Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


Day eleven of August pre season training tips: support play by David Clarke

August 11

Support play

Though support play is not a technical skill, it is still a core skill. The detail of support can easily be ignored in pre season training programmes, but you can integrate it into every session.

Any time there is a ball and two attackers in an exercise there is an element of support play. Focus your attention equally on the support player as the ball carrier.

Use these pre season “rules” to ensure your support players work as hard as the ball carrier.
1. No pass should go to a player standing still.
2. No pass should go to a player unless he is calling for it.
3. If a player goes into contact, then the nearest player has to support in the contact within two seconds, no matter who they are. (They can also be made to call out to the ball carrier what they want them to do, like “go to ground” or “stay on your feet”).

Play a game of touch rugby using one or more of these rules:
• The passer MUST follow his pass, otherwise the ball is turned over.
• The ball carrier has one second to offload the ball if they are touched (that is almost as they are touched). If they don’t they have to drop to the ground in a ball placement position.
• If the ball carrier has gone to ground, make it a contest for the ball between one opposition player and one attacker. Both have to come through the “gate” (that is from behind the back foot).

Better Rugby Coaching

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