EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Escape the square

‘Escape the square’ is a quick game that can be used in warm ups to get players focused on moving the rugby ball in attack, scanning for space and communicating with team-mates. 

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Use 10m boxes. 
  2. Split into groups of six to ten players and then split up the teams.

 

 

  1. Split into equal teams (if there is an odd number overload the attack with one player playing for both sides). 
  2. Everyone must start in the box (apart from after a score, when the scorer passes back inside the box).
  3. To score the ball must be passed or kicked to a player outside the box. 
  4. Players can’t run the ball over the line, it has to be propelled over with a pass or kick. 
  5. Attackers can run, pass and kick the ball.

  1. Once a score takes place, the ball must be passed back in, defenders can intercept this pass (how do we create space to get that pass away – movement with the ball).
  2. Defence are primarily taking space and passing opportunities away from attackers without the ball. 
  3. Run either for a set time (for example, 90 second blocks between stretching) or for a number of scores (for example, first to five, best of three) ideally keeping periods short to encourage intensity.

KEY POINTS

Players need to scan continually for space – where are the easiest places to score?

Players should move the ball quickly to create spaces.

Communication is key – are players talking and listening?

NOTES

When a team scores, the ball must go back into the square, not from line to line.

Constraints could include everyone having to touch the ball before a score or a limit on how long each player can hold the ball.

Gradually make square bigger to increase physical load on players.

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