A SWITCH is an easy skill to master and a great way to beat a defender, especially out wide. If your attack is running out of space, and the touchline is too close to put your winger away on an overlap, then the winger should think about coming off his wing on a switch.

To teach the switch pass, mark a square with four cones, then put a fifth cone in the middle, so it looks like the five of a dice. If you joined the four outside cones diagonally, it would resemble an X. It’s important to explain this, as the two attackers must run the angles of the X to commit the defender.

The ball-carrier instigates the switch by cutting the angle to drag the defender with him. He must then mimic a magician with a rabbit, only the rabbit is the ball. By this I mean he turns his back on the defence and uses sleight of hand to pop the ball, rather than pass it, so that opponents can’t see the ball until it’s too late – and the receiver is away!

Step 1: Set up your switch practice using cones to resemble the number five on a dice

Step 2: The defender is dragged out of position by the ball-carrier as both attackers run the angles of the X


Step 3: That’s magic! The ball-carrier turns his back on the opposition, so they can’t see the ‘rabbit’

Step 4: The wide man take the pop pass and hits the gap left by the committed defender

This article appeared in the December 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.

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