Rugby: Relay Passing Race

Your tips and session ideas have really brought some interest back...
Eifion, Rugby Coach


  • With each new instruction to players you'll be having a race, lets see which group is the fastest - no cheating!
  • Don't spend too much time talking, get the players into their groups quickly and tell them to do the following:
  1. Pass the ball between your legs to the person behind you - keep going until the ball reaches the end of the line.
  2. Same thing as above, but this time when the ball reaches the end of the line, the player at the end runs the ball back and the ball starts the same journey again. This is repeating until the every player has run from the back to the front of the line.
  3. Same idea but this time under legs then next person passes over head, next under legs (under/over/under etc.)
  4. Same idea but twist hips to pass to person behind first to the left then to the right - back person runs to front.
  5. As above but just over the head.
  6. Progress this with your own ideas e.g. pass to the person behind you with one hand etc.
  • This warm-up should be full of fun.


You don't have to focus on all of the following coaching points, create your own or pick the ones that are more appropriate to your session.

  • Change teams if one team is always coming last!
  • Two hands on the ball at all times, unless instructed.
  • Four hands on the ball at the moment of the pass.
  • Good communication between the passer and the receiver.
  • Receivers hands are out and ready to take the pass.
  • Players encourage one another, even when mistakes are made.
  • If a ball is dropped, play on, focus on the next pass.
  • There should be a sense of fun, but with a high tempo.
  • Encourage competition.
  • Keep players moving, and encouraging listening skills at all time.
  • Coach on the go, without stopping the activity if possible.


Younger players love having fun with this - so why not have the last player crawl through the legs of all the other players to carry the ball back instead of running, or start the ball at the rear - and have that person crawl through the legs of the other players, getting back in time to receive the last pass. You'll have to have a set of balls at the rear of each line for this - or maybe assistant coaches could keep the balls coming. Why not do this to music?



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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

Living On The Edge

Split the players into two teams, giving each team their own set of bibs. Two different colours that clearly define the teams. Keep your player briefing, brief. It's important that you get your players moving as quickly as possible. Tell the players that we will be playing One Touch Ruck, see the laws surrounding this game in the Warm-Ups section of the SportPlan site. Briefly - when an attacking player is touched while carrying the ball: they go to ground and either pop or present the ball for a minimum of two supporting players to ruck over. The defence should behave as they normally would at the ruck, committing two players who will not compete for the ball or go into contact. The defence should employ their normal patterns around the ruck. The attacking team can have three touches in a row between the 15 meter lines, if they move the ball to the either of the 15 meter channels they can have another four touches in that channel before having to move the ball back out. If the attacking team moves quickly from one 15 meter channel to the other (exploiting space), they get a bonus of 4 touches in that zone. If any attacking team exceeds the number of touches they can sustain inside a channel, the ball is turned over. Play with these laws a bit - keeping an eye on what you want to achieve in this session. The normal laws of rugby apply, any law infringements result in a turn over. There is no kicking in this game. Don't forget to give the defence a turn in attack, if for any reason the attacking team is particularly good at retaining the ball. If they are, well done you as a coach!

Warm Up


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