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1-3-3-1 Attack strategy - All with Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones Coach Development Officer at Petone Rugby (Wellington NZ), creates a 1-3-3-1 Attack formations using blocks for the Hutt Valley High school 1st XV players.

Part 1. 1-3-3-1 Attack Block by Block   8:24 Member content

Attack shape broken down block by block.

Aaron Jones Coach Development Officer at Petone Rugby (Wellington NZ), creates Attack formations using blocks for the Hutt Valley High school 1st XV players.

Simple really – take 15 blocks put them on a table and move them from play to play. An easy way for players to visualise their respective roles for each play.

So how does a 1-3-3-1 formulation take shape?

Who is in the 1st pod?

Who are the left and right flanks?

What pods do your props target?

Map it out then take it out onto the pitch and put it into practice.

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Part 2. Attack Shape & Communication 13:56 Member content

How do you keep your Attack shape in a dynamic match situation?

Aaron Jones Coach Development Officer at Petone Rugby (Wellington NZ), takes his Attack blocks outside and explains with the Hutt Valley High school 1st XV players.

Who and what keeps the Attack shape over numerous plays?

Communication from 10. The 10 is the director of play

Isolate and define each part of the attack

Role clarity know what you are supposed to do and where to be

Make effective decisions based on what is in front of you

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Part 3. Scrum Attack Shape by Block 5:28 Member content

Aaron is back indoors with the Hutt Valley High school 1st XV players using his Blocks to present different 1-3-3-1 Scrum Attack shape.

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Part 4. Scrum Attack Shape - on the Pitch 12:25 Member content

This week, Aaron explains how the formation takes shape on the pitch.

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Part 5. Attack Shape - Edge Attack 9:20 Member content

What options do you have with an Attack from the Edge?

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Part 6. Putting 1-3-3-1 Attack Shape Altogether 7:28 Member content

Why have a 1-3-3-1 Attack? Aaron with the Hutt Valley High school 1st XV players are putting their 1-3-3-1 Attack Altogether.

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Course Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
Duration 57:01
Topics Coaches Corner Attack
Applicable to Coaches  
Languages English

Click on CC button at top left of video for other translation options.

Course reviews

Love this video and the 1-3-3-1 shape. We decided to use our quickest most damaging ball carriers on the edges which is our 8 and 4. Our 2 is smaller and slower but has great hands and so we use him as lead runner in a pod to pass the ball out the back to the 10 or 12.

We have quick backs and tend to want to perform a wide “back shot” from set piece. We then have the 2 pods coming back the other way, first off 10 so that the pod doesn’t have to travel too far with an outside back playing at 9. Then the next pod who would be the forwards who were in the front row or lifting in the line out would come off 9.


I like the progression Aaron gives in explaining the system. For relatively new coaches like myself it shows two ways of communicating with the players. It also allows the players to apply on field, what they did with blocks in the classroom environment.


Just on the intro- is it too far for the number 8 to run all the way to the far wing from the previous lineout? Also would you consider a decoy inside the 10 with a pod of 3 outside him- u need to hold the drift- otherwise the defense line can ignore the space between 9 and 10 when the pod is outside of 10? This put more linespeed pressure on forward pod. Finally all 3 man pods should require a sweeper behind the middle man- in the event the defense compresses and you can roll the pass out the back of the 3 man pod and outflank them ala Wales v Wallabies SFS 2012? The overall variable here is who is where in lineouts and how to amend it all off a shorter lineout. Scrums are easier to allocate roles of for forwards.


Off the wide ruck would you not prefer to play off 9? Great defence teams will normally be aggresive off the line to put pressure on the 10 off the wide ruck. Unless you be creative and add an inside option off 10 to hold the line speed? Allowing you to still play off 10 off a wide ruck?

South Africa

Brilliant. The use of the blocks as learning aids is quite effective compared to a PowerPoint. You’re engaging the players and empowering them to provide options in your attack shape. Well done.


For us, if the hooker is a 1 he stays in that channel after the line out vs sprinting to the opposite side. Our expectation is, the backline supports the first breakdown and then 1 3 3 1 form is completed at the second or third phase.


The importance of decision making and communication of the first five eight to let the pods know where they have to position themselves.

South Africa

I believe its highly unrealistic to ask hooker to sprint to opposite side of pitch from line out . Most of time there is no connected back on the shapes


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