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Defence - Team Basics with Sir Graham Henry

Building a Team Defence system is crucial to stopping your opposition. In this series we detail the basics of a successful Team defence which you can create with your players.

Part 1. Top Defence Top Team   0:09 Free video

Your team's character is epitomised by its defence.


Part 2. Defence alignment & basic defensive structure 15:13 Member content

Rugby Site Founder Brendon Ratcliffe believes a good defensive structure relies on individual players clearly identifying WHO they are responsible for, aligning on them, then working together as a defensive unit to shut down the opposition attack and turn over possession. Play video

Part 3. Keeping Line Integrity 7:31 Member content

Ex All Black coach and defence master, Sir Graham Henry's share's his philosophy of defence and also introduce specific activities that he believes in and use to build and test defence systems, from set piece through to general play. Play video

Part 4. Defence when Numbers are Down 5:12 Member content

Can 4 players defend against 9? Or 6 against 8? Ex All Black and World Cup winning coach and defence master Sir Graham Henry with his line up of future international stars demonstrates how it is possible. Play video

Part 5. Lineout Defence Setup 4:48 Member content

What is your lineout defensive policy? Are you up against a 52 or 43 lineout structure? Do the opposition have specific launch structures? Where is the blindside wing located? Ex All Black and World Cup winning coach and defence master, Sir Graham Henry considers different lineout defence options. Play video

Part 6. Scrum Defence Setup 8:19 Member content

Do you defend a left side, right side or middle scrum the same or differently? Ex All Black and World Cup winning coach and defence master, Sir Graham Henry considers different scrum defence options. Play video

Part 7. Defensive Structures 12:55 Member content

British and Irish and England lock Courtney Lawes takes you through a number of defensive systems and structures, outlining where each player has to go and what responsibilities they each have for their role. Play video

Part 8. 1 on 1 Defensive Tracking 3:41 Member content

Former London Irish and now All Blacks 7s coach Clark Laidlaw runs through some 1 on 1 defensive tracking drills. Play video

Part 9. Alignment, Connection & Line Speed in Defence 11:17 Member content

Ex All Black and Hurricanes captain Rodney So'oialo is with the Wellington College (NZ) under 15s working on their defensive structure during phase play. Play video

Part 10. Reacting & Adjusting to get Alignment in Defence 6:20 Member content

Ex All Black and Hurricanes captain Rodney So'oialo and his Wellington College (NZ) under 15 players build on their realigning defence structures. Play video

Part 11. Defence Practice Plan 4:08 Member content

Ex Rugby Site Manager Ben Herring has put together a session plan for coaches to develop new players defensive skills in a fun and safe environment. Play video

Course Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11
Duration 79:33
Topics Defence Youth Coaching
Applicable to Coaches  
Languages English

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

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  • Graham Henry & Warren Gatland
  • Wayne Smith & Eddie Jones
  • Sam Warburton & Richie McCaw
  • Leigh Halfpenny & Victor Matfield

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