The England prop’s top tips on this effective turnover tactic

Vickii Cornborough: How to rip the ball in contact

Harlequins and England prop Vickii Cornborough explains how to rip the ball in contact…


“You need to be working as a unit to rip the ball – normally in a double tackle. Rachael Burford talks about hunting in threes and it’s the middle person who makes the initial tackle and then a second person comes in higher and will look to rip the ball.”

On hand

“If you’re the second person coming in, as you go into the tackle assess what the ball-carrier’s hand placement is like.

“If they have the ball in one hand, it’s a prime opportunity to dislodge the ball. If they have the ball in two hands, you need 
a dominant tackle first off.

“It still doesn’t take a lot most of the time, especially because the ball-carrier will go into the tackle more worried about the first person.”

Go tight

“The biggest thing when going for a rip is to get in tight on the ball. With long levers you won’t get good traction or power, so get your chest and shoulder in close and then look to dislodge the ball.

“You can pump the ball up or down, but ripping down is normally easier as you’re using gravity.”


Pick opportunities

“Don’t always go for the rip – it might not be on depending on the situation. If the first person hasn’t made a dominant tackle or they’re a little bit late, the ball-carrier might be looking to offload.

“If you bite in to rip the ball, there is space left on the outside. So don’t go in 
if there’s a chance of the offload.”

This article originally appeared in the June 2019 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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