Rugby Drill Demonstration


Here are two games to improve your players grip on the ball:

1. Simple grip battle (0.00-0.14)

  • Two players have one ball between them.

  • This is a grip battle where the players are trying to take the ball from each other. 

  • Tell your players to focus on how they are gripping the ball and using grip strength rather than by moving their feet or hips.

2. Competitive grip game (0.14-1.04)

  • Set up an area with cones and give half of the players a ball.

  • The players without the ball are trying to knock the ball out of their hands.

  • The players with the balls are trying to stop that happening.

  • Either play that when all the balls go down the defence wins.

  • Or play when a ball goes down those two players swap roles.

  • (1.04) Have players work on the hand off and ball transfer in pairs and then play again and see the difference.

Coaching points

How to grip the ball:

  • Hold the ball with 10 points of contact on the ball.

  • Your players should have their fingers across the seams.

  • Your players should hold the ball with their hands like a W.

How your players hold the ball underpins skills like passing and ball carrying. Also, holding the ball like this gives them more control of the ball and allows an offload. 

  • Coach your players to use footwork to get the ball away from the opposition.

  • Coach your players to use the handoff to distance the opponent so that the ball can't be dislodged or stolen.


  • Start asking the players to use more footwork and a hand off
  • Introduce more defenders or a passing element
  • Drill tags: grip, handling, rugby games

    The Drill is often used with

    Grip GamesOff LoadsRugby Drills Coaching