HOW TO PLAY RUGBY

BASIC RUGBY OVERVIEW

Rugby is primarily played between two teams of 15 people on a 120m x 70m field (similar to football). The goal is to score “tries” by placing the ball down in the “try zone” for 5 points, and completing a conversion kick for 2 points.

On a team, there are 8 forwards, 6 backs, and a “scrum-half” to coordinate between them. Forwards are larger, heavier players who carry the ball short distances and break through defenses. Backs are smaller, agile players who pass the ball out wide and attempt breakaways for scoring opportunities. The scrum-half is the link between the backs and the forwards, managing the phases and strategy.

On offense, you may only pass the ball backwards as you work your way down the field. If you are tackled, you must remain on the ground and place the ball towards your teammates. Your teammates will then form a “ruck” to protect the ball from the other team, and restart a new play or “phase.” There are no such thing as “downs” or clock stoppage. It’s a unique feature of rugby, but getting tackled is not necessarily bad at all if you maintain control of the ball and make forward progress!

On defense, you must maintain a flat line of defenders spread across the field. You will stop the punches from the forwards, and shut down any attempt from the backs to make a play. Proper defense and tackling is an essential skill for each and every player.

There are many penalties in rugby like “knocking” the ball forward, leaving the field of play (the “touch lines”), not entering a ruck correctly, or playing off-sides. Play will be restarted with a scrum (all 8 forwards pushing against the other pack), a line-out (the ball thrown in from out of touch towards your lifted players), or a penalty kick (the offending team moves back 10 meters, and the attacking team can kick the ball forward or tap it and continue play.)

THE PRINCIPLES OF RUGBY

To become an excellent rugby player, all you need to do is understand and master these simple principles of rugby. Each principle contains key factors and skills unique to your position.

A) Principles of Attack B) Principles of Defense 
Gain PossessionContest Possession
Go ForwardGo Forward
Support Support 
Maintain Continuity Prevent Gains 
Apply PressureApply Pressure
Score!Regain Possession
Counter Attack

 

POSITIONS AND TYPES

These are the rugby positions.

1: Prop (close strong punches and scrums well)
2. Hooker (forward support, gets ball in scrum)
3: Prop (close strong punches and scrums well)
4: Lock (punches, support, the legs of the scrum)
5: Lock (punches, support, the legs of the scrum)
6: Flanker (faster forwards, defensive in scrums)
7: Flanker (faster forwards, defensive in scrums)
8: Eight-man (utility forward, breakaway in scrums)
9: Scrum-half (directs forwards, controls the ruck)
10: Fly-half (leads the backs, looks for opportunity)
11: Left Wing (fastest, sneaky, makes breakaways)
12: Inside Center: (playmaker, attacks the defense)
13: Outside Center: (playmaker, works with inside)
14: Right Wing (fastest, powerful, makes breakaways)
15: Full Back: (stops big defensive plays, inserts in line, kicks)

TOP SKILLS NEEDED

To become a great rugby player, you will need to practice and master these skills:

Teamwork and communication
Endurance and strength
Proper ball handling
Tackling and getting tackled
Evasive footwork
Defensive and full-field awareness

YOUR FITNESS

Rugby players need to be healthy in all aspects of fitness: strength, power, agility, endurance, flexibility, and fine motor skills. The best workout programs cover all of these bases. Focus on practicing with the team (#1), weight lifting, circuit training, and sprints.

HOW TO PLAY RUGBY

UNDERSTANDING POSITIONS

 

SAFE TACKLING

 

CONTESTING THE BALL

 

RUCKING DEMONSTRATIONS

 

CLEARING THE RUCK