Rugby: Miss Pass (M1)

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


Keep your player briefing, brief! It's important to get your players working as quickly as possible.

  • Lets get the ball and the players moving with lateral passing through the hands. Each training area only needs one ball, and that ball should start with the any of the two players at the very ends of the L.
  • Tell players to move forward, passing the ball down the line. When the ball gets to the last receiver, that player will pass it to the first receiver in the next line that is waiting to go.
  • They should advance right away. Allow the players to simply move the ball down the lines, don't mention the Miss Pass.
  • After you feel the players are comfortable, tell them that on their call they can miss pass (M1) a player in the line. So the first ball carrier might decide to Miss Pass (M1) the first receiver in the line, and move the ball directly to the second receiver.
  • Any player, if they have the option open to them, can call a miss pass.
  • Allow the players to discover, though questioning, the best possible way of executing and calling the (M1) move.
  • Players should change position in the line after each run.


Don't feel that you have to focus on all of the following coaching points, you may have your own. Select the points that most closely match your overall training and session goals.

  • Keep the tempo of this exercise high, but only after the players have been able to succeed at a lower tempo. There is no point in moving fast and making too many mistakes as a result of pushing players too quickly.
  • Good communication is vital to define roles, position, expectations, direction of the pass, the type of the pass, the timing of the pass etc.
  • Communication should be efficient, effective, and encouraging.
  • Mistakes will happen, while we work to minimize mistakes - don't over focus on them! If you do, your players may well magnify their own mistakes. What's important is the next pass, the next catch! You as a coach have to give the players the freedom to make mistakes, you also have the responsibility for helping players adjust their passing style and decision making etc.
  • Passes need to be weighted correctly in terms of speed, distance, and accuracy.
  • Receivers have their hands out.
  • Players do not spin the ball when there is no need.
  • Players use soft hands to move the ball quickly. Passing, not firing the ball.
  • It is only a good pass when it has been completed, and it is only a completed pass when the receiver catches the ball.
  • The ball should be caught in both hands, at a position that is best suited to move the ball on quickly.
  • Set targets for your payers, but make sure that targets can be achieved.
  • It is vitally important that players experience success and feel a sense of achievement at every session.
  • The (M1) should be called early, and the player being missed should come through with hands out and calling the ball, they need to get out of the way of the pass while still committing a defender or cutting the drift.
  • Have fun!
  • You can progress this exercise by introducing defenders with varying levels of pressure. I recommend that you allow your players to experience success and provide them with a framework that supports decision making.
  • You can also move the cones out wider to increase the distance of the standard pass and the miss pass.
  • Make sure that players are changing position.
  • Use this exercise to profile your players, and to help them develop.



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