Rugby: Join the attack: 2v1 - 3v2 - 5v4

Sportplan rugby has played a large role in my team's love for the...
Heather, Rugby Coach


  • With a group of nine, tell two of them they are attackers - for now. The rest will be in defence.
  • Allocate your defenders within the grid, one defender at defenders cone 1, two defenders at defenders cone 2, and three defenders at defenders cone 3. Tell the defenders that they can move side to side, but not forward and back.
  • Also - tell the players on defenders cones 1 and 2, that they will join the attack when they have finished their defensive duties. So after the first 2 v 1, the 1 defender joins the attack to make the next attack 3 v 2, when this attack is over - the two defenders join the attack to make the last attack 5 v 4.
  • Have your demonstration group quickly complete a walk through, then a run through. Now get the other groups working.
  • Don't forget to give the last four defenders a chance in attack.


You may choose to focus on one or more of the following coaching points, or you might have some of your own!

  • Ball carrier carries the ball in both hands.
  • Support runners hold their depth coming onto the ball at pace.
  • Ball carriers change their foot speed and direction of running to draw defenders away from where their pass is going.
  • Support runner's work to draw defenders away from their running line. Communication between ball carrier and support runners is efficient, effective, encouraging, and timely.
  • Defenders work together to track and put attackers under pressure.
  • Attackers are creative in attack - employing switches, skip passes etc.
  • Passes are weighted correctly in terms of speed, distance and direction.
  • Ball receiver's hands are out.
  • Passes are where to receivers will be as opposed to where they are now.
  • Attackers may employ overs and unders to move defenders away from they wish to attack.
  • Encourage your players, the next pass is the most important!


Allow defenders to move up on the attack.



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3 Touch Kick

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: We will be playing a rugby league style touch. When touched: set the ball down, stand over the ball, allow the scum-half to move the ball away from the point of contact. The defenders should stay on side following a touch, and should not compete for the ball. Any infringements in defence should result in the defending team conceding 10 Meters or possibly giving 1 or more extra touches to the attacking team. I'll leave this to your judgement depending on your team's age, skill level, and your session target/s. The attacking team can sustain three touches before they have to kick. Their kick should be as it would be in the game: a kick to touch, a kick for territory, or a kick that can be regained e.g. a grubber kick. The defenders should behave as they would in a real game. Quick put in's from the touchlines replace lineouts. Defenders who take the ball from an attacking kick should counter attack. A forth touch results in a turn over. The Scrum Half has a maxium of 5 seconds to move the ball from the point of touch. A ball kicked directly to touch from outside the attacking teams 22, or where the ball has been taken into the 22 by the attacking team and then kicked into touch - will result in a turn over with play starting on the five meter line closest to where the kick was made. The defence should be 10 meters back. A ball kicked from inside the attacking teams 22 can go directly to touch, as long as the attacking team did not carry the ball into their own 22 before the kick. The resulting put in will be to the opposition from where the ball has went into touch. Quick put-in's are enoucraged, if not possible the ball is played from the 5 meter line with the defence 10 meters back. Give points for quick put ins that work. Feel free to play with any of noted laws, let us know the law variations that work for you!

Warm Up


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