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Video Analysis: Rugby's 6 Principles of Play demonstrated

By Liam Dunseath
Go Forward, one of rugby's principles of play

Video analyst and rugby coach Liam Dunseath takes a look how Rugby’s Principles of Play were demonstrated in last weekend’s Barbarians versus All Blacks game in Twickenham.


It was an end-to-end match with plenty of spectacle for the neutral. Fundamentally it was also a match-up that expounded the core of principles of the game.

As any good coach will tell you, there are five universally agreed principles of play for rugby union – or six if you’re being difficult.

– Contest Possession
– Go Forward
– Support
– Continuity
– Pressure
– Score

As the video demonstrates, all these principles were on show in abundance, and make a great teaching aid for anyone involved in coaching at any level.


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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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