Who’s the daddy in defence?

Challenge your defenders to make crucial tackles by using this “spotlight” exercise. With the rest of the squad watching, there will be no hiding place…

We sometimes bemoan players who miss tackles in pressure situations. So put your players under real stress by pulling them out of their comfort zone to see if they can do it in training.

  1. Set up three boxes close to your normal training session.
  2. Flagpoles help players define targets and make them feel they’re in a real game situation.
  3. Each box is used for a different set. A “+1” means a player just in behind the front players.

  1. Run your normal session. In the middle of a training game or exercise, call out some players to the boxes. Everyone else stops to watch.
  2. The players run into position as attackers and defenders, depending on who you nominate.
  3. You feed the attack when the defence is in place (picture 2). The attack aims to score over the try line.
  4. The three situations are: 1 v 1, 2+1 v 2 and 3+1 v 3, where the “+1” is an attacker who trails the front line of attack.

  1. The defenders should come around the flagpoles to get into position.
  2. Play full contact.
  3. You can run one session and then return to your activities.
  4. Or one defender or group of defenders can face multiple attacks.
  5. Run it once or more before returning to your main session. Having the squad watching puts more pressure on the tacklers and attackers.


  • Get off the line quickly and aggressively.
  • Finish the tackles and challenge for the ball.
Share this
Follow us