Note: this page started with IRB coaching material, added my own experiences and feedback from other coaches.

In General

When you want to create a high performance rugby team you need to look at the team assets and individual strengths of players. Piecing together the optimum position for the players is one of the great teambuilding activities of the coach and his players.

I think a lot of rugby coaches underestimate the motivational power that will develop when you start working with the players and discussing where their competence's will benefit the team the most.

With these rugby players specific pages I hope to identify the main tasks that come along with the position. A great teambuilding activity would be to let the team match their individual skills with the positions.

Definition is one, to agree with these tasks is important, performing the tasks is the third thing. Doing all three with all the players in the team is an elementary step to a successful team !

Good luck in developing your team spirit!

General issues

A good scrum now brings an enormous amount of force to bear on the opposition front row. Most of this is channeled onto the hooker to make hooking the ball as difficult as possible. A hooker is in the middle of things, a very physical player who likes the challenge of the front row battle.

The main requirement of a hooker now is that he is physically strong enough to take the strain of scrumming. Hooking technique, although still important, is second now to the accuracy and consistent throwing of the ball into the lineout.

Key issues are:

Every rugby player should develop his speed, for the hooker extra focus should be on the quick burst cutting through the defensive line: lateral movement, explosive steps, breaking tackles. Look at my SAQ pages to improve your running technique.

Line-out

Personally I expect the scrum half or another player to throw in the ball in the future, the hooker is too tired to have an accurate throw. A bit like the French used to do in the nineties.

Achieving a precise throw in requires hours of practice to master the different types of throws such as the lob or the flat throw, and adjust them to the different types of jumps -forward or back.

Scrum

I have a special page set up for the scrum.

Open play: offence

From the scrums, options are the same as for the other members o the front row. When approaching second phase play, decide whether you are joining a phase of play and consider your options, THINK! It is just as bad to make no decision than a wrong one - be responsible.
Be prepared to be an attacking runner and therefore join the attack as often as possible. Look for work.

Rucks: own ball - select one of the options:

Mauls: own ball - options are:

Defense

A good defender around the fringes and in cover, and a nimble elusive runner who can sniff a gap and 'snipe' from both set and broken play. Espaecially in the line outs your position at the time of throw is important: choose the right angle to attack the opposing scrum-half or to collect poorly handled ball.

Rucks: opposition ball, do one of the following:

Mauls: opposition ball - select from these options:

My favorite Hooker of RWC2011

Keven Mealamu of NZ All Blacks, solid throw, good shape in the scrum, great individual skills in the close contact stuff. 

General issues

More on the functional role idea: