Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Day seventeen of August pre season training tips: trials by David Clarke

August 17


Who will be in your starting 15 for the first game?

Pre season is a time to trial players in different positions and combinations. You can do this internally, that is play trial games against yourself or against other clubs.

The advantages of playing internally:
1. Easier to organise.
2. You have greater control over the game.
3. You can balance the teams.
You may not have enough players and it might be harder to challenge the best players.

So, it is worth trying to find a similar standard of opposition to play against.

Here are five things to do in these games:
1. Do not split the games in more than three sections. Mentally players switch off for a fourth quarter.
2. Play your strongest side to start with. Then start to water down the teams. The trials need pattern and shape to allow all the players to express themselves. The better players can generate that shape.
3. Re iterate the simple patterns for the game plan. Play as you are on the pitch. If you are in the 22m, then use the plays that you would use to exit the 22m.
4. Allow a natural rhythm to the game. That means, kick for touch when you would kick for touch. Kick penalties when you would kick penalties (you are likely to be in possession again very soon if you do, whatever the outcome).
5. Limit the numbers at a trial. That might sound self defeating, but if you have 12 flankers turn up, you are going to struggle to give them meaningful game time. Remind those not playing that there is plenty of the season ahead.

Better Rugby Coaching


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