Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Day nine of August pre season training tips: scrum by David Clarke
August 9, 2010, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Skills, Rugby Training, top tips | Tags: , , ,

August 9


Good set piece is the springboard for attack. Most teams will have more scrums than any other set piece.

Use the first session of pre season to work on body shapes (profiling). Use the following six points to check the forwards are in the best position.
1. Bend at hips
2. Bend at knees
3. Knees above hips on engagement
4. Shoulder blades back
5. Head in a neutral position through out engagement process
6. On the balls of the feet, with toes gripping the ground through the boots

Better Rugby Coaching

New Zealand scrum tips by David Clarke
February 3, 2010, 9:10 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Skills | Tags: , ,

Here is a video featuring Mike Cron, the All Black scrum guru, on scrummaging techniques. It comes from Rugby Smart the New Zealand union’s coaching toolbox.

Better Rugby Coaching

Binding for the flanker by David Clarke

Here is a New Zealand coaching video which shows how the angle of the flanker’s bind.

The rugby technique is great, the method of coaching better! Loads of questions and player involvement.

Better Rugby Coaching

Why the Lions selection is a reflection on the referee by David Clarke

There are two issues in world rugby that most vex coaches at the top level: the breakdown and the scrum.

Each referee interprets the breakdown differently. Many commentators say that referees “guess” the infringements at the scrum engagement.

Therefore you need to pick a team that will win the game given what the referee will do, and not necessarily what the opposition will do.

The Lions have picked a front row that will scrummage, but not destroy the South Africans. What is the point of destroying a scrum if the referee ignores this and resets the scrum every time.

They have picked a pack that will get to the breakdown quickly, so there is less chance of the ball being stolen.

So though the likes of Gethin Jenkins (loosehead) and Wallace (openside) have been on great form, their selection meets those criteria perfectly.

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Scrummaging square and balanced by David Clarke

Real power and precision in this video.

Read about the biomechanics of these scrums from the works of Doug McClymont who worked with New Zealand scrum guru in the International Rugby Technical Journal.

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The five best sports to learn from (3) by David Clarke

Greco-Roman wrestling

In the January 2008 edition of Rugby Coach I explained how Greco-Roman wrestling could be used in rugby training. Here are the reasons for using it in your training.

3. Greco-Roman wrestling

Fitness. A minute bout of wrestling is tiring and closely related to rucking, mauling and scrummaging in terms of the type of physical activity used. Try six rounds with your team over a period of ten minutes.

Conditioning. The methods used in Greco-Roman wrestling use similar muscle groups to those in the contact area.

Techniques. Body positions and grips can be replicated in rugby.

Mind. The domination of an opponent requires mental as well as physical prowess.

Discipline. It is not the angry wrestler that wins the contest, but the one who controls their aggression through strength and technique. Poor technique in a moment of madness can lead to penalties and misdirected moves, very much like rugby.

On Monday, I will look at golf.

What were you doing last night? by David Clarke


Last night at 6.55pm I was standing in the local park, in the lashing rain, waiting to take a session with the senior team I help out with.


The misery was not complete though. The local council had shut off the electricity, so no lights, or hot water (who needs to wash if you are a real man). And of course, the steady stream of excuses for not training was pounding down the cell phones nearly as fast as the rain.


Then the sun appeared, the 20 players who had showed started up some touch rugby and we were away. There was no chance to do anything as a possible unit for the first league game at the weekend, because there were too many players missing. But those who had braved the weather were keen.

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