Helping players playing in higher age groups

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by g6mcg, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. g6mcg

    g6mcg Guest

    Recently I was asked to help with rugby coaching at a local school by a member of my rugby club who was roped in by one of his mates, a teacher at the school. I agreed and have (so far) enjoyed it. However I was surprised to discover that due to a lack of players in the Under 18 age group, the majority of the team come from Years 11 (15-16). I then discovered that many of the Year 11's have not played rugby before this September, and now were playing at U18 level.

    This happened when I was at school (though with rather bizarre logic - I, a lanky flanker, was put on the wing ahead of my friend who was a winger because he was considered too small.) I would have thought it would not be allowed any more due to the famed health and safety.

    To me it seems detrimental to the Year 11's, many of whom are becoming disillusioned with rugby due partly to the frequent defeats and huge physical disadvantage.

    I know people will say that size is irrelevant, but at this level it does play a huge role, and there is a huge difference in strength.

    Does anyone have any ideas how to reduce the effect of the physical disadvantage?

    (I was going to post this in October but due to internet problems it didn't work, and then I forgot I had a draft. So to update the season is pretty much over and its gone better than I expected. However next year I will face a lot of the same problems, as many of "my" players aren't staying on to the 6th form.)
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  3. NHH

    NHH Guest

    I've had to deal with the size issue with my highschool rugby team for a couple years now. A majority of our players are young and between 140lbs and 175lbs (i think only 4 players are more than 180) while the other teams smallest guy was maybe 160lbs but we still do quite well (our record last year was 7-1). We were just way more disciplined than the other teams. Our tackling technique was superior so even our smallest players, me being one of them, could still take down most of the opposition, our passing was better, and our cardio was better. We practiced mon-fri for 1.5-2 hours a day for 2 months before the season started and most of us had personal fitness routines outside of practice, while the other teams practiced twice maybe 3 times a week.

    With the gap between 15 and 18 year olds the physical disadvantage is always going to be there but strength will only go so far. You have to be smarter and more efficient than the other team in order to do well.
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