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devise a four man line out game throwing two opstions

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Four man line outs are hard to have multiple jumpers. Unless you have a jumper who enters the line it's difficult to find the range and mix up the order without any kind of motion.

H      L      L      L

                J

In the example above you can have a jumper enter in either whole, leaving one man free to peel, take a 5m ball, or take a long 15m ball. You could also have a fair bit of motion in this one. With the J entering a whole than the newly formed pod shifting into the whole. Or J can enter the second whole then the two lifters shift forward lifting the middle lifter. Is this a little more like what you're after?

The trouble with having the jumper enter the line is that the ELVs state that this person will have to be 2m from the lineout.

Personally, with a 4 man lineout there's less chance of an error, yet more scope of options. If my side aren't having a good time at the lineout, we immediately shorten it to 4 men which lessens confusion and gives us more attacking options out wide.

Not saying that Josh is wrong (I don't believe there's such a thing as a wrong decision in the game of rugby!), but i'd make sure that - other than props - all other forwards can jump and lift/support, that way you'll always have options in the middle....

As for a game, i'd make it competitive. 2 teams of 5 - 1 hooker & 4 in the line. Set out a playing area of 2 squares (1 inside the other), you can make the outside square as long and wide as you like, but the inside squares sides must be 5m from the outside (to represent the 5m line). rather than encouraging the players in the line to make calls, encourage movement of the players to break from their markers in the oppo line and communicate when they want the ball so the lifter/supporters know when to put him up. When the ball has been thrown in, the hooker then makes his run and either takes an off the top pass or pop when the jumper is brought down. The hooker then sets the line at another point on the outside square. Obviously, if the opposition win the lineout, they then pass onto their own hooker who sets the lineout on his terms.....

This is a great game and we usually let our U16s lads progress the conditions themselves. Some conditions have gone onto successful blindside attacks that break the gain line score 2 points for every metre they make past it, they've even gone as far as to bring the wings and the full back into it by playing straight out to them from the lineout and 1 of the back 3 players then takes the ball to a point to counter attack from a quick lineout passed back to our side, the opposition, then have to quickly think about positioning to defend this or make the quick lineout unfeasible for them.....

It is a great game to explore, and you'll be surprised at how quickly players improve on both attacking and defensive lineouts.

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  • or access our tried and tested plans