Rugby: Wave After Wave

I am so pleased with all of the drills and advice on rugby. I am a...
Mokie, Rugby Coach


  • Keep your player briefing, brief! Tell the players the following or have a demonstration group.....
  1. We have 1 scrum half, 4 runners and 3 defenders with tackle/ruck shields.
  2. The scrum half starts the attacking line by passing a ball from the ground at the first cone, to the first receiver in the attacking line.
  3. The defenders start 10 meters back and press up on the first 3 attackers, leaving the 4th attacker free. The attackers use quick hands to move the ball down the line, before the next cone.
  4. The last receiver sets the ball down, the attack line will have realigned, and the scrum half will now be on the second cone of the opposite side of the grid ready to restart the attack.
  5. The defenders rush 10 meters back and and once again press up on the first 3 attackers, leaving the 4th attacker free.
  6. They keep going until the end of the grid, turn around - and do the same working down the grid.
  • Don't forget to change the defenders.


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 scrum half 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 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.
  • Attackers build their speed, moving the ball through their hands quickly - passing/guiding the ball - not firing it.
  • Attackers identify and attack space.
  • Defenders close the gap between them and the attack, as a line, and quickly.
  • Attackers use depth to give them more time and space.
  • Attackers realign after each attack, ready for the next.
  • Attackers use quick hands, side steps, changes in pace, spins etc. to beat the defence.


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