The Gloucester and England back-row talks driving lineouts

How to set up a maul quickly – by Lewis Ludlow

The maul has always been a powerful attacking weapon and in the past 12 months its importance has only grown.

Here Gloucester and England back-row Lewis Ludlow gives his top tips on how to set up a mual quickly…

Numbers game

“Most teams in the Premiership will use a 5+1 maul to clear the ball and a 6+1 maul in the opposition 22. The +1 refers to a forward stood where the scrum-half would usually be.”


“Using deception is key. We will sometimes go off the top from our 6+1 maul or set up a fake maul.

“By creating this misdirection, you can slow down the opposition defence and get your own maul moving quickly. As everyone knows, a maul moving quickly is hard to stop.”

Pay attention and adapt

“We have an analysis department who identify weaknesses in the opposition’s maul defence. But you can still do this on a Saturday. If the opposition are coming up quickly in defence then you might choose to maul it and take advantage of what the opposition are doing.

“We’ve had to operate a bit like a lower-level side this season by making those decisions on the move as teams have tried to slow our maul.”

Repeat, repeat, repeat

“We do a lot of work in practice to get everything done at pace. The more repetition you do, the faster everything will happen in a game.

“If you get to the point where you’re not thinking, and just doing, you will be ahead of the opposition.”

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

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