Rugby: Passing Central

Sportplan rugby has played a large role in my team's love for the...
Heather, Rugby Coach


  • Keep your player briefing, brief - and get the players moving as quickly as you can. You may consider having a demo group.
  • On your go:
  1. The player acting as the Scrum Half passes a ball to the grid on his right and then another ball to the grid on his left, both passes will be from the ground.
  2. Upon receiving the pass - each grid begins their 2 v 1 attack and the player with the tackle pad presses up in defence.
  3. When the player acting as the scrum half has completed their two passes, they join the attackers on either the left or right grid.
  4. The first receiver of each attack becomes a Scrum Half - or simply returns to the start of the grid to join a new attack as the first receiver.
  5. Players rotate positions e.g. Scrum Half, First Receiver, Second Receiver.
  6. Defenders can move forward and back, and side to side.
  7. Change the defenders often to give them a chance in attack.


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.

  • Players need to be able to pass off both their left and right hands. Do not allow talk of strong and weak hands, just passing hands that need more work. The idea of working to develop your pass must be at the heart of what you coach your players to do - everything is possible with more work!
  • Players need to be able to pass from the ground, even if they are not the Scrum Half. In a game situation the 9 may be pulled in contact or be injured. All players need to have experience of moving the ball from the ground on both their left and right hands.
  • Players acting as scrum half place the foot opposite to the direction of the pass closest to the ball, they have a wide and controlled passing stance, they can either pick the ball up and quickly make their pass, or can sweep the ball directly from the ground towards the target. You can develop the pass from the ground by having players pass the ball with just one hand.
  • Communication is efficient, effective, and encouraging. Players show leadership calling the pass and their position. The 9 provides verbal cues and players are overall encouraging of one another, not just when mistakes are made - but when things go well.
  • Receivers come onto the ball at pace with their hands out.
  • Ball carriers seek to fix a defender, if the defender drifts too early - they continue their attack.
  • Ball carrier seek to make use of changes in foot-speed, side steps etc. to beat defenders.
  • Passes are weighted correctly in terms of speed, distance, and accuracy. Spin passes are not used when not needed.
  • Attackers are creative in attack e.g. switches and spins.
  • Defenders track attacking, not drifting too early.
  • Defender push the attack towards the touch line, using the touch line as an extra defender.
  • Have fun!


Change the distance between the grids, increasing it, to develop the Scrum Halves pass. Also - make the 2 v 1 grids smaller to give the attack less space to work within. Don't make progressions unless players are experiences success already.



  • 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



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

Sportplan App

Give it a try - it's better in the app

YOUR SESSION IS STARTING SOON... Join the growing community of rugby coaches plus 1100+ drills and pro tools to make coaching easy.