Rugby: Everyone Gets A Second Chance ? Touch Variation

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


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:

  • Keep the law briefing, brief! Get your players moving as quickly as you can.
  • Normal rules of rugby apply in terms of knock on laws etc. If normal laws are broken - the ball is turned over to the opposition. Make judgement calls that take into account the age and skill level of the player.
  • If a player is touched, shout touch! Allow them to keep running and to hold onto the ball. They can have one more touch. While holding the ball after being touched, the player can: score, pass, keep running, stop and then pass, or even set the ball down - but to do so would be crazy. If they set the ball down - it's in play and can be picked up by the opposition.
  • If the ball carrier is touched a second time - they must pass the ball immediately. If the pass is too slow or there is no support to pass to, the ball is turned over to the opposition.
  • A defensive player cannot simply touch a player twice in short succession. You may decide that two different players must make the two touches, or that a second touch can only be made by the same player that made the first touch 10 meters beyond the first touch.
  • There is no kicking.
  • Have fun with this and let us know any law changes that worked well for your team!


Pick a couple of coaching points that are important to the session you are warming-up in preparation for.

  • Hit the defensive line at speed and get beyond the first touch, getting beyond the tackle in other words.
  • Support runners should go with the ball carrier, support is close and at distance.
  • Defenders need to communicate and start working together, possibly as smaller units within the larger defensive unit.
  • The ball carried might decide not to take both touches e.g. when there is support and space away from the traffic they have created.
  • Good effective and meaningful communication e.g. support left, short support right. Encourage lines of running for support runners that allow them to take the ball and attack space.
  • Could support runners draw defenders away from the ball carrier or another support runner who might then take the ball?
  • Get players thinking about the game, not just ball chasing or falling back on pre-set patterns.

Flip It | Warm Up

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 professional rugby coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested rugby plans

in more ways than one

/drills/ Rugby/ Warm-Up /categoryDrills_21.jsp


  • 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.