Guildford Rugby Football Club
Guildford Rugby Football Club

Under 13s JDP

Player Development Pathway

Age Group: U13s

LTAD Stage: Training to Train

Train/Match: 60:40

Window of Optimal Trainability (Focus of athletic training)

Develop physical capacities (esp. Aerobic conditioning)
Develop Speed & Rugby SKILLS

Overall coaching approach

VERY IMPORTANT – Be sensitive to the physical changes in the players over the coming years (not all the same)
MORE structured games / encourage free thinking.

Player Capacities
(Consolidate and develop previous age skills)


Consolidate & Develop Individual skills / Intro to new skills / cont. Develop tackling (Key element / safety)
  • HAND OFF (below armpits)
  • Swerve and dodge / avoid contact
  • Side step off both feet
  • Always go forward at space
  • Change of pace.
Handling skills
  • Decision making – Creating & Preserving space, switch pass, spin pass.
  • Lateral Pass – both hands 10+ meters
  • Catching (two hands) off the chest
  • Capable of passing 10m
  • Introduce lineout throw.
Contact Skills
  • Fine tune tackling skills (Front, side & behind) looking at body position and timing.
  • Falling and placing the ball – long and jack knife presentations
  • Pop up pass from ground.
  • Offload out of the tackle. (push ball beyond the defender)
  • Getting back to your feet – re-join game – Bounce
  • Build overall confidence in contact.
Maul – even split ruck maul work
  • Full Maul.
  • Ball carrier – Stability & Ball presentation low and in two hands.
  • Link Player – Body position (Tower of power), set height equal to a scrum. secure and deliver ball.
  • Additional players – join correctly (gate), understand ball transfer
  • Defender – join correctly (gate), secure ball & player by wrapping ball carrier’s arms and ball. Leg drive.
Ruck – even split ruck maul work
  • Full ruck.
  • Ball carrier – leg drive then to ground, secure with good presentation or pass ball.
  • Support players – join correctly (gate), scrum body position, secure ball or ruck over.
  • Tackler – release, regain feet & contest. join correctly (gate),
  • 6 nearest players (all should participate, subject to safety)
  • all must be confident & competent
  • Fully contested
  • Scrum half can now pick and go.
Backline attack
  • Identify/create and attack space.
  • hold defenders – timing of pass or direction of running.
  • Use patterns like switch pass, loop pass and miss pass
  • Re-alignment (attack and defence)
  • Recognise and be able to realign on turnover or loss of possession
  • Develop further 2nd phase of attack, especially from set plays (Scrum, free pass, KOs) have players create a plan.
Kicking & Catching
  • All players to practice all types of kicking and catching.


Laws / Ethics
  • Understand the basic rules of 15s
  • Personal responsibility for behaviours and actions
  • Basic tactical awareness / Start to identify with positional role
Principles (Team play)
  • Go Forward – including basic kicking strategies
  • Continuity – maintain possession / Support / Communication (encourage verbal skills)
  • Decision making – allow them to explore various scenarios / let them get it wrong / review
  • Team Play – collective action in both attack and defence.



Awareness of body space

Balance – Static & dynamic

Co-ordination and manipulation

Speed, Power & Endurance (Intro – Triple extension)

Warm-up and cool down


Enthusiasm & Commitment

Self control / Concentration



Commitment to improve / personal responsibility / Interpersonal skills / GOOD HEALTH PRACTICE


Law variations - Under 13s

Players per side: 13

Max pitch size: 90 x 60

Minutes per half: 25

Max game time per day: 80

Additional variations: 80

Coaching tips: Referee & coach to rules, especially around new elements (Safety) Concentrate on Building the engine and rugby Skills (Inc. Team play) CREATIVE Team work. Players play what is in front of them. Create time & Space!