Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

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.

Better Rugby Coaching

Rugby Drills: Fast Hands by David Clarke

This week I was asked to come up with some fast hands rugby drills. As some of you know, I am not a great fan of the term “drill”, but it matters little in the end because it is what the players learn in training that counts.

Why fast hands

“Fast hands” means quick transference of the ball from one player to the next to the next. In other words, at least one quick pass in a series of two or more passes. Relating this to the game, it is unlikely that we need “fast hands” for more than three passes.

Game related reasons

“Fast hands” are meaningless unless there is a good reason to pass the ball in the first place. The reason in this case is that the receiver and giver is under pressure in front of him and there is someone better placed to take the ball forward. Two sets of “fast hands” means that two players are under this pressure and so on.

Ultimately, my drill/exercise needs to get to the high pressure stage.

Constructing a drill

In a quick audit of the stuff I have published I find I have over 300 “sessions” to choose from (not all handling of course), plus another 40 odd in the pipeline till Christmas. But why not use a fresh idea.

Here are the three things I think about when constructing a rugby drill

1. Paint a picture of the game and can I isolate the technique?

2. What is the fewest number of players I need?

3. Where can I add value?

Point 3 is the crucial one. For fast hands, my answer was “its in the catching”.

Look out for my “drills” coming up soon.

Does your touch rugby look like this? by David Clarke

Ok, it is the All Blacks, but…

1. Look at the rules: two handed touch, ball carrier and one team mate to the ground, plus the toucher and one of his team mates too. This creates space and encourages support around the fringes.

2. Look at the work rate: at the end these boys are tired.

3. Look at the rugby basics: two hands on the ball, passing before contact, changing angles, arriving from depth.

Touch rugby is a great game for many reasons, but needs careful control to gain the full benefits.

Here are links to some more ideas on touch rugby from the Better Rugby Coaching site:

  • Touch Rugby to Make Your Players Shine – This simple game concentrates on running, support play and passing ability, ensuring a great skills and fitness workout for the entire team.
  • Touch Rugby – Friend or Foe? – Playing touch rugby can pay dividends when it comes to full contact matches.
  • Using Touch Rugby to Improve the Basics – How touch rugby can allow your players to experiment and extend their core skills.
  • Touch Rugby to Make Your Players Shine – Simple games with big skills and fitness gains.

  • My rugby coaching to do list is looking too long by David Clarke

    I am just writing out my season plan. On my list I have nine areas I know I need to cover in training:


    1. Tackling

    2. Handling

    3. Footwork

    4. Kicking

    5. Rucking

    6. Mauling

    7. Scrum

    8. Lineout

    9. Match tactics


    I am ignoring rugby conditioning at the moment. If I have four weeks, I have worked out that I should cover four areas a week, with match tactics thrown in for the last few weeks.

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