Rugby: All In Touch

What a fantastic tool. I've found a few drills that are unfamiliar,...
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The following are the laws for this game:

  • Equal number of defenders and attackers.
  • Use bibs to identify both teams.
  • Normal laws of rugby apply; a knock on etc. results in a turn over.
  • The attacking team gets 8 touches before the ball has to be turned over.
  • Change this to suit your training goals. When an attacker is touched they: stop running, turn and present the ball to a support player who wait for the entire defence to gather in around the defender that made the touch.
  • Following a touch all defenders must gather in and be connected by touching another defender.
  • Only when the support player passes the ball out can the defence restart the game.
  • If the defence goes offside or operates illegally, the attack gains 10 meters.
  • If the defence does not get in quickly, the attack can gain 10 meters. Judge this depending on your player's fitness.
  • There is no kicking.


You may not be able to focus on all of the following coaching points, pick the ones that are applicable to your training session.

  • Good communication in defense - calling all the players in following a touch.
  • The defense will be under extraordinary pressure, their fitness will be tested to the extreme. They need to support and encourage one another.
  • Attackers should attack space at speed. Attackers need to develop ideas that delay the drift. Attackers can cut back across the drift.
  • The attack can be patient, waiting for the defense to make a mistake or get tired. Players should get used to the idea of using the ability to wait while holding onto the ball as an attacking tool.
  • The defense has to drift - we could use the normal rules of drifting. Use good communication in defense e.g. push, hold, take the last man etc.
  • Are we making the best use of space?
  • You might find that despite the extra space, the attack is still not scoring. This gives players the opportunity to discover why!



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Flip It

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 defence. 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. When you start playing this game make sure that the defence is employing your defensive pattern around the ruck. As the game develops consider telling the defenders that they must have one or more players at the back of the ruck, if they are not fast enough to do this - push them back 10 meters. It’s important that defenders are employing their defensive pattern behind the primary defensive line. 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! When you feel the time is appropriate, usually during a ruck, blow you whistle and should FLIP IT – kicking in or throwing in a second ball to the back 3/2 defenders on the team currently in defence OR just kick it behind the defenders. The defensive team goes, without hesitation, into attack. The team that was attacking goes into defence and you or an assistant coach remove the other ball from play when you can. Ideally you might have two balls with different markings. Don't hesitate to shape the game to focus on your session goals, and let us and other coaches know what worked for you!

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