Rugby: Simple Passing Exercise

What a fantastic tool. I've found a few drills that are unfamiliar,...
Wes, Rugby Coach


  • Tell your players the follow.....
  1. The first two players at each coach will advance, attacking the cone to their left, in the middle of the training area.
  2. The players should split as they run, increasing the distance between them.
  3. When they get as far as the middle cone, they should then pass.
  4. The reciever then passes to the first reciever on the cone they are approaching.


    • 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 faster and compromising players experiencing success.
    • 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. to minimize the possibility that the pass will not go astray.
    • 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.
    • Receiver should present a target, they could clap their hands to provide a visual and audible target.
    • 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.
    • Have fun, allow the players to experiment and discover attacking and passing options - but don't allow discoveries to go unnoticed.
    • Could players run their own switch?
    • Help your players to develop a decision making framework to support their passing and attack play.
    • Keep players moving, breaking only for very quick corrections and question and answer periods - keep players in position.
    • Use differentiation with respect to selecting your groups and profile players based on what you see. Use this exercise to set future training goals, individual to each player.
    • If you do decide to progress this and use a defender at the cone: Players should use footwork, changes in running speed, committ the defender before he pass etc.

    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.


You can progress this by placing a defender with a tackle shield on the middle cones, if you do this - don't forget to change the defenders.



  • 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

/drills/ Rugby/ Passing /categoryDrills_21.jsp


  • 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.