EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Skills for far support

Not every player is going to be close to the ball carrier. They need these skills to give the best support, if not immediately, in the next phase or two of play.

SCANNING

Looking at where the defence are and in relation to themselves and the ball carrier. Then, anticipating where gaps and mismatches might appear.

What does “2” can see in this picture?

Perhaps space in front of them. Are they faster or more skilful than the defender opposite them?

ALIGNMENT

Support players need to consider their spacing across the pitch and how deep to allow the supporter to run onto the ball or in support of a break in the line.

A flat alignment, that is closer to the gainline means far support won’t get the ball.

Also, in this picture, the players are not spaced across the pitch. What does that mean for the defence? They can squeeze up and protect gaps between defenders.

A deep alignment means the players can run onto the pass, see where the defence is and there’s more chance they will receive a pass because the defenders won’t have closed down the passing options.

COMMUNICATION

The outside players need to keep passing information to the support players around them to say where they are and what they might see.

They might even shout into ball carrier if there is a potential space to play to.

ADJUSTMENTS

The support players should be constantly moving and adjusting as the play develops. Sometimes moving forwards, sometimes backwards and sometimes swapping positions with their team mates.


As we can see, the support players roles depend so much on the players around them, as well as the ball carrier.

They have to be constantly “in the game”, trying to work out where to position themselves and reposition themselves as the play develops.

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