Rugby drill to speed up your scrum half pass

The scrum half is a key player in your rugby team. He's the link between the forwards and the backs, the co-ordinator who dictates when the ball is to be produced, and he needs to be able to deliver great ball. These rugby drills, skills and tips are aimed at increasing the speed of your scrum half's pass.

The speed of the ball does not mean a quick pass. The definition of "quick" here is in relation to the time of the ball in the hands of the passer. This is the "T"-time.

Key measures of a good pass

  • Speed – Reduce "T"-time through the hands.

  • Accuracy – The correct depth and at an appropriate height.

  • Distance – The pass achieves the required distance to launch the next attack.

  • Empathy – The pass is for, rather than to the receiver. A pass should begin to decelerate rather than still be accelerating when it reaches the receiver.

  • Support – After passing, the next function of the passer is to provide support in order to maintain quick continuity of play.

In order to achieve the above outcomes it is necessary to modify specific key factors of the "classic" scrum half pass and produce a quicker, more flexible pass.

Shorten the base width

The base width is the distance between the feet. A wide-base provides more stability and the opportunity to swing the ball longer, resulting in great distances.

A shorter base is less stable but means less time in the hands, with the ball moving through the hands quicker (the "T"-time). The distance of the pass may be shorter initially, but, with practice and the other adjustments, it will not be significantly affected and may even be improved.

Rugby drill tips for width of passing base

Weight-transfer and momentum

It's better for the passer's body momentum, and so their weight, to be towards the receiver. Therefore the scrum half should approach and address the ball from a more side-on stance. This has the added benefit of allowing the passer to "see" the receiver for longer, allowing more accurate passing skills.

Change body momentum to help pass

Body height, head and shoulders

The traditional pass promotes a lower body position, keeps the head down and so keeps the ball from rising too high. It also helps achieve greater distance and control. However, with the adjustments to the approach, base and momentum modifications to body height, the head and shoulder positions must also be changed:

  • More bend at the knees than at the waist.

  • Keep the head up (think of a discus thrower).

For more simple secrets to unleashing your coaching potential, subscribe to Rugby Coach.

Click here for rugby coaching tips on scrum-half foot positions.

Rugby coaching tips


Improve your rugby training skills. Sign up for a FREE weekly email, full of simple proven tips, advice and drills.

"Just wanted to let you know that I find your emails interesting and very helpful! Thanks very much!"
Jules Hydleman, Coach, England






Please note that Better Rugby Coaching takes your privacy very seriously. We will never rent or sell your email address to any third party.




Get our FREE weekly coaching tips email





Receive GREAT coaching tips to help you become
a better rugby coach, straight to your inbox!

Get these FREE reports when you sign-up:

  • My Five Favourite Training Games
  • 12 Handy Tools for Novice Rugby Coaches
  • Rocket Ball – Four ready-made coaching sessions
  • 20 Clever Ways to Improve Your Rugby Coaching
  • The Guide to Coaching Junior Rugby Players
  • The Guide to Coaching Senior Rugby Players

Please note that Better
Rugby Coaching
takes your privacy very seriously. We will never rent or sell your email address to any third party