Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

How NOT to coach drift defence by David Clarke

Defence coaching focuses on technique and systems.

The drift system shifts the players across the field as the ball moves across the field. The tackler will probably be making a side on tackle in the drift system.

When is the drift system employed?

When attack team is aiming to pass the ball out wide. The tackles are likely to be made from 10m and beyond the side of the ruck or lineout, unless the opposition cut back in. From slow ruck ball, the defence will be spread across the field, so the drift is minimal. It is more likely from a scrum, some lineouts and quick ruck ball.

How NOT to coach drift defence

The game picture must be reflected in the training picture. Here are the pictures that don’t work so well:

1. Running and shifting to make a front on tackle.

2. Running at static bag holders.

3. Running at bag holders who are less than three metres apart.

4. Running up less than five metres.

5. Covering less than 10 metres laterally  in a drift defence exercise.

Better Rugby Coaching


1 Comment so far
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Although coaching your players to try and get their hips square (perpendicular to the touch line) on if possible is recommended by some coaches.

Comment by iolo

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