Shuffling and cross-over steps are essential skills for a defender to react to a change of direction of an attacker. Work on these in the development of your players’ tackling progression. MORE
VIDEO: Ruck defence warm-up
Get your ruck defenders into the right position then create an awareness of the ball and the attacking threats in this simple ruck warm-up exercise.
- Put two ruck-pad holders at one end of a 4m box. Put a ball at the side of the ruck with a trigger player (or coach).
- Have two defenders line up at the side of the other end of the box.
- When you (or the trigger player) says go, the defenders run into the box, and line up opposite a ruck-pad holder.
- When the trigger player touches or picks up the ball, the defenders come forward and drive into the pads.
- Develop by making the pads move laterally, so the defenders have to keep looking ahead at the possible threats.
- Line up either on the inside or outside of the pad. That means the defenders are either going to go from in-to-out or out-to-in.
- Keep square and low. That means shoulders and hips facing up the pitch.
- Come forward together.
- Look ahead, with the ball in the corner of the eyeline.