Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


Two things you must watch out for in the Six Nations 2011 by David Clarke

As teams shape for the World Cup, there is the little matter of the Six Nations and Tri Nations to sort out.

With the Six Nations starting this week, here are my predicitions for each team and then two things that we can watch for and apply.

England – they should win overall. They have an all court game that didn’t exist two years ago. Perhaps still a couple of centres short, they will be the front runners. Watch out for how they use runners off the fly half.
France – probably second favourite. Plenty of talent available, but can it be melded? Will we see a pragmatic approach, with lots of set piece, or will they let loose?
Wales – could beat England or France but unlikely to win both. Struggling with key injuries to their front row. I will be looking to see if they will continue to play to the touchlines before opening up.
Ireland – sleeping giant. Leinster and Ulster are looking so strong, Munster a shadow of themselves. Which province will reflect Ireland – I can’t see Grand Slam confidence seeping through at the moment. I will be looking out for their defensive structures. Will they drift from second phase?
Scotland – jock in a box team. Cleverly marshalled by Andy Robinson, they are more than a kicking outfit. How will they create try scoring opportunites?
Italy – still the poor relations. As the other teams accelerate, can Italy make a real impression? Unfortunately, it is down to a couple of key players having big games, and hiding some of the weaknesses.

And the two things:
1. Ruck defence: will teams send in players to compete at the ruck after the first defender and where will the players line up for semi quick ball.
2. Kicking out of the 22: will they or won’t they. Teams are running more…will England and France especially let loose their flying full backs from this deep?

Better Rugby Coaching



Lineout training – it’s a crime by David Clarke

By Ian Diddams

If as a coach you were asked if you would give no input or coaching time to 25% of your side’s opportunities to win the ball, what would your answer be?

If I asked you if you would consider not bothering to practice opportunities to take ball legitmately from the oppostion, what might your answer be?

I would guess that you would be very unlikely to agree that these areas were worthy of consideration. I would imagine that you would answer that of course you wouldn’t ignore a quarter of opprtunities to win the ball, or ways to take the ball away from the opposing team.

So how much time at practice do you spend on your lineout development?

As coaches especially at child, youth and amateur levels our contact time with players is limited, often only 90 minutes a week, maybe double that if we are lucky over two sessions. It is especially difficult to achieve as much as we would like if we are the sole coach. These caveats notwithstanding however, it often seems that many sides spend little time on their lineout, and what does happen tends to be the forwards practising what they already do, compounded by little effort made to emulate a match day lineout with defending jumpers or time pressures.

The reasons, especially at age group levels, are understandable. Finding the time to fit in a session between warm-up, cool down, individual, unit and team skills is hard enough, not forgetting the pressing urgency at young age groups to also ensure that scrummage and post-tackle contest (ruck and maul) is practiced if only for player safety reasons. Allied to which may be the lack of understanding of the coaches themselves; if they never played in the forwards, are a convert from another sport or played when lineouts were very different how can they be expected to meaningfully coach this area?

It is not unusual to come across teenage age group teams that have no lineout plans, whether attacking or defending, and limited lineout skills. Jumping and timing with an accurate throw, options after the catch and defensive tactics are often not clearly in existence. Even at senior levels, it’s a case of “same old stuff” week after week.

So – when you are planning your next sessions for your squad, are you going to ignore, overlook or pay scant regard to 25% of your side’s chances of winning the ball? Or will you be thinking about your side’s lineout?

Better Rugby Coaching



Easy to set up rugby decision making drills by David Clarke

Taken from the R80 DVD from the Crusaders, here are two easy to set up handling and decision making drills.

Better Rugby Coaching



Dealing With the Irrational or Irate Parents. | Trends & Events Talks & Meetings from AllBusiness.com by David Clarke
January 5, 2011, 10:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dealing With the Irrational or Irate Parents. | Trends & Events Talks & Meetings from AllBusiness.com.