How to Make Big Hits on the Rugby Field

Making big hits on the rugby field is a key part of the game. It can cause turn over ball, force a knock on and most of all it demoralises your opponents.This vital element of your game can easily be mastered and can be critical when used correctly.


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    Build up your base level of strength. Resistance training and gym work are vital. Not only defensively but for rugby in general, use your 4 key exercises:bench press, incline bench press, squats (be careful with squats, they can damage your knees and back and slow you down) and dead-lifts. Don't forget core and speed work though, rugby is not American football, stamina and fitness are vital.
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    Get low. A good low body position is key. Practice getting low, despite position, anyone can work on the scrum machine. It is a fantastic device for not only props, but all team members, improving tackling and rucking alike.
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    Work on your tackling. Practice makes perfect. Outside training and during the off-season, get some friends together, a work. Simple drills, with tackle bags and one on ones work a treat.
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    Aim. For the tackle, try to aim your shoulder below the chest, at the stomach area of the man you are tackling- remember going in too high (the chest area) will give your opponent a better chance of breaking-through the tackle, because that is where he is strongest. Lift both of his legs from behind the knees and drive through with your shoulder by pumping your legs (like you are running with him in your arms), always begin the tackle from a low body position and drive upwards.
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    Ring of steel. The ring of steel is crucial, wrap your arms round the player, preferably just above the knees, and squeeze, lifting him up or driving them back will be easier and you will be able to hold onto them without them slipping away.


  • Get low: it cannot be over-emphasised - a low body position is one of the most valuable assets any rugby player can have.


  • Make sure you can drive him back or dump tackle him, he may be able to slip through if you try a big tackle.
  • Be careful when you use the dump tackle; if there is an overlap, and you dump your man, instead of wrapping him or covering back an offload and a try may be imminent.

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Categories: Rugby