Use this activity to warm-up players' footwork and handling the ball skills. In particular, it develops avoiding obstacles without losing speed. MORE
Jack knife: Game-like ball placement
By Eamonn Hogan, experienced rugby coach working with representative teams in the UK and the US
This exercise will allow players to begin the process of game-related practice with ball placement.
Put players in pairs by a marked line on the field or a line of cones.
One player with a ball lies on the ground at right angles to the line (the place where an imaginary tackle took place) while the second player kneels next to him.
What you get your players to do
Call one of three phrases:
The kneeling player falls onto his partner’s body part you have called out.
Once he has done this, the player lying on the ground aims to get the ball back to the line or touch their toes with the ball.
Players will find their body movements more difficult as their partner lies further up their body.
They may drop the ball or lose control of it but perseverance will bring success.
You can decrease the time they have to get the ball back to the line.
You can add in the word “CHEST” and see what the ball carrier does.
This is a great activity for players to use all of their muscles groups to progress the ball back to their team at a ruck. It can also be used as a simple warm-up before a more complex contact session.