Rugby: 3 Touch Kick

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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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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

Pressure Ball

Make sure your warm-up area is marked out before the players arrive. Depending on the number of players you have at training, mark out several warm-up grids. The size of your grid is a suggestion, but around 10 meters x 10 meters. The bigger the grid, the easier it is for the attackers - they have more space. The smaller the grid, the easier it is for the defenders. Break your players into two groups, pads and passers. One third of your players will be passers; the rest will be on the pads. Have one team quickly demonstrate the game to the other players. In each grid have four players on pads, and two passers. You could have more passers; I'll leave this to your judgment. The job of the players on the pads is to put pressure on the ball carrier, to surround them and stop them from passing the ball. The players on the pads are also trying to force the passers to make mistakes e.g. drop the ball, throw a bad pass etc. The passers have to move the ball around the grid, avoiding the pads. Passers can pass the ball in any direction. Players on the pads should have a little fun, and within reason push the passers around a little. You can award points for each successful pass, and points to the defending team on the pads for every occasion when a ball carrier is surrounded or the ball carriers make a mistake. Don't forget to change the players around, and to give players on the pads a go at passing the ball under pressure. Law Variations: You could insist that passers have only 3 second to make their pass, or risk losing a point to the defending team.

Warm Up


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