Rugby: The Next Pass

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


  • Keep your player briefing, brief! Tell the players the following or have a demonstration group.....
  1. We have 8 static passers and one runner.
  2. There should be a static passer on each cone, eight in total.
  3. The 9th player will be the ball carrier.
  4. The ball carrier starts at the top of the grid facing the bottom. Moving forward they will take a pass off the first static passer with a ball, passing that ball to the player opposite to the passer. The attacker moves forward and does the same at the next set of cones, then the next, and then the next.
  5. When they get to the end of the grid, completing all 4 passes - they turn and start again.
  6. They keep going until told to switch with another player.
  • Don't forget to change the runner.


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.

  • The tempo of this exercise must be high as a skill is only a skills when it can be preformed under pressure, and this exercise applies pressure.
  • Ball carriers work a speed they are initially comfortable with, building more in more speed and faster decision making as they go - while retaining passing quality.
  • Passes from the the static players are weighted correctly in terms of speed, distance, and accuracy. Spin passes are not used when they do not need to be.
  • The ball carrier uses effective, efficient, and encouraging communication to ensure that they receive the ball when they want it - and to ensure that they have enough time and space to make their pass.
  • Players on the cones use good communication to encourage the runner - also helping with the timing and origin of the pass. You'll find that players will be working hard to scan the grid, and some may be a little like a rabbit in headlights - confused!
  • Players should aim to get into a rhythm - they need to loosen up and establish a tempo. This is about playing the game or completing the exercise with freedom. Mistakes happen, if we can help players by not having them over-think or get stressed - then we can cut the number of mistakes. Giving players the freedom to make mistakes can actually reduce the number of mistakes and gives players the freedom to enjoy their game and training - while being creative.
  • When passing, ball carriers draw the pass, in one motion, across their body.
  • Receivers present targets and have their hands up, ready to catch.
  • Relievers can clap their hands to establish a target.

    Stagger the location of the pass, e.g. the place from the next ball is coming from. This will mean that you can have: all the passes left hand passes, all the passes right hand passes, a mix of the two.



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