Video library

Defence videos

Rugby coaching videos and resources from the world's best coaches and players on developing defensive skills and tactics from set piece through to general play.

Defence resources

How to play the ‘libero’ like Faf de Klerk

The ‘libero’ is an evocative term in the Soccer vocabulary. It describes the free role played from a defensive position occupied by outstanding players like Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, Ronald Koeman from the Netherlands, and Gaetano Scirea and Franco Baresi of Italy. Eventually the libero died out of the professional arm of the game with the demise of man-marking. However as Analyst Nick Bishop illustrates in the use of the scrum-half as the free man on defence have occurred recently in rugby through players like South African Faf de Klerk.

Getting your defence right: when to ‘dig’ and when to ‘wrap’

It is probably no accident that the teams with Farrell-coached defences only lost two of the six Tests they played against the All Blacks. Against other opponents in the same time-frame, New Zealand have scored tries for fun, averaging a runaway 5.7 tries per match on their way to a 90% plus win rate. Analyst Nick Bishop explores one of Ireland’s key breakdown defence strategies when to ‘wrap’ around into a new position, and when to ‘dig’ for a turnover after a tackle has been made.

Farrell spearheads the case for the defence

Ireland’s defence was pivotal in their win over the All Blacks last weekend. Graham Jenkins identifies who and how Ireland managed to shackle the most potent attacking team in the world.

Defence Ruck - Practice Plan

In this session Ben goes through the important parts of defending the ruck. From knowing what to look out for and how to execute, Ben recruits some expert knowledge from current players who are doing this ‘out on the field’.

Defence Team - Practice Plan

In this session Ben goes through some of the key components to defending as a team. He goes through some key points around line defence and gets some input from some top coaches we have on the site.

Defending the 13 channel – the modern way

In the recent 1st test of the series, the contest between New Zealand’s wide attack and the French defence of the same area promised to be one for connoisseur, and so it proved. In the current pair of articles, Analyst Nick Bishop first examines how France’s defence in the 13 channel succeeded initially. In next week’s second articl the reasons why the All Blacks’ attack wrested control.

Two-stepping your way out of trouble!

How do teams beat aggressive high line-speed defences? Leading analyst Nick Bishop looks at the development of high-quality skills to beat an opponent in the tightest of spaces.

Defence defines a teams true character

Murray Kinsella reviews Racing Métro’s emergence as top contenders in the Champions Cup. Head coaching duo Laurent Labit and Laurent Travers clearly deserve a great deal of credit for the work they are doing but in this piece the focus is on Ronan O’Gara, their defensive coach. The numbers speak for themselves, Racing Métro conceded the fewest points of any club across the pool stages with a mere 69. Forget the snide remarks referencing O’Gara’s defensive reputation as a player, he’s making a real difference as a coach, Kinsella shows you how.

Wayne Smith – Steve Hansen’s most visionary selection

Respected New Zealand based journalist Liam Napier gains unique access and explores the value of Wayne Smith’s reappointment to the All Blacks and their 2015 mission to be the first team to claim back to back Rugby World Cup titles. “Strategically I really like the role of plotting the defence and working out how we can get the ball back, whether that’s by forcing poor kicks or turning it over at the ruck,” Smith says. “Whatever it is, that ball creates a lot of tries.” Enjoy this Rugby Site exclusive.

A helping hand to steal possession

Murray Kinsella analyses the importance of the second player to the breakdown in securing turnover possession in the ruck. We see examples where Saracens’ Kelly Brown Ulster’s Franco van der Merwe and Louis Ludik provide stability and strength to the player stealing possession in the ruck.

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