Rugby: All In Touch

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


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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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

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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