Openside flanker position after the scrum?

Openside flanker position after the scrum?

My coach has put me at openside flanker and I'm confused of where i should be after the scrum. Should I be attacking the opposing scrum half or just trailing behind the backs waiting to clean up/ form a ruck? It would be great to know what I'm doing !

Rugby CoachCoach
Patrick WhalenCoach, United States of America

yes on offense trail at an angle to the gain line where the breakdown should occur.

On defense I tell my flanker to cover the srum for back row plays from the other team first then main role is to disrupt the opposing flyhalf as much as possible.  Make their day as miserable as possible.

Good Luck!

Rugby CoachCoach

In attack you need to know how your backs will play as it will determine your line of running.  If the stand-off or inside centre makes a break then you need to make a diagonal run to where the break-down might occur.  If the outside centre makes a break or the pass goes to the wing then you need to make a looping run to the point where the break-down may occur.  Of course then there is the Full Back running into the line so you need to keep your eye on him and follow. 

If the opposition are putting in then you need to aim for their stand-off and drift.  But watch out for a N0.8 pick-up or your opposite number coming round the corner from the scrum

 All very simple really.  Watch some view tube on flankers

Finally its a tough position and you need to be fit and fast.  However if you master the position you will make a big impact on the game 

Hope it helps

Rugby CoachCoach

As an openside flanker your defensive approach should be to attack the opposition (that mindset may help you).

Technically the previous two answers are on the money but it really depends on your teams defensive patterns.

Who takes who at scrum time is dependant on your coaches approach to defensive systems.

I believe your role as openside is to push forward and harass the first receiver from the scum once the ball has been passed from the No 8 or halfback. Aligning yourself to the inside shoulder of the first receiver and pushing him hard to cut down his time and space is critical to a defensive line, the players following you will take any opposition players cutting back into the inside running channels.

Be aggressive in your approach and remember if you are knocking over opposition players you can't be doing all that bad. And if you're unsure, talk to your coach!

Good Luck and play hard

Login or Join Now for FREE to post your answer


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


Use our expert plans or build your own using our library of over 700+ drills, and easy-to-use tools.



See the whole archive of questions.



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

Sportplan App

Give it a try - it's better in the app

YOUR SESSION IS STARTING SOON... Join the growing community of rugby coaches plus 1100+ drills and pro tools to make coaching easy.