Rugby: 3 Touch Kick

Great site and excellent drills. Easy to understand and apply in training....
Tyrone, Rugby Coach


Split your players into two teams, giving one group of players a set of coloured bibs to set them apart, and quickly tell your players the following laws:

  • We will be playing a rugby league style touch. When touched: set the ball down, stand over the ball, allow the scum-half to move the ball away from the point of contact.
  • The defenders should stay on side following a touch, and should not compete for the ball.
  • Any infringements in defence should result in the defending team conceding 10 Meters or possibly giving 1 or more extra touches to the attacking team. I'll leave this to your judgement depending on your team's age, skill level, and your session target/s.
  • The attacking team can sustain three touches before they have to kick.
  • Their kick should be as it would be in the game: a kick to touch, a kick for territory, or a kick that can be regained e.g. a grubber kick.
  • The defenders should behave as they would in a real game.
  • Quick put in's from the touchlines replace lineouts.
  • Defenders who take the ball from an attacking kick should counter attack.
  • A forth touch results in a turn over.
  • The Scrum Half has a maxium of 5 seconds to move the ball from the point of touch.
  • A ball kicked directly to touch from outside the attacking teams 22, or where the ball has been taken into the 22 by the attacking team and then kicked into touch - will result in a turn over with play starting on the five meter line closest to where the kick was made. The defence should be 10 meters back.
  • A ball kicked from inside the attacking teams 22 can go directly to touch, as long as the attacking team did not carry the ball into their own 22 before the kick. The resulting put in will be to the opposition from where the ball has went into touch. Quick put-in's are enoucraged, if not possible the ball is played from the 5 meter line with the defence 10 meters back.
  • Give points for quick put ins that work.
  • Feel free to play with any of noted laws, let us know the law variations that work for you!


You don't have to focus on all of the following, they are suggestions and you should pick points that build towards the work that you will be doing later in the session. As we are working on an activity that closely relates to the actual game, I suggest that you have your defence and attack work as they would in the game.

  • Are the players meeting the targets with respect to patterns etc. that you would expect?
  • Players play the game at pace; taking advantage of any delays the defence has with respect to organization.
  • Passing should be towards mismatches and space, or in order to setup a more advantageous kick.
  • Players should take into account their position on the field of play, can they really play out of their own 22 all the time or should they simply take the kick not worrying about taking on 3 touches?
  • The back three defending players should be taking up positions that allow them to not only cover any kicks, but also to provide another player to the primary defensive line when needed.
  • Focus on the quality and choice of kick, are we working hard to get kickers into position to make the kicks - or are we allowing non kickers to take aimless and ill thought out kicks.
  • The attacking team needs to be able to take on a defensive pattern quickly following a kick that has been gathered by the opposition.
  • The team in Defence that receives a kicked ball should think about changing the point of attack away from where the kick has been received depending on the presence of a chasing unit. Move the ball to where the new defence is least organized.
  • Players receiving kicks need to catch the ball in such a way that they minimize the possibility of a knock on (see catching section).
  • Players need to know when and where it is a good idea to take risks with kicks e.g. a grubber inside your own half may result in losing the ball in a position where the opposition only have the minority of the pitch to cover in order to score a try.
  • Have you as a coach formed a kicking strategy and do your team know it?



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Living On The Edge

Split the players into two teams, giving each team their own set of bibs. Two different colours that clearly define the teams. Keep your player briefing, brief. It's important that you get your players moving as quickly as possible. Tell the players that we will be playing One Touch Ruck, see the laws surrounding this game in the Warm-Ups section of the SportPlan site. Briefly - when an attacking player is touched while carrying the ball: they go to ground and either pop or present the ball for a minimum of two supporting players to ruck over. The defence should behave as they normally would at the ruck, committing two players who will not compete for the ball or go into contact. The defence should employ their normal patterns around the ruck. The attacking team can have three touches in a row between the 15 meter lines, if they move the ball to the either of the 15 meter channels they can have another four touches in that channel before having to move the ball back out. If the attacking team moves quickly from one 15 meter channel to the other (exploiting space), they get a bonus of 4 touches in that zone. If any attacking team exceeds the number of touches they can sustain inside a channel, the ball is turned over. Play with these laws a bit - keeping an eye on what you want to achieve in this session. The normal laws of rugby apply, any law infringements result in a turn over. There is no kicking in this game. Don't forget to give the defence a turn in attack, if for any reason the attacking team is particularly good at retaining the ball. If they are, well done you as a coach!

Warm Up

Maul Touch

Be brief when telling the players the laws of this game, it's important to get them moving quickly. This is not a contact game, but there will be some light contact. Break your players into two teams, giving each team their own colour of bibs if necessary. One team goes to attack, and one to defence. Nominate a Scrum Half for each team, it will be their job to move the ball from the back of the maul and out to an attacking line. There is no kicking in this game. Normal laws of rugby apply e.g. a forward pass will result in the ball being turned over to the opposition. If an attacking player is touched: they must stop and turn, a maul is then built based on how you have trained your players to Maul. Only four players should be in the maul - but every player should be able to maul - including the backs! When you start playing this game make sure that the defence is employing your defensive pattern around the maul. They will commit 4 players, but will not do anything more than provide light resistance. Once formed the maul can take four steps before moving the ball. If there is a delay in creating the maul, or the quality of the maul is poor - the ball can be turned over. Depending on your goals decide on the number of touches you wish to allow e.g. unlimited is not a bad option as mistakes will be made! If a team has been in possession for a long time, don't forget to turn the ball over to give the opposition a run. Don't hesitate to shape the game to focus on your session goals, and let us and other coaches know what worked for you.

Warm Up


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