Rugby: Chop Tackle - Pad Drill

I am so pleased with all of the drills and advice on rugby. I am a...
Mokie, Rugby Coach


  • Aim to develop good tackle habits through repetitive practice. Using pads allows you to train with intensity whilst lowering the impact on the body.
  • Set up two lines of players 5 metres apart
  • Attackers start on the 5 metre line with a tackle pad and defenders start on the try line
  • A coach or non participating player will stand behind the defending players (tacklers) and indicate the direction the attacking players run by raising their arm.
  • The attacking players (with pads) take 2 steps forward and then step 45 degrees and try to score on the try line.
  • The defending line need to communicate (whatever the teams call for getting off the line), eg READY READY UP (when attack moves – ball is lifted in a match)
  • The defending line come off the line and complete a tackle and reset to go again.


  • Attacking players
  • Need to engage the defender first (go forward 2/3 steps) then step (45 degrees) and accelerate to score on the try line
  • Attacking players needs to keep running when they are about to get tackled (break the tackle)
  • Tackling players
  • Need to be on their toes, scanning and communicating (nominate who they have)
  • Hands need to be up in front of their chest and move their outside foot close to the attacking player
  • Make solid shoulder contact, wrap their arms around the attackers legs and use a strong leg drive



  • 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


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!

Warm Up


  • search our library of 1100+ rugby drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans
YOUR SESSION IS STARTING SOON... Join the growing community of rugby coaches plus 1100+ drills and pro tools to make coaching easy.