Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Is there any defence of the Auckland grid? by David Clarke

Putting players on four corners of a square is a common form of training set up. In its simplest form, the front player runs across the box, performs a skill and passes the ball to the player on the opposite corner.

It keeps training contained, works on footwork and awareness as well as more specific skills like passing or contact. The coach has good control over the activity and it is easy to set up.

Its exact origins are unknown though it has been commonly known as the “Auckland grid”. There are plenty of variations because the set up has a good base to make adjustments.

A number of coaches don’t like the grid though.

Here are some of those reasons:
1. It makes players run to a fixed point, unlike in the game.
2. Some of the ball transfer encourages forward passes.
3. Queuing is bad for players. It doesn’t happen in the game.

Are these reasons enough to make the Auckland grid not worthwhile?

I don’t use them because I hope I can find better ways to warm up or work on skills.

Better Rugby Coaching


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