EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Small-sided games

Rainbow run decision making game

in Rugby drills, Small-sided games

Here are two versions of the same game. In each one, it is a basic 2 v 1, but the angles of attack and defence keep changing depending on the target. It really challenges the role of the support player to put themselves in a good position to give the ball carrier options. MORE

Counter attack Ts and Cs

in Attack, Rugby drills, Small-sided games

Improve your players’ understanding of their roles to make sure you can retrieve kicks and attack space when in possession. Play with your Terms and Conditions, not the kicking teams’. When a team kicks into space, the defending team needs to communicate and fan out so it can run back at spaces. MORE

The corner goal game

in Footwork and evasion, Small-sided games

Use this quick to set-up warm-up evasion game to challenge the players to avoid contact and, as defenders, work as a team. The defenders will have to think about where to put their strength, the attackers on how to overload the defenders. There could be some interesting solutions. MORE

When is a training game not a game

in Rugby coaching, Small-sided games

I challenged Twitter with this: If a 'game' within rugby training doesn't offer the ability to transition immediately from attack to defence and vice versa, it isn't a game, rather a conditioned drill.  Here are my reflections based on the responses I received and my own research. It might just make you think again about your practice design. MORE

Game changer

in Return to play, Small-sided games

Challenge players to react to the chance to have an extra player in attack and how to defend against it. It’s a quick game, so decisions will need sharp action. No match has unequal numbers unless there’s a yellow card. But sometimes the attack has an overload as a tackler is temporarily indisposed. Replicate that with this game. The “changer” will be doing most of the thinking. MORE

Ground control

in Contact, Kicking & Catching, Rugby drills, Small-sided games

This session thrives on the odd directions a rugby ball takes when it rolls along the ground and how the players react to it. It will improve footwork and reaction skills. The players are reacting to a bobbling ball that might shoot out of the side of a ruck or be knocked back from a lineout, or be because of a dropped pass. MORE

Get more from these four great adaptive games

in Email Newsletters, Small-sided games

Games in training are fun. They can also be extremely productive in helping players develop their skills and game understanding. London Irish Academy coach Rhys Davies has taken four well-known adaptive games and looked in detail on how you and your team can gain a load more. He does this by looking at alternative rules, developing more constraints, asking pertinent questions to both attack and defence. Each activity comes with possible answers, plus a pocket-friendly PDF handout rules and question reminder. There are also skill zone ideas to help you fit this into a full session. MORE

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