Rugby: Three Player Circuit

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


  • The players in their groups of 3 stand between the lines of the inner square with the working group stood inside the other players.
  • The first group of 3 begins by running across the grid passing the ball. When they reach the centre the ball is put down an they then run at the players with the pads (on their left) each pushing their player to the outer square. The players then swap.
  • The pad players run across to the tackle bags and push and tackle the bags to the outer square.
  • Players swap again now the new 3 players (third group) run to the ball pick it up and take the ball turn right to face the 3 players on the 12 o'clock side of the square and run into contact for the ball carrier to present the ball.
  • This ball is then picked up by the 3 players being pushed back and the drill starts again.
  • Keep the tempo of this exercise high.

Note: You can change the position of each activity within the training area - but that will impact on the instructions to coaches. Players can basically go in any direction, but they do need to communicate and work as a unit. Don't get to hung up on where players should be going, or in what order.


Don't feel that you need to focus on all of the following coaching points, pick the points that are most applicable to your session goals. You may also have your own coaching points!

  • When running with the ball, players carry the ball in two hands.
  • Passes are weighted in terms of distance, accuracy, and speed.
  • Passes should not be spun over short distances.
  • Players define a successful pass as one that has reached its target.
  • Players come onto the ball at pace.
  • Players communicate with each other - deciding direction etc.
  • Communication is encouraging.
  • When players make a hit, they keep their head up in advance of the hit.
  • Players make contact with their head up - and with their shoulder.
  • Player act in a way that is safe for themselves and for each other.
  • Players drive through contact, driving using their body weight and a strong leg drive.
  • When driving, footsteps are short and controlled.
  • The tempo of the exercise is high!



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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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