Rugby: Three Blind Mice - Tag Warm-Up

Great site and excellent drills. Easy to understand and apply in training....
Tyrone, Rugby Coach


  • Tell the players that one group is the Mice and that mice have tails, their tags. The other group is not happy with the Mice, they are the Farmers Wives and - they need to chop the tails of the Mice off! The tails are the tags. The Farmers wives can run anywhere, in all directions, within the playing area - as can the Mice.
  • The Farmers Wives can work together to hunt a Mouse.
  • When a Mouse has their tail chopped off, they have to go to the chop zone (there might be some light fitness work there for them, your call. With older players you might have more interesting fitness work or challenges in the Chop Zone).
  • You might decide that one tail is enough to be sent to the chop zone, or maybe they have a second chance and the Farmers Wives need to get both tails.
  • Don't forget to change over after a period of time, counting the number of Mice in the chop zone. The winning team is the team with fewer Mice in the chop zone at the end of their playing time. You might decide on about five minutes a half.
  • Have a bit of fun with this and let us know what variations worked for you!


The is a whole host of coaching points that you could focus on with this warm-up, but I suggest that you select a small based on your training goals for this session.

  • Mice/Attackers should aim to move into space, a place without any Farmers Wives/Defenders.
  • This is a good opportunity to introduce the idea of attacking space to younger players.
  • Mice should side step, swerve, and maybe even hand off to avoid contact.
  • If you allow hand-offs, make sure that it's at chest height and not around the face.
  • Defenders or Farmers wives should work together to corner a mouse and remove the tags.
  • Good communication should be evident and appropriate to the age and skill level of the players.
  • Mice can use changes in foot speed to avoid losing their tails/tags.
  • Defenders can remove two tags at a time; this will develop later in their playing career into wrapping their arms around the attacker to create a ring of steel.
  • Really smart defenders or Farmers Wives might decide that they want to work as a line hunting groups of Mice, or maybe even all of them at one time.
  • Defenders focus on the hips of the attackers in order to track their movement.
  • Defenders keep their hands up and out reading to rip tags away.



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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

Bang & Bingo

Set up: the cones as shown with a cone 10 meters each side of the posts on the try line. This will mark where the ball will be passed from (feeder) preferably from a scrum half. Divide the group into 3 and ask them to stand in single file behind each cone. The ball is fed from a position alternately from either side of the post. This will encourage the players to scan, communicate and to be expectant of the ball. The players on the cones opposite the posts will either be the 1st receiver or the BANG option runner. The BANG runner is always running an out to in, or up to in line to fix the 2nd defender. The players on the middle cone will receive the ball in the BINGO (pull back) option outside the ‘outside’ post or just in behind the BANG player. The BINGO players should run and an arced run to receive the ball outside the outer post. The BINGO player should try to straighten up prior to receiving or on receiving the ball. Progression: Get 2 players or coaches to stand in front of the posts with 2 different coloured cones in their hands on their hips. The cones will represent the ‘hips’ of the 2nd defender. The aim is to encourage the 1st receiver to scan, look, and make a quick decision (choice of pass) depending on what the defender is doing. If the 1st receivers sees the ‘inside’ cone on the 2nd defender then they must assume the defenders hips are turned OUT and make a short pass to the BANG runner. If the 1st receivers sees the ‘outside’ cone on the 2nd defender then they must assume the defenders hips are turned IN and make a PULL BACK pass to the BINGO runner.

Warm Up


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