Rugby Union: Guide To Tackling

Rugby Union: Guide To Tackling

Tackling is one of the most important technical aspects of a game of rugby. Watch VideoJug's guide and learn how to tackle successfully in your rugby game.

Step 1: Safety

It takes two to tackle, and while it's obviously important that you stop the other guy scoring a try, it's equally important that you both get up afterwards.

A High Tackle is anywhere above the shoulders, and is rightly against the laws of the game. Not only are low tackles more likely to be successful, they're also less likely to result in a broken neck.

When tackling, be aware at all times of the position of your head; both players are going to come crashing to the ground and you want to make sure your head's not going to get squished between the ground and the guy you're tackling.

Step 2: Laws

Don't forget, you're only allowed to tackle someone if they're actually holding the ball, so don't go chasing down some chump just for the fun of it.

If you've been tackled and you're on the ground, you need to release the ball immediately and roll away. If you're quick, you can pass it up to a teammate, but don't hang about because if you take too long about it you'll get done for playing the ball on the floor, and that's a penalty offence.

However, if you're tackled near the try-line, you're allowed to stretch out your arms and try to ground the ball to score the try. If you can, do.

Step 3: Technique

Side-tackles are all about timing. Get it wrong, and you're liable to get a boot in the face and a bruised ego. Get it right, and your opponent will come tumbling down like a house of cards.

As you approach your target, bring your shoulder down to about hip height, and adopt an almost-crouching pose. Push forwards with your legs and dive your shoulder towards their thigh with as much might as you can muster.

Make sure you keep your momentum, that's what's going to topple them.

Brace yourself for impact.

Strike them with the shoulder that puts your head behind them – you don't want them falling onto your skull. Essentially, you're tucking your head by their bum.

Next, wrap your arms around their legs between around the thigh and above the knee. Squeeze your arms, don't let go, and they'll soon go down.


Tackling from behind is that little bit more dangerous. You don't really want your face anywhere near those big, studded rugby boots, do you?

Focus on where you're going to hit. That's the area below his bum and above his knees.

Make contact with your shoulder beneath their bum, with your head to one side of their leg.

Wrap your arms around their legs between around the thigh and above the knee. Squeeze your arms, pushing their legs together.

Momentum and gravity will do the rest and bring him down. Just don't let go.