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Scrum Half

Joost van der Westhuizen of South Africa passes from a ruck

Photo: Getty Images

The scrum half is at the centre of the action, coordinating his forwards and linking them with the backs. Their handling and passing skills must be excellent; able to deliver possession quickly, accurately and in either direction without delay.

As a decision-maker who controls the tempo of play, kicking is an important part of a scrum-half’s armoury. They should be able to place high, hanging ‘box’ kicks over scrums, lineouts, rucks and mauls, using the protection of the forwards to take only one step back.

Selective use of powerful acceleration is important, as they should look to exploit any holes in the opposition defence as the first person with their hands on the ball.

Practices should include:

  • Passing ­– passing under varying pressure and off both hands; standing pass, pivot pass, dive pass, reverse pass
  • Passing – swift passing from set pieces and after receiving possession from rucks and mauls
  • Kicking – high, hanging kicks off right and left feet to land in specific areas

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