Guildford Rugby Football Club

Colts 17/18s JDP

Player Development Pathway

Age Group: Colts U17/18s

LTAD Stage: Train to Compete

Train/Match: 50:50

Window of Optimal Trainability (Focus of athletic training)

Develop Fitness, specialisation of Rugby Skills & Tactics.
Develop Multi-functional role under match conditions

Overall coaching approach

Improvise / Problem solving in match conditions.
Most (not all) Player positions will be set / Specialisation.
17/18 year olds may have opportunities to train and compete with adults (under strict RFU conditions/regulations)

Player Capacities
(Consolidate and develop previous age skills)


Develop Individual / Team skills under match conditions


  • Avoid contact / swerve / HAND OFF (Full) / Change of pace / Sidestep

Handling skills

  • Decision making – Creating & Preserving space.

Contact Skills

  • Tackling skills / Unit tackle (2nd & 3rd player support – attack & defence) / reacting to what is in front of you.
  • Ball carrier making best decision before and in contact.


  • Full Maul.
  • Ball carrier – Strong base & protect ball / Support Players – Body position/drive, secure and deliver ball.
  • Defenders – hold up ball & player / drive.


  • Ball carrier – Ball presentation
  • Support players – Protect ball carrier & secure ball.
  • Tackler – release, regain feet & contest.
  • Create Ruck to maintain continuity (Increase Speed of ruck). Phase play.


  • Attack & Defence strategy. Channel 1,2,3.


  • Full Lineout/ Specialist thrower / Decoy work / tactics of lineout
  • Game strategy from Lineout.

Backline attack – Multiple phases in match conditions.

  • Penetration – Positioning, Alignment & identification of space / Angle of run & timing of pass
  • Players be aware of formal role in a pattern / Decoys

Backline defence (Prevent penetration through defensive line / attempt to regain possession.

  • Alignment / move forward / React to threat / TACKLE / Support

Kicking & Catching

  • Attack, Defence & KO strategies.


Laws / Ethics

  • Understand the Laws / Personal responsibility for behaviours and actions


  • Problem solving (in-Game) / Tactical options to achieve game plan
  • Awareness of opposition strength/weaknesses and ability adjust game plan

Principles (Team play)

  • ADD PRESSURE to principle of play / choose best options.


Multi-sprint endurance / Speed / Power / Agility / (Personal conditioning)

Position specific conditioning

Strength (Window – 12months after growth spurt slows) – Weight training (taught / supervised)


Personal preparation & warm-up, Controlled breathing & relaxation



Independent thinking / Ambition / Life balance (Coping with pressure & SETBACKS)

Awareness of leadership demands and responsibilities.

Role model for younger players


Law variations - Colts 17/18s

Players per side: 15

Max pitch size: 100 x 70

Minutes per half: 35

Max game time per day: 80

Additional variations: 80

Coaching tips: Increase pressure on all skills, to reflect match conditions. / Game management / Decision making by individual players / REMEMBER TO KEEP IT FUN and treat as young adults, as players will start to be tempted away from Rugby