World Rugby Coaching : The home of Rugby coaching on the web : Key factor analysis
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Key points for players in every tackle situation

Tackler - contact with opponent(s).

The tackler should:

  • keep ‘eyes up’ looking at the ball carrier to keep head in the correct position
  • track the movement of the ball carrier and get their feet close enough to make the tackle using the arms to ‘wrap’ around the ball carrier
  • prepare for contact - adopting a body position that is strong, stable and low
  • position their head behind or to one side of the ball carrier (never position the head in front of the ball carrier)
  • release the tackled player, get back to their feet immediately and contest for possession
Ball carrier - contact with ground.

The ball carrier should:

  • carry the ball in both hands
  • protect the ball - holding it tight to their chest with elbows in to sides
  • make contact with the ground with their buttocks and then their shoulder
  • not break their fall with their hand or the ball
  • turn towards their team and pass, place or present the ball
  • get back to their feet as soon as possible

All arriving players must enter the tackle area through the gate. Only players on their feet may compete for the ball.

Players arriving at an attempted but incomplete tackle


  • maintain a strong, stable and low body position
  • use their arms to grasp ball carrier
  • avoid contact with other players’ heads and necks
  • bring the ball carrier safely to the ground
If clearing or driving out defenders,

players should:

  • maintain a strong, stable and low body position
  • keep their chin off their chest, their head up, their hands up
  • sight their target
  • keep their spine in line with the direction of drive
  • start their drive from a low body position
  • make contact with defender using the shoulder and arms, not the head
  • close arms around opponent
  • drive the player away and clear the ball
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