Detail Starting Situation

Last Updated on Friday, 10 January 2014 11:01

Why is this important?

Before you can start and detail your training program, you need to consider at what level your players are at the moment. What is the starting point for their development this season?

You need to observe their last matches, perhaps review video's or talk to last years coach. Another idea is to test their abilities.

Of course in the proposed learning loop, last seasons evaluation is practically the same thing as this part of the planinng process. You can use the LTAD model in this step.

Related pages

but postions but video but test
but links but free but credits
 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 19:53

Note: this page is based on IRB coaching material, 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

Every rugby player should develop his speed, for the full-back extra focus should be on the longer sprints, changing direction at speed, agility under the high ball. Look at my SAQ pages to improve your running technique.

Open play: offence

The fullback can come into the line. His role can be:

  • support runner
  • extra pair of hands
  • dummy runner
  • Speed is not absolutely essential but the timing of the entry into the backline is, think of your role coming in on the blind side of the number eight or scrum-half.

The lines and angle of attack but most of all the timing determines whether the entry / penetration will be successful. Do not try to "telegraph" your entry. A good option is always to be the extra man on the outside. You need the speed though....

Defense

You need to catch the high ball, if you drop it then you punishes the whole team: they all have to come back, loose valuable meters and have to scrum.
The fullback needs to make the try-saving tackle. The whole team should not have to worry about these two qualities. A big responsiblity !

Determine the pattern of attack and set the defensive pattern accordingly. You have to decide when you move forward to join the defensive back line. Communicate with the wings, both wings and the fullback are the last line of defence.

In a one-on-one situation encourage the ball carrier to go outside, the touchline will be a defensive boundary. In a one-on-two situation start to move to the player without the ball, perhaps the ball-carrier will dummy and find you stepping back!

Key issues

  • Ability to beat a man one on one
  • Kick with both feet
  • Comfortable with all types of passes
  • Choose appropiate angles to strike at pace
  • Tackle
  • Pace

My favorite Full Back of the RWC 2011

Having played it myself I choose Andy Irving of Scotland and JPR Williams of Wales because they made me wanting to play rugby. Nowadays contender: Israel Dagg. Making the total number of AB's in the favourite list pretty big....

General issues

More on the functional role idea:

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 19:53

Note: this page is based on IRB coaching material, 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 on the Wing

I know lots of coaches start players who are new to the game on the wing: they can do not much harm and "everybody can play on the wing". How wrong! I think playing on the wing is very difficult task. Better start "newbies" on the flanker: more players around and always in the midst of things.

Every rugby player should develop his speed, for the wing extra focus should be on the longer sprints and changing direction at speed, agility. Look at my SAQ pages to improve your running technique.

Left or Right side?

Very few can play competently on both left and right. There are specific requirements, which a wing must have when deciding left (#11) or right (#14). This relates to kicking and being able to step off the left foot to move back inside coming from the right and v.v.

Two types of kicks:

  • to keep play 'alive', maintain the opportunity to score and to regain possession
  • to kick parallel to the side-line and chip-kick into space.

Another reason is that the left side wing gets more ball but in a tighter situation. This is why the left side wing in a rugby team is stronger and more powerfull while the right side wing is the speedster. Reasons for the left getting more ball is the way the ball is played from the scrum and (I think) most players are right handed a are better passers to the left....

Open play: offence

Speed and the ability to 'finish' are important. Running the right lines is critical but the methods of beating a man can vary from player to player. The traditional move: the body swerving in towards the defender to slow him down then accelerating on the outside.

Always try to receive the ball at full pace, accelerate before you receive the ball.

Get involved: do not wait until the ball reaches you, look for work !

The side step

This is the weapon of wingers. Change direction to get on the inside shoulder of your opponent. Then the use of strength to burst tackles or stand in the tackle and off load to support.
Larger players (Lomu) use their size and strength to break the line and hold the ball up to create opportunities for others. If you are more the light weight type a technique is more "fend-and-turn". This is handing off the defender and turn towards your support player to off load.

Defense

Communication with the full-back and other wing is important. You form the last line of defence. If you are on the open side you are more aligned with the centers. On the blind side defence you are deeper.

On a more general perspective: wingers are the eyes in defense: they have a good overview of what the strike patterns of the opposition are. In the dead moments the wingers should prvide their teammates with what they are seeing, improving the overall defensive performance. A big responsibility!

Key issues

Concentration both on attack and defence. Looking at the body language and positional play of the opposition to detect 'the next move/point of attack' Speed (straight line and acceleration), Good hands, Kick off either foot, vision to counter-attack, a good finisher', read defensive situations and TACKLE.

  • Ability to beat a man one on one
  • Kick with either foot
  • Comfortable with all types of pass
  • Comfortable playing in any part of the pitch
  • Tackle
  • Pace

My favorite wing of the RWC 2011

My two wingers are Amorosino of Argintina and James O'Conner of Australia. James featured big on the Ozzie campervans during the RWC too!

General issues

More on the functional role idea:

   

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 19:53

Note: this page is based on IRB coaching material, my own experiences and feedback from other coaches.

This page discusses all aspects of the center position:

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 on the Center position

In some countries the inside center is called 2nd five-eight. You have the inside center - traditionally the bigger/stronger one who sets the ball up in midfield (Crash Ball Center) and the quicker one who sets up the wingers and full back.

I like the name second five eight becomes it implies a Fly Half role. Inside centers who play in that role also have kicking duties taking the ball to the other sideline. This can take the pressure of the Fly Half.

Every rugby player should develop his speed, for the center extra focus should be on the quick burst through the gap: lateral movement, explosive steps, agility. Look at my SAQ pages to improve your running technique.

Open play: offense

Centers are clever. They have vision and passing skills to put their fullback and wings into space, pace to make the outside break, strength to take the ball up to the opposition and/or set up play for continuity (ball retention: never lose the ball).
The center must be able to read defensive situations, organize his own defense and shut down the opposition backline.

A center is able to pass off either hand (left and right). Having a variation in passes is important to put players into space and manipulate the defense with powerful and angled running. Receive a flat pass at full speed, accelerate before you catch the ball. He must combine with the wingers and fullback to become an attacking strike force.

Both centers must be convincing when executing moves switch - miss - loop - wide or close. They must also be able to break the line with footwork and put people into holes.

Inside Center

He must be the 'rock'. He leads the defensive pattern. A player who should not hesitate to 'take the ball up' if things get tough on the outside. We used the phrase "Crash-ball Center". He needs the ability to send the long wipers kick to the open side, chip kick to turn the defense, pass well and have the pace and acceleration to get back into play (support) after a miss move.

Inside Centers need to support their fly-half in contact.

Outside Center

The center with better ball handling skills and will be faster and have better running skills. A position were the player is more of a play-maker because he will be creating space for full-back & wingers to attack.

Kicking

Sometimes centers are able to give clever kicks through the midfield defense. Chipping over or grubber kick the ball between defenders. A wipe kick places the ball behind the defending wings for your wing to pick up. Experiment with kicking angles.
By doing this the attack also becomes more varied.

Defense

The centers must have the confidence to tackle 'head-on' and, be 'hard minded' and should terrorize the opposition both in defense and attack. To improve on this I have in the past played a center at open-side flanker to get him comfortable in the close range stuff. (Simply switch the two players, it helps your flanker to see play in another perspective too).
The tackle area around this inside center can be pretty busy. Communication with others is very important.

Key issues

  • Ability to beat a man one on one
  • Kick with either foot
  • Comfortable with all types of pass
  • Contact skills
  • Support runner
  • Tackle
  • Pace

Some of my favorite centers of the RWC 2011

Inside Center: SBW, delicate skill, ability to control the ball. (quit the boxing career though, you shit at it).

Outside Center: Conrad Smith, tactically strong, can run of SBW, reliable.

General issues

More on the functional role idea:

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 19:53

Note: this page is based on IRB coaching material, my own experiences and feedback from other coaches.

This page discusses all aspects of the Fly half position:

In General

When you want to create a high performance 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 coaches under estimate 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 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!

Decisions, decisions .... Fly Half

(Also known as Outside Half or First Five-Eight / the first of the 5 after the 8. What does this mean?)

The Fly half should be the leader of the backline, making the decisions, reading the game and calling the moves. To do this the player n needs tactical awareness, vision and the ability to read the play. Open, blind, close, wide, run, pass, kick.

In this he needs to find a balance: variation being important to keep fooling the opposite defense.

A Fly half should also be quick off the mark, if there is a gap - penetrate. Nothing keeps the defense guessing more than the threat of the inside backs who can make breaks. Running on the blindside is almost a lost art. Look at my SAQ pages to improve your running technique.

Offense

Technically he needs quick hands, tactical kicks and kicks for territory and the good old fashioned 'bomb' - off both feet? Without these technical qualities your are not a good fly-half and both your scrum-half and inside center have to compensate this for you.

Next is passing: to make a long pass is an advantage, this way the Fly half can quickly change play. Receive a pass from the Line-out running, Staying close to the gain-line and not allowing the drift.

With these technical detail in place you are still worthless to your team in the Fly-half role if you do not have the decision making skills developed. What you see and how you react on it is very important in this pivotal role. More on decision making on the Villepreux pages.

Kicking

Lots of different kicks of course:

  • Chip kick: over the front line of defense
  • Grubber kick: through the defenders
  • Wipers kick or Diagonal: behind the defending winger
  • Up-and-Under: kick high up - allow players to get under it
  • Penalty Kick
  • Drop Kick

Defense

In defense, the Fly half should communicate with the back row and #12 to determine the defensive pattern to be used, this can change several times during a match and from game to game. Develop a cover defensive role after the initial passing of the ball.

Tackling is never a strong point of this position (normally due to the physique of players in this position) but tackling can not be avoided !

Key factors

  • High level of passing ability
  • Read and react to situations
  • Kick with either foot
  • Ability to beat a man one on one
  • Support runner
  • Tackle
  • Pace

My favorite fly-half of the RWC 2011

Daniel Carter is perfection (now he does the "droppie" too) 

General issues

More on the functional role idea:

   

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