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CoacHclass Top Tips VIII

Our latest Top Tip focuses on Back Attack Roles

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

Back Attack Roles and the associated core rugby skills are a big part of the CoacHclass intinerary that will be coached at our Summer CoacHclasses along with the understanding of when and how the roles and skill would be utilised within the game of rugby.

Back Attack Functional Roles

The following terminology explains the functional roles of players in a backline. The roles may change. Every player must be conversant with each role as they may change during the course of the attack:


The Playmaker

The Playmaker

  • The passer, who sets the backline in motion.
  • Coaching Point: The Distributor should run straight or run to commit defenders. Pass and support. Attempt to penetrate if the defence moves away


  • The pivot of the penetration and decision making
  • Coaching Point: The Playmaker should run aggressively to commit the defender. An accurate pass to the Penetrator in space is essential. The pass can be before or through the tackle.

Decoy Runner:

  • Creates uncertainty in the defensive line
  • Coaching Point: The Decoy position themselves and move to draw the defender away from the Penetrator, creating a gap
The Penetrator

The Penetrator

The Penetrator:

  • Looks to break through the defence
  • Coaching Point One: The Penetrator must appear in the gap as late as possible to receive the ball, in a position of space
  • Coaching Point Two: The Penetrator may position inside or outside the gap for the best angle of penetration. He must accelerate through the gap on receiving the pass. He can look to change the angle of attack and link with his Support Players

Support Players (Finishers):

  • Support initially from either side of the ball carrier in depth
  • Coaching Point: Support Players run in arrowhead formation behind the ball carrier to run onto the pass from depth. They must communicate with the ball carrier

Common Errors:

  • Creeping
  • Incorrect timing - i.e. outsides moving before the flyhalf receives the ball
  • No communication
  • Backs too shallow or too deep in alignment
  • Inaccurate pass to the receiver, hence slowing forward momentum
  • Backs running across field
  • Not supporting the ball carrier once the pass is made
  • One sidedness limiting options
  • Poor presentation of the ball
  • Not working hard enough 'off the ball'
  • Not working penetration close to the tackle line
The Finisher

The Finisher

CoacHclass Top Tips Series

CoacHclass Top Tips - Popping the ball out of the tackleCoacHclass Top Tips II - Decision-making in attack
CoacHclass Top Tips III - Rucking
CoacHclass Top Tips IV - Evasive Running
CoacHclass Top Tips V The Fend / Hand Off
CoacHclass Top Tips VI The Three-Point Principle before, during and after contact
CoacHclass Top Tips VIIThe Switch and Scissor Passes

Summer CoacHclass

5-Day Residential 'Be Your Best' Academy CoacHclass at SEAE Arborfield with London Wasps and the British Army
30th July 2007 to 3rd August 2007

Under 14s to Under 18s
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3-Day Summer CoacHclass at Aylesbury RFC
14th to 16th August 2007
Under 8s to Under 15s
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3-Day Summer CoacHclass at the London Wasps Training Ground, Twyford Avenue, Acton
21st to 23rd August 2007
Under 8s to Under 15s
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3-Day Summer CoacHclass at High Wycombe RUFC
28th to 30th August 2007
Under 8s to Under 15s
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