Rugby: 3 Touch Kick

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Heather, 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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Scoring Zones

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. Break your players into two teams, giving each team their own colour of bibs if necessary. One team goes to attack, and one to defense. Nominate a Scrum Half for each team. 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 go to ground, present the ball, two of their teammates ruck over (staying over the ball), and the Scrum Half moves the ball for the next phase of attack.The defence must commit three players to every ruck, or risk an infringement which will see tem pushed back ten meters. The ball must be moved from the ruck within 5 seconds. Make sure that the defense is employing your defensive pattern around the ruck.  Throughout the game the coach call the point of attack e,g, attack RED ZONE or Zone 2. The coach can also call the scoring zone, Score At Zone Yellow or Zone 3. As the game progresses have the players call the point of attack, and the scoring zones - but they must do this early and they must committ to that attack for a period of time. Have attacking players do what they normally would at the ruck. 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! On a mistake or after a period of time, turn the ball over so that both teams get time in attack and defence. 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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