Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


International Rugby Coaching contributors move up the international coaching pathway by David Clarke

Congratulations to seven International Rugby Coaching contributors on their appointments within 2010/11 Welsh International Pathway teams.

In this line up there are six current writers in the list, plus Rob Appleyard coming up in the next few months!

Stars against contributors

Wales U18:
Manager – Gethin Watts *
Head Coach – Gruff Rees *
Assistant Coach Forwards – Dale McIntosh *

Wales U20:
Manager – Mark Taylor
Head coach – Darren Edwards * Dragons
Assistant Coach – Richard Webster

Sevens:
Manager – David Jenkins
Head Coach – Paul John *

Skills coaching support group:
Gruff Rees *, Paul John * – backs skills; Andrew Millward * – front five; Rob Appleyard *– defence.

Better Rugby Coaching



A team of superstars or a team of friends by David Clarke

When you are building your team, what are you striving for?

There are two things I want. First, I love winning. And first, I want the players to enjoy their rugby in the long run.

Er…that doesn’t make sense or always work together. Development versus winning is constant battle for many coaches.

The clever rugby coach can have both. If you are at the top of the tree, you have to. You may have to compromise development to win, but you still need development. You can do this by the rugby drills and rugby skills you coach.

You have to enjoy what you are doing. You have to be amongst friends. That is where it is worth drawing the line on winning and development. Be with players who share your vision and lose the players who are in it for themselves, even if they are the best player.

Better Rugby Coaching



NZ thrill for Sevens Commonwealth games title, but don’t biggest cheer by David Clarke

The biggest cheer at the Commonwealth games sevens came when the charismatic Indian sevens captain, Nasser Hussain scored their only try in their first game.

Indian rugby is not a world force. But sevens can offer a way in for smaller nations to compete. Samoa and Fiji have been able to express themselves on the sevens stage as equals whereas they often struggle in the 15-a-side game.

The game is just as physical, so it makes sense to use sevens as part of your training regimes and not just some “fun” when the sun comes out. It might a good change from rugby drills or rugby fitness training.

In the end, the Commonwealth Games sevens was won by New Zealand. They have not been at their strongest this year and Australia and ran them close. But great rugby to watch. If I can find some highlights, I will post them soon.

Bring on the Olympics!

Better Rugby Coaching



“Sublime try” by David Clarke
October 11, 2010, 10:54 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Skills | Tags: , , ,


The Heineken Cup produced some epic performances over the weekend. One such performance was from the Welsh team, the Llanelli Scarlets. As the game unfolded, I was marvelling at the handling of their French opponents, Perpignan.

Then, Josh Turnbull turns over the French lineout, pops out the ball and the rest…well watch the tape.

These are top rugby skills at their best. All the passing is before contact. The lines of running create holes, the speed of run hold defenders and the try scorer passes the ball in the move before being in place to receive the final pass: support, handling, footwork, decision making, communication. All core skills that need to be practised in game situations.

This is not from the training ground this is from the training pitch. You cannot create this from running around cones or using tackle pads.

This is the joy of sport and the joy of rugby!

Better Rugby Coaching



A tale of two rugby coaches (part one) by David Clarke

Two coaches started out in junior rugby at the same time. Both had similar rugby backgrounds and teams, but one is still coaching, whilst the other gave up. One not only won more than he lost, he has increased the number of players in his squad. The other found he was constant coaching fewer players.

What made the difference?

Let us call one Phil and other Doug. They both has sons who were playing rugby and found that when the game moved to full contact that they were “persuaded” to help out with the coaching.

Phil had played a good standard of rugby up until college days, but had left rugby behind to concentrate on playing squash and his studies. Doug played through college and eventually played a couple of years in senior rugby before, like Phil he decided to put his energies elsewhere.

Both enjoyed going to watch rugby, though neither found they had the time to go more than a couple of times a year, and an international match was a luxury. But come a major international or the Lions games, then they would be both at the bar with their friends, cheering on their country.

Phil and Doug settled down to family life and when their sons were old enough, they took them down to their local clubs. Tag rugby had its frustrations, but the boys were good at rugby and became key players in their club side.

At the end of their last Tag season, Phil and Doug found that the Tag head coach was standing down. Both knew how much their sons loved the game and were chomping at the bit to play contact rugby. They were a little flattered that their respective clubs asked them to take on the role of head coach: “You have played the game and your son is one of the best players…you would be ideal.”

This is where their journeys begin to part…



Too clever, not clever and funny rugby skills by David Clarke
October 1, 2010, 5:51 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Skills, Rugby Training | Tags: , , ,

The Aussie Super 15 the Brumbies show little respect for the video tricks of the All Blacks. Both great videos though.

Better Rugby Coaching



Realignment and committing drill by David Clarke

Here is a realignment drill which I found on YouTube. Simple to set up and easy to run. Note that the players are realigning and then committing defenders.

Better Rugby Coaching