The Stormers centre explains the workings of this attack move

How to run a switch – by Ruhan Nel

A switch – or scissors – move has long been used on rugby fields around the world, players interlinking to change the direction of an attack.

Here Stormers centre Ruhan Nel explains how to run a switch…

Time it right

“The best time to run a switch is against a sliding defence or one that comes up and out.

“As they push out, they will potentially leave holes that can be attacked with the switch. Against a blitz, you’re unlikely to have enough time.”

Fix the defender

“The first thing to do when running a switch is to engage the defender. Run forward first to make sure that defender is fixed on you.

“If you run to the outside before engaging the opposing player, you’re unlikely to pull any defenders out of position. Fix them, then run to the outside.”

Leave it late

“As the receiver, you need to be patient. Let the ball-carrier engage the defender and bring him to the outside. The later you make your move, the more effective it will be.

“If you go for the switch too soon, the defence will be able to read your movement. Practise your timing and make sure you wait as long as possible before running the line.”

Look for triggers

“The best way to train is a two-on-two drill. Work on engaging the defender and running the switch late.

“You can also look for triggers from the defender. Look at their body position and where their hips are facing when you run a good switch and where they are facing when it doesn’t work effectively.”

This article originally appeared in Rugby World magazine’s September 2022 edition.

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