- Promote teamwork - games foster team spirit, enforce team values and motivate the players in training
- Games are fun to participate in, watch and coach... and no referee is needed!
That's why I launched 48 Rugby Skills Games, focused entirely on the skills and tactics needed to win rugby matches.
Designed for all players, whatever their skills levels, 48 Rugby Skills Games is the ultimate resource for any coach who wants to replicate match-like conditions in their training sessions.
Practice key skills
The games in 48 Rugby Skills Games cover the range of attacking and defending skills, to help your players improve in every department:
- Passing & handling
- Support play
- Kick & recovery
- Attacking as a team
- Defending as a team
The games are all competitive, with clearly defined objectives and scoring systems. They are divided into 3 categories:
- Small-sided games
- Conditioned games
- Game situations
Small-sided games give players the chance to practise their rugby skills in different situations. Since there are minimal numbers of players involved, play is intense, fast and furious.
The two teams frequently change from attack to defence, ensuring all the players will get plenty of opportunities to be involved in both sides of the game.
Conditioned games focus on isolating rugby skills in a game with constrained rules. These games avoid obvious repetition, enabling skills to be continually reworked. There is a more defined attack and defence, resulting in a more rugby-like game.
Players get plenty of chances to test out "what works". They will find their own solutions to common rugby problems - solutions that naturally will play to the team's strengths.
Game situations look to replicate match day conditions and scenarios, giving the players plenty of opportunities to test their skills under pressure.
These games are as close to playing a "real" match as you will get in training.
More individual responsibility, better team performances
Incorporating individual skills and team performance, the games call on the players constantly to refine their understanding of their roles and responsibilities, in both attacking and defensive positions.
Players will soon learn how their positioning and the support of their team mates can be used to overwhelm a defence or neutralise an attack, to give the team the greatest possible chance of scoring or winning back possession.
I designed Rugby Skills Games with you, the coach, in mind. Each page follows the same format:
Introduction – An explanation of the game, and the skills and techniques it focuses on.
Set up – Showing everything you’ll need to run the game, from the suggested number of players, to the size of the area, and the number of balls and cones.
Game notes – The simple game rules, like "allow rucks", "don't allow kicking", "swap the teams after each tackle", "give the attack five goes to score".
Scoring – Key to meeting the game's objectives and keeping it competitive. In many cases, scoring is simply "1 point for a try", but sometimes it's more sophisticated, to reward good play. For instance, "2 points for stopping the attack getting over the gain line".
What to call out – Never be lost for words with these concise phrases to address the key factors of each game.
Coaching notes – Ways to adapt and develop the game to suit your players, or to introduce the game into a session.
Skill area – The key skill be practised, covering: tackling, handling, support play, rucking, mauling, kick & recover, attack, and defence. All the games address footwork, team work and decision making too.
Category – Indicating the type of game: small-sided game, conditioned game, or game situation.
Key – Making sure you can differentiate between runs and passes, and pitch markings and try lines in the illustrations.
Illustrations – Three pictures clearly showing you how the game is set up and developed, and highlighting the key techniques involved.
Captions – Explaining the key points of the game.
Here are two sample pages...
Defending is more tiring than attacking. It is
physically and mentally draining. Yet players need
to keep their standards high and quality good in
the tackle. This is a great game to knock out the
Quite often the closest support player to the ball
carrier is the player who has just passed him the
ball. This game encourages players to provide
support on the inside or outside of the receiver, by
following their own pass.
The games included:
Goal line stoppers
Passing & handling
Rule of 2s
Hot box feet
Gather and go
Fast, slow, fast
Neat and tidy
Smash and go
Ruck stops here!
3 seconds, 3 rucks
Twist and turn
The maul lives!
Kick and recover
Get your kicks
Catch and go
Attacking as a team
Defending as a team
Wall of defence
Playing the games
The suggested pitch sizes and the number of players involved in each game are guidelines only. You can easily vary these depending on how many players have turned up to training, or the skill levels of your players.
The equipment you need is minimal, usually just a ball and a few markers to indicate a try line.
At first the games may be chaotic, with lots of mistakes. However, as the players learn to take better options under pressure, you'll see a marked improvement in their decision making and in the application of their skills.
And not just in training, but in competitive matches too.
Available in PDF and as a hard copy printed manual
You can buy 48 Rugby Skills Games in two formats:
An A4 PDF document you can store on your computer. You can help the environment by saving trees and using less chemical-based ink by only printing out the games you need for the day.
An A4 spiral bound colour manual for your bookshelf, desk or kitbag. Spiral bound means you can use it without having to hold the page open as with most bound books. You can copy or print as many copies as you like for distribution to your players and colleagues in your club.
Or, get both formats. Combine the benefits of immediate PDF delivery and the ease of printing individual drills, with the practicality and durability of the colour printed version.
All the inspiration you need
48 Rugby Skills Games is an instant reference and the only source of inspiration you’ll need to create match-like conditions in your training sessions.
It will take the chore out of struggling for new ideas, and is perfect for any coach running weekly sessions who is facing the challenges of balancing the need to prepare for training with the constant demands of modern life.
What’s more, if you can’t make a session you can give the manual to a parent or assistant, safe in the knowledge that even novice and beginner coaches will be able to run the games.
Yours in rugby,
Head Coach, Rugby Coach Weekly
P.S. Getting your team to practise these games could change the way they perform in the match and make a big difference to your season.
Please select your preferred format of
48 Rugby Skills Games
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