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Blindside position - I'm new to the game and I'm not sure what to do?

This is my first year playing on a rugby team for my school, grade 9, im much smaller than everyone else but i run fast and can be strong. my position is the blind side wing, and i dont understand what im supposed to do. it seems like i just jog and stay far away, but i dont know what im supposed to do if someone from the opposite team comes near me and noone else is one them, am i supposed to tackle? i also have trouble tackling cause my arms dont rap fast enough when they run into me, any advice?

Hi Sarah

It is every defending players job to tackle the ball carrier so in this instance the coach would want you to attempt the tackle. It sounds like you are trying to tackle face on and being small this is very differcult to do but not impossible. It is best to try and tackle at an angle so you need to make the attacking player move in a direction you wish them to go. Being a winger that is as close to the touch line as possible this cuts their options down. To do this make and hold eye contact with the attacking player, move slightly to one side making the player change their attack in the direction you wish them to go. Hopefully you now have them at angle which makes it easer for you to tackle also close to the touch line. Make it your goal to make the tackle if not get them over the touch line.

Hi Sarah

Blindside is great position to play and your coach should be running set plays which involve using the blindside wing I coach alot of set plays which involve the blindside where they change the direction of the game and has the defence in two minds as to who to tackle with the winger running on to the ball with speed scoring alot of trys

as for your defence your main focus should be on your opposite number rugby is a team game and you all have to work as a team so if you have to came in to make a tackle on someone thats not your opposite number you need to make sure that your opposite number is covered

When tackling you need to be looking at there core not there eyes or feet the core is there stomach area its the only area of the body that well tell you where and which direction there going to move get yourself down low making contact with your shoulder in there mid to lower part of there body (i.e there legs) they can't run without there legs

It would be good for you to watch a few games or footage of the game to get a better understanding of rugby its a very enjoyable sport to play for any level of skill after all its the game they play in heaven so enjoy it

this is a good clip to watch on tackling hope it helps


Suggest you should have a chat with your coach and work out what she/he needs from you for the style of play that your team operates. Typically you would need to know:-

1) How to play as a defensive unit with your fullback and openside wing. The most common style is called the pendulum defense. In simple terms imagine the pendulum of an old grandfather clock swinging from side to side. The back three need to move in a similar fashion to cover attacking plays.

2) How to support you fullback when going for a high ball or gathering it from a deep kick. You need to get close enough so that if under pressure the FB can make a simple pass to you to clear.

3) Practice your kicking to touch (punt or spiral). You will need to be able to clear the ball under pressure.

4) Any attacking moves that you are needed for.

5) There are lots of good tackling videos on Youtube. Look for ones by Pat Lam or Steve Hansen.

Many coaches use the term "ring of steel" when coaching tackling. This encourages players to tackle with their arms and grab in an open circular fashion. There are two drawbacks to this style:-

1) it opens up the soft inner arm and bicep muscles to potential painful contact with a hard surfaces like a knee.

2) It takes too long to wrap arms around and grab. Your opponent will run out of tackle.

If you change your hands a little by having them up in front of your chest with elbows in like a boxer to start with. This will protect your biceps and inner arms and tighten your chest muscles into a strong position.

Get close in to the person you are going to tackle. Ideally with your lead foot between their legs. If you cannot touch their chest/body easily with both hands you are too far away. 

Get correct foot forward. If tackling with right shoulder, then right foot first and vice versa. 

Start with cheek to cheek. Your face cheek to their bottom cheek. On the correct side i.e. the one that will ensure your head is always on top of the person being tackled. 

Instead of wrapping your arms around the hips, punch your arms forward either side of the hips and then grab onto the attackers shorts or shirt hard. Really get a handful so they do not get away.

There is lots of great information which you can access on [link removed] amongst many others.


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  • or access our tried and tested plans