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Reduce Numbers in rucks

Hi. I coach a B level under 12 team at school with very mixed abilities. All the other teams we play put all there forwards into the rucks and therefore we have to, to win the ball. Is there a way I can combat this with a few less players in the ruck?

Yes first work on ABCs agility before contact to win the collision. Basic terms use footwork before contact. Then encourage players to long present this gets the ball further away from the jackler and narrows the gate have the first 2 players actually clear out and the have one seal the ruck off. Low body position binding onto the tackled player.

Hi James,

Yes, similar to above, work in threes so that nobody goes into contact alone. Coach your players to always look to cross the gain line to put defenders on the back foot then stay on their feet until the support players communicate for them to go to ground. The support players should then hit any defending player off the ball before they get a chance to get set. 

If you think the defenders are going for the ball before releasing the ball carrier get your captain to ask the ref to have a look for this. 

The long present is a really good habit to get your players in! Check out the drill below to coach this! Then Ask your 9 to get the ball away as quickly as possible.   

Hope this helps! 


Ball Presentation and Handling

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This drill is designed to get your players in good habits when presenting the ball at the breakdown. This will allow your team to hold onto possession better and get quicker ball.

  • The players run towards cones in lines of three, passing the ball from one end to the other.
  • When the coach says "Down" or blows their whistle, whoever has the ball must drop to the ground and present the ball.

  • The player who has presented the ball then passes to the player behind him and the drill carries on continuously.

0.29 - Demonstration 

1.20 - What is the purpous of this drill?


Coaching Points:
  • Players should have two hands on the ball at all times.
  • When going to ground players should extend fully as if scoring a try.

  • Then coach your players to focus on snapping their hips in order to turn their bodies away from the threat.

  • The safest way to present is the long present. I.e. your players should be lying parallel to the touch line with their feet pointing at the opposition try line. This moves the ball as far away from the danger as possible, allowing for safe and quick ball. 

  • Players should stay square when running the ball, focusing on not drifting and taking the space away from the player outside of them.

  • You should get your players used to working back to their feet as quickly as possible.

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