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Rugby Drills – Defensive Video


In response to several questions over the last week regarding defence, such as;

Q. Do you have a drill to help my team move up quicker in defence as I get three or four moving up quick while most of the line waits for the attacker to come to them?

Q. What basic defence patterns should I teach my 11/12 year olds?

I thought the best way is to ‘show you’:)

In the video below the first part is a drill to get the players moving off the line quickly while the second part is a drill for the whole line while still moving forward.

Regarding coaching 11/12 year olds, I think in any sport the best way to progress is to learn the basics, practice the basics, perfect the basics. So whether you’re coaching 11, 12 open age you need to spend a percentage of your training week on basic core skills.

With regard to which defensive pattern, I would say concentrate on the correct technique and coach them how to tackle, front, side, rear and stay man on man. As they get older and their basic skills improve, then possibly introduce more complex systems.

The only system I would coach the younger kids is a tight ruck defence. Implement a system so that everyone knows each others job at marker, 1st,2nd and 3rd off the ruck. It’s a pet hate when a defence gets broke down the middle because it puts your line under all kinds of pressure.

Anyhow have a look and see if you can implement the drills into your sessions remembering the main coaching points;

1. Move off the line quickly
2. Body and hips facing forward
3. Correct head position
4. Communication

Best Wishes


Categories : rugby drills



hi neil thanks for the video will try the drills out and let you know how it goes


like the short clips, was wondering if you can give any help with drills slowing up the ruck(rugby league).


hi neil tried out both of the drills you forwarded and they went really well. if you get any more video clips please pass them on always willing to try something different.
some of the other coaches watching said they will try them out.
thanks andy


first drill was a great hit in the mini/mod, then took it to my walla team (tag), kids had so much fun and learnt something as well..thanks heaps


thanks neil,will try these at our next session. im sure the kids will like this and learnfrom them .great site by the way


hi neil,
thanks for your help with that I can try to make many drills in my new job. see at soon. lionel


Like the drills, will try them next session, my 13’s are so slow at getting forward to tackle perhaps these drills will help.


looks so simple ,but simple is often the best. will try it in our next session


Going with the mantra ‘never train on something that won’t be used in a game’ I’m not sure how the second drill helps. Could someone explain the rationale for me please.


Hi Tim, this is a rugby league drill designed to get the players reacting to dealing with an offence that ‘has the jump on them’. In other words the attacking team produced a quick play of the ball and the defence have very little time to make the ten and turn making a quick tackle. It teaches the defence to stay on their toes and react with good feet and head positioning. Hope this helps.


Hi Neil, I am about to start coaching under 9’s, and it is their first time playing contact. Are there any drills that you can send me that will make it fun for them whilst teaching them the game?


Sorry but cant see video – please help


hi neil
this drill can easily be addapted for union game from tap penaltys getting back 1o and turning we should talk about it cheers dennis


Thanks Neil for the advise. Certainly in Germany many players have to be taught the basics as they are new to Rugby League. Also in many cases even if also playing Rugby Union they have not played any form of Rugby as a Junior so lack experience and technique.

Thanks again and keep the advise coming



Hi neil this my first time on this site i am a level 2 coach i hope to get more out of my self and my teem .


thanks neil im injoy the stuff you send me im here in south africa a small town, you see im busy with my master card to order stuff from you keep the good work up god bless you thanks brian.

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