Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


What have you forgotten about TAG rugby? by David Clarke
September 27, 2010, 8:13 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Training, TAG rugby | Tags: , ,

Tag rugby is an introductory game for young players and an exciting form of non-contact rugby for more experienced players.

In the mayhem and speed of the game, there are a number of pieces of the puzzle that can be forgotten.

Here are five areas you need to make sure you remember about TAG rugby.
1. Challenge the defence with every run, so they have to be moving backwards – this means no player should take the ball standing still on open play. Make this a rule in training.
2. In attack, if you are not running, you are not working. Support, realign, run dummy lines, take the ball up.
3. Deep support is crucial. That is a player who is behind the ball carrier and offers a quick get out pass which is not blocked by a defender.
4. In defence, go back to come forward. Defenders are constantly on the move. Running back into line and then forward together.
5. Anticpate the TAG or touch, don’t wait for it to happen. The ball carrier can pass because he wants to, not because he is forced to.

Better Rugby Coaching



Day eleven of August pre season training tips: support play by David Clarke

August 11

Support play

Though support play is not a technical skill, it is still a core skill. The detail of support can easily be ignored in pre season training programmes, but you can integrate it into every session.

Any time there is a ball and two attackers in an exercise there is an element of support play. Focus your attention equally on the support player as the ball carrier.

Use these pre season “rules” to ensure your support players work as hard as the ball carrier.
1. No pass should go to a player standing still.
2. No pass should go to a player unless he is calling for it.
3. If a player goes into contact, then the nearest player has to support in the contact within two seconds, no matter who they are. (They can also be made to call out to the ball carrier what they want them to do, like “go to ground” or “stay on your feet”).

Play a game of touch rugby using one or more of these rules:
• The passer MUST follow his pass, otherwise the ball is turned over.
• The ball carrier has one second to offload the ball if they are touched (that is almost as they are touched). If they don’t they have to drop to the ground in a ball placement position.
• If the ball carrier has gone to ground, make it a contest for the ball between one opposition player and one attacker. Both have to come through the “gate” (that is from behind the back foot).

Better Rugby Coaching



Improving your passing drills by David Clarke

Here is a great video of a team training, and concentrating on passing. They then go into a game of touch.

The passing drills are pretty standard. The players are enjoying the training. However the quality of processes and therefore outcomes are not high.

What coaching input might you add?

Better Rugby Coaching



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.