Rugby: It's All Rip and Roll To Me!

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


You may consider these two points when looking to challenge or build confidence.

  • Keep your player briefing, brief! It's best not to have your players standing around listening to you - let them play, let them discover.
  • Split your players into two teams, giving each team their own set of coloured bibs.
  • Normal laws of rugby apply e.g. if you knock the ball on - then it's turned over to the opposition.
  • When touched the ball carrier must turn, a support player will drive onto the ball ripping and rolling or ripping and popping to another attacking player.
  • The defender that made the original touch cannot make a second touch on the player who rips and rolls.
  • The defenders should act as they normally would during a match.
  • If the ball goes into touch, the put-in should be quick. If that can't be the case - the point of the put in becomes the offside line and the defenders must remain behind that line. The ball must go at least 5 meters and can travel straight or backwards.
  • There is no kicking in this game.
  • You decide on a number of touch options e.g. unlimited touches, 4/8 touches, or make it a little more complex with 4 rip and pop touches, and 4 rip and roll touches (this last option forces the team to employ both tactics or lose the ball).
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with different law variations and let us know what worked for you!


You don't have to focus on all of the following coaching points. Pick the points that apply to your upcoming session, or focus on your own bespoke coaching points.

  • Communication should be Efficient (players provide quick instructions and feedback to their teammates), Effective (they say what needs to be done, instead of general comments), Encouraging (they build each up - what's important is the next pass, the next kick, the next tackle).
  • The touched player quickly turns and presents the ball in two hands.
  • Decisions are made quickly. There is no problem with making mistakes - there is a problem with not making decisions! Encourage your players to make decisions during the game, even if they are the wrong ones - we can learn from those. We can't learn if players refuse to take risks.
  • When ripping and rolling - the ripping player takes the ball using both arms to create a tight seal around the ball - making contact with their shoulder and rolling through the contact to attack space - even if that space is small. They should do their best to scan the area in front of them prior to, during, and post contact - making decisions based on what they see and hear. Their initial foot position should be wide and stable, providing a strong base. We can be as prescriptive as we like, but you need to be open minded enough to allow players to discover what works for them.
  • When ripping and popping - again the ripping player wants to drive into the contact, sealing the ball safely and making shoulder contact with the ball carriers chest. They then rip the ball away - up until this point there should be four hands on the ball, two belonging to the ball carrier, and two belonging to the ripper. The ripper has a strong stance at the point of contact, low. The ripper provides a pop/pass to a teammate that is correctly weighted in terms of speed and distance.
  • There needs to be communication between the ball carrier and the ball ripper.
  • In the case of a pop/pass in traffic, the attacking team should work to move the ball away from traffic and into space.
  • Your leaders should be leading by word and actions.
  • The Scrum Half and first receiver (Fly Half) may well be directing the attack. The Scrum Half could also be active as the receiver of a pop/pass from a rip.
  • There is the possibility of forwards opeating as small pods to create traffic.



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