Breakdown articles

Rugby coaching videos from the world's best coaches and players on developing breakdown skills and tactics to help win crucial contests.

How to make yourself an effective ‘jackal’

It is hard to do without a number of specialists in defensive contact in the modern game. With the number of breakdowns on the increase and set-pieces on the slide, they have become essential personnel.

Nick Bishop looks at the stats and looks at who and what is required at the breakdown in today’s game.

The real Irish breakdown

There is no area of the game more influential in the outcome than the battle at the breakdown. In his latest article Murray Kinsella has done the hard yards. Studying and noting every single action by the Irish players at the breakdown and ruck against Italy, both in attack and defence. A stunning piece that provides the point of difference knowledge and understanding for coaches and players globally that we take pride in delivering to you, our valued members.

Enjoy and join the discussion.

A Rucking Revolution?

FIJI SEVENS HEAD coach Ben Ryan published a number of intriguing tweets yesterday evening highlighting a technique which he believes has the game “in crisis”.

The former England Sevens boss has an issue with the rucking technique that, depending on where one is from, is referred to as a crocodile roll, tin opener, can opener, body roll, croc roll, alligator roll, gator roll, saddle roll or log roll.

Analysis: Ireland's work at the breakdown vs the Springboks

Joe Schmidt’s coaching philosophy is strongly founded on winning the breakdown and ruck, so we’ve analysed his Ireland team’s winning performance against South Africa last weekend.

Our in-depth examination of every breakdown and ruck shows who is doing the hard work in this highly technical area.

A closer look at the rucking rules

The ruck is an interesting aspect of the game, and highlights the demands on referees at the top level.

With the speed of the modern game, and the fact that professional and amateur players will push the laws to breaking point to get an advantage, it’s certainly not an easy job.

Wayne Smith Preview: Receiving the high ball

The first in this new series of rugby coaching videos from Wayne Smith is about high ball work, and specifically about receiving the high ball.

Check out the trailer here:


Breaking down the Brumbies' breakdown tactics

ACT Brumbies’ Director of Rugby, Laurie Fisher’s influence over the last three seasons has been clear in the Brumbies’ breakdown work, where the Australians excelled last weekend against the Chiefs. Murray Kinsella shows how Fisher’s influence contributed to the Brumbies’ success.

Schmidt breaks it down for Ireland

After Ireland’s impressive Six Nations victory, Murray Kinsella looks at one area where they excelled, the breakdown. Here’s Murray analyses what Joe Schmidt has asked his men to do at the ruck.

Coming Soon: Body position at the breakdown with Eddie Jones

In this module Eddie Jones works with Junior Japan on the body position of the 2nd player to the breakdown. The focus in this course is either securing the space or the ball, ensuring players stay on their feet.

Leech for the Line

‘Leeching’ or ‘latching’ is the act of a support player connecting with the ball carrier to generate more go-forward into contact. Murray Kinsella highlights some examples and key things to consider.