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Breakdown Sessions Plans - A with The Rugby Site

The hits get bigger. There is contact quicker, more aggressive and involves bigger players and the pressure on the skill sets is greater. This Breakdown session plan is all about becoming physically and mentally prepared for the step up in intensity.

Part 1. Breakdown Warm-up   6:19 Member content

We start the session with some Breakdown Primer drills. It is important to get the body right for the Breakdown contact plus develop the right techniques along the way. Hawkes Bay coach Josh Syms shares his innovative ideas around developing breakdown skills.
It is all about preparing the body for the Breakdown ground work.

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Part 2. Ball Carry into Contact 9:57 Member content

Successful British and Irish Lions and Wales Coach Warren Gatland explains in detail how do you take the contact on your own terms. Buy time! Dance into the tackle hitting and spinning. Using a fend, spinning when on the ground. It’s all about getting the ball back onto your side and retaining possession!

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Part 3. Ball Placement after Contact 6:33 Member content

Successful British and Irish Lions and Wales Coach Warren Gatland’s details how to retain possession in contact and looks at the best ways for ball placement after contact. Buy time! Get the ball away from the contact zone. Make it uncomfortable for the defence to get at the ball. Repetition and practice at every session!

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Part 4. Clear Out 6:32 Member content

Use Warren’s Clear Out video to explain the how and why of the key elements of the clear out.

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Part 5. Fight on the Ground (FOG) 16:59 Member content

Time to introduce players contesting for the ball. Jase Ryan’s Momma and Poppa drill can be used here but for this session we will use Josh Sym’s FOG drills.
Fog stands for ‘Fight on the Ground’ – fight to retain the ball in contact.

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Part 6. Slowing and Stealing the Ball 17:06 Member content

Now it is time to hop on the other side of the ball and stop or ‘steal’ the ball.
Again there are many videos about how best to do this on site from the world’s best players and coaches including All Black great Richie McCaw, Wallaby great George Smith, Welsh great Sam Warburton, England coach Eddie Jones and Lions coach Warren Gatland. However for this session we will continue with Josh Syms as he presents drills and insights to help slow or steal the ball.

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Part 7. King of the Jackal 4:45 Member content

Finish the session with a Breakdown contest from George Smith.
It helps reinforce the skills learnt during the session.

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Course Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7
Duration 68:11
Topics Session Plans
Applicable to Coaches  
Languages English

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

Course reviews

Great presentation, simple and clear.


excellent warm up ideas


Why am I just learning FOG now?


Great coaching and tips…. However. Isn’t “squeeze ball” and entering in from the side (as seen on the”head tracing” exercise in part 6) illegal now? Not sure when these videos were done but the rule changes may have dated them?!


what a brilliant set of primer drills some i have never seen before. will definitely use them in my next breakdown session


Awesome stuff here, just vocabulary is valuable to have when coaching!


Clear out great drill for America high schoolers.


these sessions from world class coaches really focus on the 1% and are fantastic to learn from


Excelent video part.1. Great concept “pass the shoulder”


Brilliant explanation from a top Coach.


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