Learn how to sidestep around opponents

Shane Williams was a master at it, jinking around opponents and leaving them clutching at air. Christian Wade is another who has nifty footwork, darting in and out to beat would-be tacklers. What are we talking about? The sidestep of course.

Sidestepping has long been a skill that has drawn gasps from rugby crowds, the ability to get around defenders and create scoring opportunities a joy to watch, particularly when it’s done in narrow spaces near the touchline.

The key to a good sidestep is to convince the defender you’re going to go one way and then step away to the other side – and it’s a great tactic to use when in a one-on-one situation with a tackler. Watch the video above to see how it’s done – and then practise with your team-mates in training.

Remember, you have to make the defender believe you’re going one way so make sure you don’t give anything away with your eyes or your feet, only changing direction at the last second. When you feel comfortable doing it in training, try it out in a game when the appropriate one-on-one situation arises.

This is just one of a series of videos Rugby World has put together to show mini rugby players how to perform various skills, from the switch to the two-on-one. The aim is to help improve players’ all-round game.

Every month Rugby World magazine features a ‘How To’ guide on a specific technique and a fun game to use in training that will keep the players entertained and help develop skills like the teamwork, communication, support play and evasive running.

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