Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

The pros and cons of using international games to coach by David Clarke
November 10, 2008, 9:59 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Training | Tags: , , ,

Can we translate what we see on the TV in international games into meaningful outcomes for our own teams? The simple answer could be no. Especially if you are running an under 8s tag team on a Sunday.


However there are some pros and cons.


Pros of using international games for your coaching


Sometimes international teams will use a move you have not seen before. With small modifications you can this same move for your team.



We all aspire to play for our country or even coach them, and though the moment may have passed many of us by, we can gain much from listening to how the international coaches talk about their teams.


Points of reference

Using international games as examples is an easy way of helping our players visualise what we mean. A particular tackle or defensive alignment means more if the players have seen it performed at the top level.


Cons of using international games for your coaching 


The international teams have so much more time to practise the moves you might see on the TV. You can never have this luxury, so you need to be careful what elements you want to reproduce.


Refereeing differences

The quality of referees at the top level is different. Techniques that work in an international game may not be acceptable at lower levels because the referees are looking at other priorities.



A brilliant move may only work because the teams have the strength, speed and skill to perform them. This also goes for some of the close quarter techniques in rucks. I would especially highlight “sealing” manoeuvres, because the top level players are enormously strong across the shoulders and neck. They can take up very low positions and be far safer from injury that less experienced players.


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