the line of the ruck pad).
  • Other attackers, take your positioning off the first receiver, tell that player where you are. And, crucially, look up to see where the defenders are.
  • Defenders, put pressure on the first receiver by moving quickly forward, before shifting as the pass is made.


  1. Change the numbers of players on each team.
  2. Start some players at another point.
  3. Increase the intensity of contact.


The first receiver is a key pivot player. You probably want to have a more experienced player here more often, especially at the start. Then as players become more confident, then give other players a chance to perform this role.

Also, keep focused on what the defence are doing. Encourage them to add different pressures by changing their angles of run. For example, they might come from in-to-out or out-to-in.

For more activities like this, try out…

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