Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


New style refereeing for a fairer contest? by David Clarke
March 31, 2010, 9:44 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: , , , , , ,

Writing in this month’s International Rugby Coaching, Paddy O’Brien, the IRB referee supremo, believes that rugby will be back to its old ways of a fairer contest.

He identifies five areas where he has got his referees to work harder at applying the law:
1. The maul at the lineout: no blocking.
2. Offside at the ruck.
3. Rolling away from the tackled played and/or releasing him to play the ball.
4. Better scrum engagement.
5. Keeping onside from the kicks.

Early evidence suggests that there is more space for attacking teams, but they are still adapting to the new regimes. Referees too are making a slight transition. The laws are not new, just being more heavily emphasised.

As Paddy says, one metre or one second of extra space and time can make all the difference in the game of rugby.

Better Rugby Coaching

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Simple high ball technique by David Clarke
March 25, 2010, 2:02 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Skills | Tags: ,

Catching the high ball is feature of the current kicking game. Here is a simple demonstration of getting the elbows in the right position to craddle the ball. Develop this by getting the players to jump off the ground to catch.

Better Rugby Coaching



Tackle technique video by David Clarke
March 16, 2010, 1:45 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, rugby defence, Rugby Skills | Tags: , ,

I think this is one of the clearest tackle technique videos I have seen.

Use this as a template to improve your tacklers.

From USA Rugby

Better Rugby Coaching



Honest rugby coaches by David Clarke
March 9, 2010, 8:53 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Team Management | Tags: , , , ,

Dropping a player is never a good feeling.

I was going to say it would be great if we could just say “The team is…” and not have to justify any selections afterwards. Actually, the process of telling a player they are not in the team is a good learning experience for both player and coach.

A dropped player needs to know his worth and the reasons for not playing. You want him to continue to improve, even if you think he will never make the team again. Other players will be so close to selection, they might be playing next week. So not a good time to burn bridges.

From your point of view, you can learn much from the dialogue, about the player and about the team as a whole.

In recent weeks I have been speaking to many top coaches about “selection” and communication. Honesty is one word which keeps being mentioned.

Wasps director of rugby, Tony Hanks, said that it was difficult sometimes to be totally frank with a player, but vital not to be dishonest.

I have had a few very tough selection decisions in recent weeks, with, in some cases, very little to choose between two players who are both on the up and improving all the time.

I enjoy the job, but it can be heartbreaking at times!

Better Rugby Coaching



Ball placement technique by David Clarke
March 4, 2010, 1:15 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Skills | Tags: , ,

Here is a clip showing the sort of detail you need to tell the players when they are “squeezing” the ball in a ball placement after a tackle.

Remember that this is not for U19s and below.
Better Rugby Coaching



Easy ball placement and protection drill by David Clarke

The London Irish video series is good to watch because it has some simple ideas which promote better technique.

This simple exercise works on getting beyond the tackle, ball placement, protection and the tackle contest. It can be easily developed from a slow, mastery type exercise, into performance under pressure.

Better Rugby Coaching