Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & 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.

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Australia v England analysis – outstanding MUST WATCH by David Clarke

Our friends from Green and Gold, the Australian rugby blog have put together this interesting analysis.

What do you think! It is very good because it looks at ruck defence in particular. The Aussies don’t commit against Fiji. Will this work against England?

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Attack into defence by David Clarke

Here is a rugby drill I did about three years ago. It is easy to set up and works on players making the transition from defence to attack. It is a Smart Session.

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Rugby drills and rugby tactics by David Clarke

I am looking at developing some tactics for one of the team’s I am involved in.

I am going to try to introduce the tactics through the “drills” we use.

Now the word “drill” makes some coaches wince. Coach educators would say don’t use the word because it reminds us of repetitive actions will no decisions at the end. I can see this, but don’t mind using the word if those around understand what I mean and are willing to try something out.

To set up the tactic I want to create a number of potential scenarios the players face and then let them decide what tactic to employ. It is an experiment to a certain extent, because I don’t know how the “conditions” I am setting on the game will change so the players will face different types of defence.

The key is to provide opportunities to try out some methods of attack and then see if the players respond to the potential tactics.

More on whether it works next week.

Wayne Smith, All Black coach, inspires by David Clarke

Wayne Smith
Last night I was at a seminar at the Ospreys where Wayne Smith talked about decision making. Wayne is currently the “backs” coach for the All Blacks, though this title is vague in the sense of the range of work he does with the team.

His message is simple: decision makers have make their own decisions, so give them to power to make them.

He does this through a range of mediums, with questioning and games as the key pillars in his approach.

He is also a man who invites integrity and displays an outward calmness. His measured presentation recognised the difficulties that any team faces, even one as talented as the New Zealand team. It is not by talent alone that the All Blacks are regarded as the number one team to beat.

I took eight pages of notes.
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Rich Pickings from the Feast by David Clarke


A bumper rugby weekend on the international front, with matches in every corner of the world. Full tests in the Southern Hemisphere, an A team tournament, Under 20s World Cup, IRB Nations Cup and the Pacific Nations Cup. Chuck in some women’s sevens and you could easily have sat in front of the television all weekend and not ventured outside.


ELVs or not, there was plenty of scintillating rugby on show, and no sign that international games are turgid, or indeed one-sided affairs.


But we don’t just watch the games for “our team”. We want to take something away with us, a little titbit to take onto the training ground for next week.

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What Everyone Ought to Know about a Bad Drill by David Clarke


I watched three different rugby sessions today.


And I cheated.


All the sessions were all online. Two were from Youtube and one was from an email I got sent by a rugby coaching business. As you know, I am a magpie for all things to do with rugby coaching, so I looked at them carefully. I came to one unfortunate conclusion.


But before I tell what the conclusion is, I want to tell you about something I observed last night at another training session.

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