Thanks to Rich Britten


The Australian Rugby Union (A.R.U.) set up a test protocol with specific rugby related elements like running, getting-up, pick-up a ball and driving. This is both the advantage of this test: players can relate to it and enjoy it more and the disadvantage: in order to improve the time the execution of the skills becomes sloppy.

On the other hand it is cheap and simple. You decide....

The fitness test

  1. Divide the team into 2 groups, ideally match for body mass.
  2. Have the paired players face each other 15-20 metres apart, with either a ball, or a shoe at the mid-point.
  3. The drill consists of 3 component: pick and drive, pick and press, sprint. The coach calls out the drills in the sequence listed below, work across the table row by row (horizontally)

Adjust how far down you go depending on the stage of season and general fitness of players. The players have to complete each drill during the allotted time (seconds).

DriveDrivePick & PressPick & PressSprintSprint
25s - 25s - 45s -
20s - 20s - 40s 40s
20s 15s 15s - 35s -
15s 10s 15s 10s 30s 30s
10s - 10s - 30s -
10s 10s 10s - 25s -

More in detail:

  • Drive: player sprints to the ball and picks it up and then drives into contact with his partner, driving him at least 5 metres.
  • Pick/Press: player sprints to the balls, picks it up and runs to side of partner, places the ball, does one push up then sprints back, placing the ball down at mid-point.
  • Sprint: I use approximately a 120 metre sprint, you can use the field width X2.
  • Once the first half has finished change over and have the other players of the pair do the drills.

All within the given times. The drill gets progressively harder as lactic acid builds up, and the double sprints kill the players psychologically as well as physically. (You can be sneaky and adjust the separation distance as the season progresses as well)

Emphasis team unity, have "tackle dummies" encourage partner, and also any player struggling.

Seriously any club that has the money should consider buying the CD- I believe it's on the ARU web-site for about $40 Australian dollars, which I think is about $20 USD.