Rugby: Lateral Passing Drill

Dick Moss, Editor

The Lateral Passing Drill is a great way to develop your players' ability to make quick, accurate passes—and to make these passes while fatigued. It's also an excellent way to improve the range of their spin passes (otherwise known as spirals in North American football parlance).


Lateral Passing Drill
Lateral Passing Drill
Using cones, establish drill areas that are 10 meters wide and 15 meters long. Then break your students into teams of three, giving each team one rugby ball. Player A stands on the end of the grid, while Player B holds the ball at on the sideline, about eight meters away. Player C stands on the opposite sideline, two meters farther down the grid from Player B.


Player A runs back and forth on the grid, receiving a pass from player B on the first leg, and immediately passing to Player C, before sprinting to the end line of the grid. Because Player C is only two meters farther down the grid, this pass must be made very quickly.

Player A touches the end-line then returns, receiving a pass from Player C, and immediately turning to pass to Player B. This continues for 10 continuous repetitions. Players then switch roles.


• Players can compete for the best total time over the 10 repetitions, with any missed pass adding three seconds to a player's total time.

• By varying the width of the grid, you can have players increase the distance of the passes they must make. For example, you could add five meters to the width of the grid and have players pass five meters to one side and 10 meters to the other side.

Reference:  “Individual Skill: Lateral passing.” Irish Rugby Website, 4/25/04.

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