How to play rugby

Know and understand how to play rugby and feel at home in a rugby game. Basics of starting, attacking and defending. Know what is going on, enjoy it.

Stay flexible - quickly learn how to play

The more you are flexible when you move and think, the quicker you will find it easy to play.

Next thing you know, you`re a good player!

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Where you play

Aim of the game

Where you fit in

Game on!




Backing up

Set pieces

Better play

A good style of rugby

Additional information

More tips


Where you play

You play on a rugby field and the laws of the game specify every detail about it. Knowing the layout will help you understand the game.

So, start here on how you play, with an easy introduction to some rules through an explanation of the field.

Feel confident when you get out there!

To know just how much running you will have to do, how much room you have to move and know how small variations in field size may affect your play Know the field layout and dimensions.

There will be few times when you need to run the length of the field.

Concentrate on great acceleration and being as fast as you can over 10 to 40 metres - and learn how to sidestep (see elsewhere)!

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Know the aim of the game

Your aim is to win the game.

To win you must score more points than the opposition.

The best and most exciting way to get points is when you score a try.

Be certain you know how you put the ball on the ground in the correct area, it`s how you score tries.

You also score points when you kick penalties and dropped goals. You get these extra points with your special kicking skills (see menu).

Remember, score more points! - ALWAYS!

When you know the basic rules it will help you know how to play. You`ll find you are confident and you make things happen.

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Find out where you will fit in

You need to know where you fit in.

Rugby is a good game for people of all shapes, sizes, qualities and skills. Look at these details about rugby teams players to see where you fit in.

You may find it useful to find the individual skills and qualities needed for each of the rugby positions you may play.

How to play rugby is very much about individual skills.

There are basic skills you need for every position.

Find out more get a quick feeling for the skills.

Whizz through the skills pages now or make a note to do it soon, so they will be in the back of your mind working away at what you need and how you become good at

holding the ball

and holding onto the ball, you carry it well as you move around the field. Prepare for catching and passing. Find handling in core skills.

catching the ball

and keeping hold of it. The ball will be coming to you at different heights, angles, speeds. It will be spinning, rolling, bouncing, falling - so be confident, be sure you have tip-top catching skills.

passing the ball

in all sorts of ways for all sorts of reasons. Make sure you have good passing skills so you make passes your team-mates catch, whatever the situation.

kicking the ball

when you start the game, score points, gain ground, find touch, cause trouble, break defences, score a try. Be spot on with your kicking.

getting away from tacklers,

bamboozling and breaking defences. You stand out, create havoc. You want to run rings round the opposition. You cannot do that by running in straight lines! You do it when you are able to sidestep.

Again, individual skills are the most important part of playing rugby.

You can learn "rugby moves" or "rugby plays" in next to no time - but what`s the point if you can`t catch the ball every time, or make the catchable pass?

You must put in the time and repetitions to make your skills second nature. Create an enjoyable way to do it.

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Game on!

The game is 40 minutes each way, with a short break at half time.

There are a number of options at the kick-off.

Know where the ball may go and why, especially if you may be kicking!

Find out what happens at the kick-off - and why.

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You may find it useful to start with the basics.

You use team work when you have the ball. You move it towards and eventually into their in-goal area where you ground it and score points for a try!

When your team doesn`t have the ball - GET IT BACK!

When you really know about playing, you know it`s very important being in the right place at the right time.

You feel great when you arrive at just the right time and just the right place to catch a pass, make a pass, make a tackle or make a break through the opposition line.

You will improve rapidly when you have good timing.

Minds can play tricks when you are under stress, especially on the rugby field.

You`ll find out how to affect other players, how to get them worried, make them hang off tackles or rush in too soon when you understand perception is an important part of how you play.

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When your team has the ball and you know how to play, you want to score tries.

Know as much as possible about how you control the ball.

When you have the ball, treasure it.

Controling the ball means you can use your skill and knowledge to to choose when and how you start an attack.

When you are attacking it`s important you know how to avoid tackles. If you do, you just may create "something from nothing"

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When they have the ball they can score. You must stop them!

Find out how you produce solid defence, avoid weak points and deal with difficult situations.

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Backing up

You will enjoy yourself when you look into when and how you provide quality support.

Support play is about what you do when you don't have the ball and how you can help your ball carrier.

When you provide excellent support you stay alert, you are a key player in the game.

You make it much more likely you will make good decisions when you carry the ball forward.

Learn about support play so you know what you can and cannot do when play breaks down, for example when a tackle has taken place.

When the flow of the game breaks down and you are allowed to enter contests for the ball you need to know what to do. One example is when rucks form.

Make sure you know how you get involved, what to do with the ball and why when it's on the ground and you`re struggling to get control of it - the rucking situation.

At other times it's off the ground and in the middle of a heaving mass of players - the maul.

Here`s what goes on when you're mauling.

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Set pieces

Another major aspect of playing rugby is the set piece. Lineouts and scrums are set pieces, used to restart play.

At the lineout set piece

When the ball "goes into touch" play stops.

Forwards from the two teams compete in a mini contest for the ball involving communication between players, timing, power for the jumping players, strength for lifting players and a great co-ordinated effort.

Find out where and how the lineout takes place.

At the scrum set piece

When rules are broken in a minor way and no penalty is awarded, play is restarted with different kind of mini contest. This involves technique, weight, strength, cordination and cooperation.

Get more information about the scrum.

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Better play

You may say to yourself "I want to be good at rugby" or "I want to play better" or "I want to be the best rugby player I can be".

How do you do it?

Absorb every page of this website for a start...

...and I`m not really kidding, either!

You will soak up valuable stuff here, stuff you will find nowhere else. Make sure you come back here (press CTL/d to bookmark pages).

But use the rest of the internet of course! Use a variety of sites and dig out the information you need.

Use the information well. Apply yourself well and you will improve.


But is it? Yes and no. Just like anything else, it`s always worth knowing a bit more about how you do it.

So here are tips on how to be the best rugby player you can be.

Gather playing experience

Spend time training and playing games of rugby and you gather experience. Over the years you build up valuable knowledge about all sorts of things related to rugby and life in general.

You can speed up the process, perhaps avoid some pain and enjoy your rugby more when you learn from other peoples` experience.

You may find you do that here when you absorb the information on this website. Much of it you will not find elsewhere.

Measure progress

Set goals, measure your performance and you are more likely to achieve what you set out to achieve. In rugby, of course, you set out to win the game.

One way to set goals and keep track of performance is to be aware of and use the gain line (also called the "advantage line").

Getting around in a game

Yes, you are running, but when you do it in a game of rugby it`s different.

It`s good to be fast but there`s more to it than that.

Find out more about running posture, change of pace, running lines. How you keep opponents guessing and much more in rugby running.

Keep one step ahead

If you were a mind reader or a clairvoyant it would be very useful in rugby. You would have a good idea what was going to happen next.

You`d be one step ahead of the opposition.

You can do the same when you`re good at reading the signs.

Be sure you have "vision"

Some player positions need it more than others. All players need it.

What is it, how do you get it and why it`s important. Make the most of practice time so you have the very best vision.

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A good style of rugby

There is a fantastic style of rugby where the ball is kept moving from player to player for long periods of play.

The ball is not allowed to die.

It requires great skill, superb fitness and great commitment by all players in the team.

Aim high. Aim for what is known as running rugby.

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Additional information

When you are starting out in something new it`s useful to gather information from a number of different sources.

To help you find out more I`ve included a few tips on how to find out more about rugby and have given details of some places to look.

How to gather information about rugby is where you'll find the tips.

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More tips

There are a couple of things worth avoiding in rugby.

Do your utmost to avoid foul play. Know the rules and stick to them.

It`s also very handy when you can avoid tacklers.

Tackles are a major part of rugby.

When you are able to avoid them you have a fantastic advantage.

Just so you know what you can do with sidesteps, watch this short video. It`s a vital part of play.

Have a chuckle as you become aware of how you use a sidestep and find you can avoid tackles. <<<-- CLICK HERE!!

Then find the best way is to do it with EvtecHs.

It`s something else and nowhere else!

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Summary of how you play rugby

Continually focus on controlling the ball and scoring points.

Play is continous unless the ball goes out of play or a player breaks the rules.

Even then play might continue if the other team gets an advantage.

Focus on fitness and good individual skills including sidestepping

Your skills will become instinctive and you will be able to deal with any situation - with superb skills, without even thinking about it!

Do it alone if necessary or with a few friends. Hone your skills! Do this and you`ll always find a game.

Remember, be a good sport - without the opposition there wouldn't be a game!

Above all, enjoy yourself!

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Like it? Questions? Comment below!!