Rugby: Side-stepping the opponent - Progression

Great site and excellent drills. Easy to understand and apply in training....
Tyrone, Rugby Coach


Players line up and approach the pole which the coach is now moving side to side.

Once the player gets reasonably close, drop the pole to one side, the player must then react and sidestep in the other direction, working away from the defender.

Using shorter strides when they get close, they step to one side with the POWER STRIDE, and off that leg they change direction in the other direction, anything from 30-90 degree angle changes is sufficient.


If possible stand behind the pole so that you can see the technique in full. Basically you want to ensure players are running at the pole from a distance away, then slow down as they approach to step, short feet and then BANG off the stepping leg.

Look for good weight distribution, movement of the ball in both hands, not tucked.

No player should be looking towards the ground or his feet, instead they should hold their head up and engage with the defender.



  • search our library of 1100+ rugby drills
  • create professional rugby coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested rugby plans

in more ways than one

MORE Agility & Running Skills

Rugby Netball

Drill to practice skills and creating space. Set up a pitch (roughly 25m x 20m depending on age and number of players) with two scoring zones at each end (green cones). Split the players into two even teams and give each team different colour bibs. Teams are aiming to score points by passing the ball to a team mate who is standing in the scoring zone (see diagram). Each time a player catches the ball on the full from a pass from a team mate in the scoring zone their team scores one point, and they turn and attack back the other way. Players cannot run while holding the ball, they must be standing still when they pass. The defending team cannot get closer than 2m to the player with the ball, and can only gain possession by intercepting a pass or if the attacking team drop the ball or give a poor pass which goes to ground.   PROGRESSION: Players can only have possession of the ball for 2 seconds. If they hold the ball for longer than two seconds then possession is turned over. This means that the defending team can gain possession if they cut down the attacking players passing options. Players can run when in possession of the ball, but still can only have possession of the ball for 2 seconds. Passes must be over head. Passes must be below waist height. Chip kick / grubber kick instead of pass. Passes must be out of the back of the hand. Passes must be behind the back. Defenders can touch the attacking player in possession of the ball. If the defending team makes two touches on the attacking team then possession is turned over.

Agility & Running Skills


  • search our library of 1100+ rugby drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans
YOUR SESSION IS STARTING SOON... Join the growing community of rugby coaches plus 1100+ drills and pro tools to make coaching easy.