Click to skip to content
Return to the London Wasps home page

CoacHclass Top Tips IV

Rugby's biggest powers come together to provide the rugby course experience of a lifetime.
Premiership Rugby Academy Camp, run in association with O2.

London Wasps CoacHclass is supported by Chiltern Railways

Man of the Match Dom Waldouck attacks

Evasive Running

Evasive Running is just one of the many core rugby skills that will be coached at our Easter CoacHclasses along with the understanding of when and why the skills would be utilised within the game of rugby.

In order to maintain the continuity of the game, players spend the majority of their time chasing the ball either as a player running in support, or as a defender running to stop an attack. All players must know how to use their pace to best effect.

It is skills such as evasive running that have helped to make players such as Phil Vickery, Tom Rees and Tom Palmer such valuable assets to London Wasps and have helped to make the Gold 'n' Blacks one of this season's Heineken Cup Quarter-Finalists.


  • Speed
  • Agility, Balance and Coordination
  • Change of direction
  • Change of pace


  • The ability to beat a player when '1 on 1' should be introduced as soon as the players pick up a rugby ball. The game of rugby union is essentially one of evasion
  • This is accomplished by either beating the opponent with a pass or using one of a well-developed range of running/evasion skills
  • At all ages the emphasis must be on avoiding contact as much as possible
  • Contact situations should be viewed as failures in that the ball carrier has either failed to beat an opponent or has failed to pass to a supporting player

Key Factors:

Vickery made an exciting break for the line before later being helped from the field following an off the ball incident

Side-Step (to the left):

  • Carry the ball in two hands
  • Angle your run to move the defender away from the intended line of run
  • Lean to the right - over a bent right knee
  • Drive hard off the right foot and accelerate away

Swerve (to the right):

  • Carry the ball in two hands, running at speed towards the defender and slightly inwards
  • Bring the left foot over in front of the right foot
  • Accelerate away in a curving run around the defender without losing speed

Change of Pace:

  • Run at slightly less than full pace to commit a defender to the tackle
  • As the defender is about to tackle, increase to full pace and accelerate away

Running in Support:
Let the ball carrier know support is available! Support from wide and deep. Always try to read the body language of the ball carrier. Remind the ball carrier to use support (this encourages players to support again). Running in a rugby match is often done at top speed, when carrying the ball, running in support of the ball carrier or racing to tackle an opponent. In the latter case the hands should be ready to play their grasping role in the tackling situation.

Running in to Contact:

Lewsey slides in for Wasps first try

As a ball carrier or defender, contact will often be inevitable. Players must be encouraged to prepare for this by hunching up and controlling their own body weight and that of the opponent. Players should seek solidity and stability as ball carriers, and driving shoulder contact as defenders.

3-day Easter CoacHclass at Oxford RFC on 2nd to 4th April 2007

2-day Easter CoacHclass at Brighton RFC on 5th & 6th April 2007

Click the London Wasps logo on-line at

Chalfont St Giles Junior School