Rugby: Spin Passing

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Heather, Rugby Coach


  • Give each training area one ball to start with and tell the players the following......
  1. Lets just get the ball moving down the line. Give the player at the start of one of the lines a ball, tell the line to advance using lateral passing - with the last player in each line passing the ball to the first player in the opposite line.
  2. Players should change positions in the line following each attack.
  3. Focus on the coaching points - the drill is only a means to an end.
  4. When you feel that the players are executing the short pass to your satisfaction - add in more pressure by having two opposite lines run at once.


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 should work to keep the tempo of the session high.
  • Receivers hands should be out, presenting a target.
  • Ball carriers carry the ball in two hands.
  • The pass is weighted in terms of distance, speed, and accuracy.
  • The pass is only complete when caught.
  • Players do not spin the ball over short distances and their pass should be sympathetic to the receiver.
  • Ball carriers pass to where the receiver is going to be, not where they are.
  • Ball carriers provide a flat ball or a ball that the receiver can run onto.
  • The receiver attacks at pace, receiving the ball while moving forward at pace.
  • Players demonstrate good communication . Communication should be efficient, effective, and encouraging. Receivers should identify themselves, their location etc. Ball carriers should verbally seek out support.
  • Mistakes will be made, allow your players the freedom to make mistakes without feeling a failure.
  • Passing should be off both hands. There is no weak or strong hand, just hands that need a little more work. Work is the key, not talent.
  • The attack must maintain width and depth.
  • The ball should be held on either side with both hands, with; fingers spread, the passing hand should be slightly lower, the opposite hand is the guiding hand, raise the elbow on the passing hand, draw the pass across the body with the passing hand raising and progressing over the top of the ball to create the spin, push through the pass with both hands finishing in the direction of the target, keep the point of the ball slightly up and use the wrists to generate more power.
  • Be careful not to give the players too much to think about e.g. if they are worrying about foot position etc - it may impact on their ability to - just pass the ball. With respect to foot position, the opposite foot to the direction of the pass should be forward (this opens up the hips) - but this won't always be possible in the game.
  • As this point we have a bigger training area with more distance between the players, so we do want to spin the pass.
  • We spin the pass to have it cut through the air quicker, moving faster over distance.



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