Rugby: Left Out

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  • The players behind start running around the circle in a clockwise direction.
  • When the coach shouts ATTACK, each player must get back to their partner - staying outside the circle and moving clockwise.
  • They must get through their partners legs before getting to the center of the circle and steeling a ball, then carrying it back and passing it to their partner.
  • The team/group that does not get a ball is LEFT OUT!
  • Make sure that you have something for the players that are out of the main game to do.
  • Have the players return their ball to the center of the circle, but reduce the number of ball in the center of the circle by one. So if there are 7 groups left, there should only be 6 balls. The players swap roles in their groups, so the previous runner is now static.
  • Start the game again.
  • Experiment with the number of balls in the center of the circle - to make the game harder or easier.


You don't have to focus on all of the following coaching points, you may have some of your own. Pick the points that are most relevant to your teams training goals.

  • Players respond to calls quickly.
  • Players get to their feet quickly following time on the ground, change direction quickly after steeling a ball, and vary their foot speed from jog to sprint when the coach shouts ATTACK.
  • Players carry the ball in two hands.
  • The pass is not spun and is accurate in terms of speed, distance and position.
  • Players encourage one another.
  • Watch for cheating!
  • Have an activity for players that are out of the game.



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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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