Rugby: Positioning, passing and supporting during turnovers

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Mokie, Rugby Coach


5 players in a group line up within touching distance of one another, and stand facing the coach who has a ball in his hand.

The coach then calls turnover and the Players quickly get width, but are not allowed to work backwards to get depth. Once the players get depth the coach lets the first man off the mark by popping the ball in the air, as it is popped he moves off the mark and accelerates onto the ball and forward.


Ensure that players are running hard and straight, otherwise the drill will become very lateral, and will translate negatively into your games.

Players need to understand that the ball carrier has a job to do, and that is to attack, he should not be worrying about where his support is, that is the support's job - to get to the ball carrier!

  • Players need to start within touching distance
  • Getting width while looking at the opposition and the ball/breakdown
  • Once the ball is in play players need to time their run to create depth for themselves.
  • The ball needs to be passed to the oncoming player, without hindering his run.
  • Everytime the ball is passed the receiver needs to adjust his line slightly so that he is attacking the ball with his hands, and line of run - this forces defenders to stick and not slide wide and close down the space available.


Progression 1:

Let the player implement a skip pass. The player which was skipped needs to remember that his work is not yet done, he is now released from the attacking line, and must thus fall in behind the ball for support. once the ball reaches the last man he can take a pop pass either inside or outside the man.

Progression 2:

Introduce a grubber kick on the coaches whistle: therefore who ever has the ball needs to grubber the ball forwards for the next man to collect. Every player which was involved in the drill needs to then once again catch and pass after the grubber is collected, this forces players to follow the ball carrier and support.



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