Rugby: One Touch Off-Load

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


  • Keep your player briefing; brief, and get them working as soon as possible.I can't stress this enough, it's not a debating society - players want to play.
  • Split your players into two teams, giving each team their own set of bibs - if necessary.
  • One team will be in attack, the other in defence.
  • Tell the players we are going to play one touch off-load, the normal laws of rugby apply. Any forward passes etc. will result in the ball being turned over.
  • When a player is touched, they must pass right away without delay. A delay will result in the ball being turned over. Use your own judgement here, taking into account the age and skill level of the players.
  • Alternative: You might decide that one team will play 5 minutes in attack no matter what - and 5 minutes in defence.
  • They have unlimited touches, you can change this depending on your training goals.
  • Let them play - don't tell them what it's all about. Let them discover, remember this is the warm-up!
  • Don't hesitate to change any of the above to suit your training goals/targets.


This warm-up is all about keeping the ball alive, running lines of support, and attacking space at speed. Remember, you don't need to focus on all of the following:

  • Keep the game fast; this is all about playing the game at speed.
  • Ball carriers should off-load to support runners and they need to focus on the quality of the off-load. The weighting and speed of the pass needs to take into account the position and speed of the support runner.
  • The ball carrier should ideally have the ball in two hands when touched, but if not - that's ok. Not everything in the game is going to be prefect, it's good that they look at different ways in which to offload the ball, and also evaluate what works best for them.
  • Tight support runners should be moving at speed onto the ball. Tight support can work to draw their defenders away from the space they will attack.
  • Good communication is essential, letting the ball carrier know who is in support, their position etc.
  • Players should be able to see where traffic has gathered, and where space might now be.
  • Attacking players should be able to quickly move the ball away from traffic and towards space.
  • Attacking players need to form supportive patterns behind the ball carrier.
  • Defenders need to work hard not to get draw into multiple touches, creating traffic and leaving space elsewhere.
  • Defenders need to take into account that the game is being played at pace, and that offload options may be executed around the touch area.
  • Ball carriers pace should help take them beyond the point of touch, this will later be the point of the tackle - Go Forward Ball!



  • search our library of 1100+rugby drills
  • create professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans

in more ways than one


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


  • search our library of 1100+ rugby drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans