Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

What have you forgotten about TAG rugby? by David Clarke
September 27, 2010, 8:13 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Training, TAG rugby | Tags: , ,

Tag rugby is an introductory game for young players and an exciting form of non-contact rugby for more experienced players.

In the mayhem and speed of the game, there are a number of pieces of the puzzle that can be forgotten.

Here are five areas you need to make sure you remember about TAG rugby.
1. Challenge the defence with every run, so they have to be moving backwards – this means no player should take the ball standing still on open play. Make this a rule in training.
2. In attack, if you are not running, you are not working. Support, realign, run dummy lines, take the ball up.
3. Deep support is crucial. That is a player who is behind the ball carrier and offers a quick get out pass which is not blocked by a defender.
4. In defence, go back to come forward. Defenders are constantly on the move. Running back into line and then forward together.
5. Anticpate the TAG or touch, don’t wait for it to happen. The ball carrier can pass because he wants to, not because he is forced to.

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George Smith masterclass by David Clarke

A clip of the great Aussie flanker explaining some of his technqiues.

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Super rugby will be showcase for World Cup by David Clarke
September 16, 2010, 10:40 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby News | Tags: , , , ,

Super rugby, the competition for the top 15 Southern Hemisphere regional teams, has announced a new format for next season. There is one new team for this year, the Melbourne Rebels, and there will be a three conference format.

This means that in the regular season each team will play 12 of their 16 games in their home country, with home and away fixtures, before moving to a play off system. This will boost crowds and reduce the debilitating effects of travelling abroad.

In a World Cup year, there are fears that the international players might be asked to do too much, with Tri Nations games following straight after the competition. This will require careful management of playing time, but it is unlikely that the All Blacks will risk resting players in the way they did in 2007.

I think this new format gives Sanzar national selectors the best opportunity to look at a broad range players. Certainly the standard of rugby is improving. Will the Heineken Cup be able to match this?

After watching the Tri Nations tournament, I think the answer is no. Even though the South Africans have had a poor tournament by their high standards, they were kings of the Super 14 last season. A few selection tweaks and they might be too far ahead of their European counterparts.

The English teams need to go into a similar tournament as the Super 15, with the top sides from the Six Nations battling it out. The Welsh regions could go down to three teams, the Irish three teams, and the French could have four. Italy and Scotland two. If the English had four teams, then that would make 18 teams. A conference system could mean 14 week season, with a play off. Then into the Six Nations, with the normal clubs going into their own competition.

Radical I know and would not happen because of all the politics concerned. It is interesting to speculate who would make up the regional teams. Here is my selection:
England: Bath (west country), Leicester (midlands), Wasps (south london), Saracens (north london)
Wales: Ospreys (west wales), Cardiff (central wales), Newport (east wales)
Ireland: Munster, Ulster, Leinster
Scotland: Glasgow, Edinburgh
Italy: Aironi, Treviso
France: Paris, Toulouse, Bairritz, Clermont

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Cheer up and remember why you are doing it by David Clarke
September 15, 2010, 10:02 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Team Management, Rugby Training | Tags: , , ,

Actually, there is nothing worse than someone saying: “Smile, it could be worse”, or “Cheer up!”

If you are in a mood, you are in a mood.

Unfortunately, when you are coaching a team, your persona affects the players. They certainly won’t be cheerier if you are grumpy.

Does that mean you have to be the life and soul of the training? YES IT DOES. Your energy is infectious.

Here are three ways to scrumple up that mood and kick it into touch before training begins.

1. You are about to change peoples lives. Relish that achievement.
2. You have spent all this time putting yourself into a position to coach better, why waste it? Seize the moment.
3. Smile and shake the hands of at least the first three people you meet. They will make you smile inside!

Mark Twain said:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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Awesome tackle after good back play by David Clarke
September 8, 2010, 4:19 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Skills | Tags: , , ,

Nicole Beck, the Australian winger, tackles Fi Pocock of England into touch. The preceeding passes by England’s back set up the play nicely, but the tackle is breathtaking.

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Day 29 of August pre season training tips: countdown to first game by David Clarke
September 1, 2010, 7:42 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Team Management, top tips | Tags: , ,

August 29

Countdown to the first game

Here are five key moments to get right before your first game.

1. Kit! Make sure everyone is correctly dressed to go onto the field. In the last minute nerves, kit issues will derail players concentration. Look smart, play smart.
2. Plan for first five minutes of the game. If you are kicking off, where will it go, how will you deal with the consequences of what the opposition might do to you. And the same if they kick off to you.
3. Focus on the present and not the future. Don’t make the result of this game a cornerstone of the season. Remove the tension by focusing on the processes, such as lineouts, set pieces and defence.
4. Hydrate yourself. You must be on top of your powers to guide the team. You should not neglect your own energy systems.
5. Remind yourself why your enjoy rugby and then try to give some of that feeling into how you prepare for the last moments of the game.