Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

High quality coaching exercises by David Clarke

No commentary with these exercises, but they are taken from clips from the University of Queensland Rugby Academy. I think they are part of their testing process

There are some key factors to note:

1. Leg drive in contact – the “conqueroring” player is on his feet driving longer than the losing player in contact.

2. Narrow arms before contact, not spread.

3. In the passing sequence, the “whip” of the hands to accelerate the ball through to the target.

Interestingly the passes dip before they reach the receiver – what are the reasons for the dip? (I will post those soon…)

My rugby coaching to do list is looking too long by David Clarke

I am just writing out my season plan. On my list I have nine areas I know I need to cover in training:


1. Tackling

2. Handling

3. Footwork

4. Kicking

5. Rucking

6. Mauling

7. Scrum

8. Lineout

9. Match tactics


I am ignoring rugby conditioning at the moment. If I have four weeks, I have worked out that I should cover four areas a week, with match tactics thrown in for the last few weeks.

Continue reading

Why a Rugby Coach is Like a Film Star by David Clarke


I have just spent the last three days filming a DVD on rugby coaching. It was hard work but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.


I am certainly no film star, I had no personal caravan or seat with my name on the back. But the experience taught me that we, as coaches, have got some similarities to film stars (and one or two complete differences).

Continue reading

Spot the coach by David Clarke


Year 11 Rugby Team and Coach, originally uploaded by Arrow Vale High School.

The coach is part of the team, yet still separate.

How many coaches dress like the players for the game or arrive more formally? What do you do?

Are you worried about the ELVs? The top coaches aren’t by David Clarke

There has been plenty of confusion and misinformation, plus a number of conspiracy theories about the ELVs. The world’s top coaches see the ELVs as here, an opportunity and are working how to deal with them.


Here is what the top coaches are saying at the moment.

Continue reading

J’Accuse YOU by David Clarke

Let me start with some good news in rugby coaching.


With all the appointments for the new season flying around, internationally and domestically, perhaps one great appointment has gone under the radar.


One of Better Rugby Coaching’s editorial advisory board, John Schropfer, has been made the new national coach development manager for the Welsh Rugby Union. The role means searching out and nurturing the best coaching talent in Wales, so the next Welsh coach is indeed Welsh. 


John is one of the prime movers in the UK coaching development circles and a key part of the coaching courses produced for Welsh, English and Scottish coaches. His energy and vision will invigorate the development process in the Principality.


Coaching development has been ignored for too long


Coach development has long been overlooked by the most important people in rugby.

  Continue reading

A Tough Rugby Week Ahead for Some by David Clarke


It is going to be tough time for 40 boys in the Osprey region (Wales) next week. The Under 16 and Under 18 squads need to trim their numbers by 20 each after trials over this weekend and the start of next week.


It is not only the boys who suffer, but also their parents who have invested time and travel expenses ferrying their sons to and from the training sessions.


For both squads it has been an intense four weeks, with three evenings a week of fitness and skills (some of these from me!). The players are fitter, stronger and more attuned to a higher level of rugby. But for some it will feel that the dream ends now.

Continue reading