06 September 2011

Rugby skills for 9-10 year olds

Children this age master the basics of the game such as scrums and lineouts. However, the emphasis is very much on enjoyment. Contact must be kept to a minimum.


Children this age master the basics of the game such as scrums and lineouts. However, the emphasis is very much on enjoyment. Contact must be kept to a minimum.

What a nine to 10-year-old can do

  • Have quicker reaction times
  • Have improved balance, coordination and reaction skills
  • Have the ability to master complicated sequences

Practice plan for nine to 10-year-olds

– by the Neil Hosken Coaching Academy
By the time boys reach the age of ten, they should be able to participate in a structured game of rugby, particularly at inter-school or club level. Most games are still played in the “mini” format with ten man teams, but players are expected to understand basic scrums and lineouts, as well as positional backline play.

Lessons are skills intensive with focus given to ball handling and tackling in particular. Boys are broken up into ability groups for this purpose. All drills must be performed with the ball and each player must be given as much contact time with the ball as possible. Coaches should refrain from contact drills such as “koppestamp”.

Players must be encouraged to keep the ball in hand at all times. Kicking skills are introduced once the players have mastered the concept of the fifteen man game.

Time must be set aside for positional specific skills training such as forward play. This type of training is performed in units: forwards and backs. The basics of scrumming for example require technical skill development to avoid injury. Try to avoid fitting players into positions according to body types such as endomorphs playing prop. It is important to encourage players to experience all positions.

Lessons should include mini games. The coach must use this time to coach positional play as well as basic game strategy. It also allows players to experience contact which is an unavoidable aspect of the game in a controlled environment.

The game of “Tagby” (a junior form of touch rugby) has recently been introduced into this country. It is a wonderful way to introduce players to the game, and develop handling and positional skills. Above all it is contact free and encourages players to play to space – something our springboks could do well to learn!

How you can help

  • Offer energy foods – offer quick but healthy snacks such as a glass of milk, fruit juice, a peanut butter sandwich, bananas, nuts and raisins or cereal bars
  • Create an active routine – encourage the child to walk or ride to school and to help with physical duties at home

For more information call the Neil Hosken Coaching Academy on (031) 201 5609 or e-mail them on

(Health24, August 2011)

Read more:

Rugby skills for 4 - 5 year olds
Rugby skills for 6 - 8 year olds
Rugby skills for 11 - 12 year olds
Rugby skills for 13 - 18 year olds




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