Rugby: Pass Out of the Tackle Drill

Pat Aitken for PE

This drill provides practice in passing the ball while in the clutches of a tackler. It also teaches teammates to make themselves available for a pass when it looks like the ball carrier is about to be tackled.

The Drill
Players A, B and C line up and run down the field simultaneously (see diagram).

Players D, E and F are positioned to tackle A, B and C.  When A is tackled (by D), he passes off to B, who runs downfield until he's tackled by E, at which point he passes to C. C continues downfield and passes back to A when tackled by F.

Passing Technique
After contact is made, ball carriers can pass behind the back of the tackler rather than simply passing in the same direction as they are falling.

Other Tips
Tackling players should pre-determine which shoulder they'll use for tackling. Instruct your ball carriers not to avoid the tackle.

Supporting players should anticipate where they must be to receive the pass before the tackle occurs.

1. Gary Pearse, Rugby Union Skills Manual, New South Wales (Australia) Rugby Union, 1993.
2. Simon Worsnop - Rugby Football Union, Rugby Games & Drills, Human Kinetics, 2011

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© 2011, Physical Education Update,

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