Rugby: Beat The Runner

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


  • Divide your players into groups of five, with one player acting as a running. Each grid will need a runner. The runner starts on the runners cone.
  • You might wish to have two groups of five at each grid, and to have a quick demo before sending all the players to their own grids.
  • Keep your player briefing, brief!
  • The first five passers attack the runners line, passing the pass down the line as they go.
  • The runner sets off as soon as the first ball carrier starts to move.
  • The aim of attack is to score a try in the corner, beating the runner - so quick hands.
  • Each player should realign following their pass, there will be two attacks for each group before they move the ball onto the next group.
  • After the first attack the runner goes to their cones on the opposite side of the grid ready for the next attack. The attack begins when the first players picks the ball off the ground.
  • Don't forget to change the runners.
  • Move the runner cones in to progress the exercise and to put the attack under more pressure.


Don't feel that you have to focus on all of the following coaching points, pick the ones that best suit your session goals. You may also have some of your own!

  • The tempo of the exercise is high.
  • Players get going as soon as possible.
  • The runners starting distance is enough to challenge, but allow the attack to experience success.
  • Decrease the runners starting distance to provide greater challenge and build the skill.
  • Quick hands being used to move the ball down the line, while attacking at speed from depth.
  • The pass is flat for the player to run onto.
  • The pass is to where the player will be, rather than where they are.
  • Receivers hands are out.
  • Communication is efficient, effective, and encouraging.
  • If mistakes are made, players focus on the next opportunity and you as a coach focus on the correction.
  • Players might dive for the line if necessary.
  • Passes on the left need to be as good as they are on the right.
  • There is no such thing as a strong passing hand, just one hand that we have used a lot and one we haven't used enough!
  • Players follow through with their pass, with hands pointing to where the ball is to go.
  • Passes are weighted correctly in terms of speed, length, and distance.
  • Spin passing is not used over short distances.
  • Passes are sympathetic to the receiver.



  • search our library of 1100+ rugby drills
  • create professional rugby coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested rugby plans

in more ways than one


3 Touch Kick

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!

Warm Up

Bang & Bingo

Set up: the cones as shown with a cone 10 meters each side of the posts on the try line. This will mark where the ball will be passed from (feeder) preferably from a scrum half. Divide the group into 3 and ask them to stand in single file behind each cone. The ball is fed from a position alternately from either side of the post. This will encourage the players to scan, communicate and to be expectant of the ball. The players on the cones opposite the posts will either be the 1st receiver or the BANG option runner. The BANG runner is always running an out to in, or up to in line to fix the 2nd defender. The players on the middle cone will receive the ball in the BINGO (pull back) option outside the ‘outside’ post or just in behind the BANG player. The BINGO players should run and an arced run to receive the ball outside the outer post. The BINGO player should try to straighten up prior to receiving or on receiving the ball. Progression: Get 2 players or coaches to stand in front of the posts with 2 different coloured cones in their hands on their hips. The cones will represent the ‘hips’ of the 2nd defender. The aim is to encourage the 1st receiver to scan, look, and make a quick decision (choice of pass) depending on what the defender is doing. If the 1st receivers sees the ‘inside’ cone on the 2nd defender then they must assume the defenders hips are turned OUT and make a short pass to the BANG runner. If the 1st receivers sees the ‘outside’ cone on the 2nd defender then they must assume the defenders hips are turned IN and make a PULL BACK pass to the BINGO runner.

Warm Up


  • search our library of 1100+ rugby drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans

Sportplan App

Give it a try - it's better in the app

YOUR SESSION IS STARTING SOON... Join the growing community of rugby coaches plus 1100+ drills and pro tools to make coaching easy.