Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

All Black Front Row warm ups by David Clarke

Here is All Black front row guru Mike Cron showing some great rugby warm ups for contact…

Lots of fun but with some good wrestling moves thrown in. Ideal for players before a full on rugby session.

Better Rugby Coaching

Day 21 of August pre season training tips: selection by David Clarke

August 21
Selection in pre season

There is a dilemma in pre season over running moves and plays as teams. Do you give everyone a fair chance by rotating the players, or do concentrate on your strongest players.
My experience is this:
1. Players respond to challenges. Therefore it is better to mix up the teams and units and become familiar with different levels of competency.
2. Better players can develop weaker players. Plus, given some responsibility to do this, help develop their own understanding of the game.
3. Players get injured. You have more chance of building confidence in potential replacements in pre season than in the hurly burly of the main season.
4. Mixing players up does cause execution issues of exercises. If a weaker player cannot perform certain functions, it can lead frustration and the exercise falling apart. If this is happening, modify the exercise to suit this player, but ask better players to perform more complicated actions.
5. Be honest and open when you are going to try out potential “A team” combinations. Players will have to get used to each other at some stage. It also provides motivation to try harder for those players who believe they should be in the combination.

Better Rugby Coaching

Day in the life of a top rugby player by David Clarke
September 29, 2009, 7:55 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Fitness, Rugby Skills | Tags: , , ,

Openside flanker Tanuerau Latimer, or “Lats”, gives us an insight into some of the training he does with the All Blacks.

I have followed Lats’ career with special interest after I coached him for half a season when he came over on a rugby exchange at the school I used to teach at. He was only 15, but his playing ability and strength was outstanding. He didn’t look big on the pitch, but few will forget being tackled by him.

What impressed me most about him:
1. His dedication to his personal health and welfare.
2. His constant strive to find better ways to win at the breakdown.
3. His demeanour on and off the pitch. He was calm and yet ruthless.

He loved playing rugby. He inspired others around him. I can only say that I facilitated his development in the short time I was coaching him.

Better Rugby Coaching

Turn it into a game by David Clarke

Richard GrahamI have just read an interview with the new Australian skills coach, Richard Graham, who is just finishing at Saracens. The full interview can be read at the blog.

One of the main ways he coaches rugby skills is to use “skills games” whereby the skills are used in game situations. If a player is struggling with the skill, then he is taken to the side to work on the skill before returning to the game.

On Wednesday we launched our new book 48 Rugby Skills Games . (Follow that link to download a couple of free examples).We know that Wayne Smith, the assistant coach with All Blacks, uses skills games, also England conditioning coaches employ them and from this latest article, the Australian side too.

The interest in the book has come from all around the world. I know from my own experience of playing and coaching that I prefer to play a game and so do the players. And there are plenty of learning benefits as well.

It is worth noting that Graham was one of the greats of sevens rugby in the late 90s.

Better Rugby Coaching

All Blacks’ preparation by David Clarke

Here is a little video with the All Blacks preparing for their match against Cardiff in 2008.

There are a couple of things to notice, like the movement in the lineout and formation of the scrum. Read Doug McClymont in Rugby Coach Newsletter on how the All Black scrums are formed and the jumpers lifted.

Better Rugby Coaching

NZ Passing Game by David Clarke

Watch this clip from a New Zealand team prep to play Wales. Loads of interesting stuff to look at but I have found the passing game great fun. It is about 50 seconds into the video.

 The rules are:

1. One ball per player.

2. The ball is passed left once, right twice, left three times, right four times and so on.

3. The player who makes a mistake drops out.

4. Any disputes decided by “paper, rock, scissors”

I played this last week with some academy boys and as a group of 5 we aimed to get beyond ten consecutive passes one way. Good fun and enjoy.