Rugby: Coach Says!

Your tips and session ideas have really brought some interest back...
Eifion, Rugby Coach


  • Coach gives orders and the players do it.
  • Example include: coach says do a press-up, coach says touch the groud with your right hand, coach says jump up and clap your hands, coach says pass the ball, coach says jog on the spot.
  • You might have youngers players who don't do as they are told quick enough - be out of the game. But keep it fun!


The following are some suggested coaching points, but you might have some of your own. Or you might choose to amend this this part of your warm-up to be closer aligned to your coaching targets for the rest of the session.

  • Players needs to listen carefully to instruction.
  • Players respond quickly to what they hear, you might ask them to close their eyes and use their ears only for part of the warm-up.
  • Please should respond to what they see - don't give instructions - demonstrate what you want the players to do. They respond to what they see for part of the warm-up.
  • When passing the ball - the passes should be weighted correctly in terms of speed, distance and direction.
  • Players encourage each other.
  • The tempo of the warm-up should increase. Therefore increasing the activity level and testing the ability of the player to respond quicker.
  • Allow some players to give the instruction, maybe those players that are team leaders. Is their voice loud enough, are they commanding enough?



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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!

Warm Up


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