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Hooker

Steve Thompson of the Lions prepares to throw in at a lineout

Photo: Getty Images

The hooker is a key forward, coordinating events at the major possession platforms, the scrum and the lineout. 

Ensuring a solid unit with his props, the hooker strikes for the ball and propels it backwards through the loose-head’s legs into his team’s possession. At a defensive scrum, the hooker may try to influence his opponent by striking for the ball or driving up and against him.

At the lineout, the hooker throws the ball in and it is essential they hit their jumpers and respond to the set lineout moves.  At a defensive lineout, the hooker acts like a flanker; clearing up any loose possession and attacking with the ball in hand.

Practices should include: 

  • Scrummaging –individually, with complete front row and scrum half, on timing, speed and direction of strike.
  • Scrummaging ­­– practice body position for strike and for eight-man shove.
  • Lineout – throwing technique; deliver from behind the head, throwing hand on base of ball with supporting hand on side, and throw with power derived from quick action.
  • Lineout – practice accurate throwing; always using a target and progress to match conditions (ie three shuttle runs, throw, repeat).
 

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