Rugby: Go To Goal Touch

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


The following are the laws for this game:

  • 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. It would be ok to have unlimited touches, changing the defence and attack after a set period of time.
  • A player is touched only when the defender has made a two handed touch, you can change this to one hand if you wish.
  • Defenders cannot hold the attacker, nor can the attacker use significant force to push through defenders.
  • Defenders who make a touch run to the furthest in goal area and back before being back to re-join the defensive line. You will find that several defenders will be making their way forward and back at any given time.
  • If an attacking player is touched while in posession of the ball: they stop, set the ball down, stand over it, and the scrum half is allowed to move the ball again to restart the attack.
  • The defence must remain onside following a touch.
  • Only when the support player passes the ball out can the defence press up on the attack.
  • If the defence goes offside or operates illegally, the attack gains 10 meters. Don't forget to switch the teams around.
  • Tries only, no conversions - keep the game tempo high.
  • There is no kicking.


Don't feel that you have to use all of the following coaching points. Select just a few points that are relevant to your training session, or use you own coaching points.

  • Play the game at the highest tempo possible; encourage players to attack at speed and to make decisions quickly.
  • Remember to remind the attack that while they have numbers and space, it's constantly changing and that space can/will disappear.
  • Players should make decisions, even if they are the wrong decisions. The only truly wrong decision is no decision at all. So - do they change the point of attack, do they cut across the drift etc?
  • Players receiving a pass should have their hands out and should communicate with the ball carrier.
  • Players coming onto the ball should do so at speed and with purpose, changing footspeed etc. to avoid contact.
  • When a pass is to be made quickly, the ball should be drawn across the body in one motion with the ball leaving the players hands - which follow through towards the target.
  • Communication between attackers and defenders should be effective, efficient, and encouraging.
  • Defenders need really make sure their communication is good and that they are aware of what's happening in the defensive line. Where are the gaps, are they being closed?
  • Defenders will need to drift as the warm-up progresses, who is leading that?
  • The defensive line moves at an appropriate speed to close the space between the defensive line and the attacking line.
  • Defenders accept that the ball is lost at the breakdown, and do nothing to concede a penalty - spreading to deal with the next attack.
  • Leaders in attack and defence need to be leading e.g. the direction of the attack - not only what is happening now, but what is going to happen next.
  • Attacking calls need to be made early!
  • Defenders may decide to use two lines of defence.
  • Attackers draw defenders away from the space they wish to attack.
  • Have fun with this, provide encouraging feedback.


Quick Law Variation: You might decide that the defender has to do something in-goal e.g. 10 press-ups. This will slow the defenders return to the defensive line, providing more time to the attack.

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.