Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

What were you doing last night? by David Clarke


Last night at 6.55pm I was standing in the local park, in the lashing rain, waiting to take a session with the senior team I help out with.


The misery was not complete though. The local council had shut off the electricity, so no lights, or hot water (who needs to wash if you are a real man). And of course, the steady stream of excuses for not training was pounding down the cell phones nearly as fast as the rain.


Then the sun appeared, the 20 players who had showed started up some touch rugby and we were away. There was no chance to do anything as a possible unit for the first league game at the weekend, because there were too many players missing. But those who had braved the weather were keen.


My plan (see below) was amended slightly, and at the end of the session lots of positives had come out. My main hope is that the players enjoyed it enough to brave the elements and barriers to train again.


Looking at the plan


In the end we didn’t do the last bit and the scrum session turned into a lineout session, with lifting options. We warmed up with “corners” and then with “chain touch”, splitting the players into two groups of ten.


The main Smart Sessions mentioned – “Reactive footwork” – came out this week, but I’ve frequently used the key elements of it over the years (and with great success). The other Smart Sessions is Advanced Skills 144 from a few weeks ago, “Defending the block”. It’s a similarly successful training session, but definitely for more advanced teams.


Click here to download your complimentary copy of the “Reactive footwork” Smart Sessions for your players. If you like what you get, click here for your 97p trial to Smart Sessions.


Mumbles Tuesday session


Warm up (if time):

Corners (two groups of players)



Scrum session (KC)

Backs session (AL/DC)

         pressure pop/offload


Defensive/leg drive Session


Backs: Smart Session Reactive Footwork



Warm up

Pick and plant: pick up a player and place him 3m away

Tackle bag rolls: turnover bags with players on


Bag choices (see Smart Session)

Game related close ruck defence

First and second player, third at fly half


All together for game situation



Stronger scrum

Better options in attack

Defensive alignment

Leg drive in contact


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hello Dan, sounds like Mumbles hasn’t changed much then, still raining and facility problems!!!
I was standing in the heat of Dubai, waiting for boys to turn up for training in 35c temps at 7.30 at night. The session started off slowly but turned into a productive night backs and forwards working hard. Can’t say I miss the rain and mud at Underhill !!! Good luck this season.

Comment by Steve

Hi Hooley
Yes, we are all jealous of the warm temps to train in! The showers are now working, but the pitches are struggling and we are only two weeks into the proper season. Perhaps a little bit of Olympic money might be useful to improve grassroots facilities. Underhill Park on a Sunday morning is a mass of kids and it is pity they are trudging around on poorly drained pitches,
Good luck for your season.

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