Rugby Passing 101 – Different Types And How To Master Them

Passing is a fundamental aspect of rugby. It is was one of the key ways players move the ball up the field and score. We will look at all the different types of rugby passes and how you can learn and improve them.

What Are The Main Types Of Passing Used In Rugby?

The most common types of passing in rugby include spin, pop, cut out, flick, diving, lateral, inside, outside, tap. They all have their benefits and disadvantages. When you use them depends on the situation.

Let’s do a deep dive into the different rugby passes:

Standard lateral pass – This is by far the most common pass. This rugby pass involves throwing the ball horizontally to your inside or outside. In a standard pass no spin is used. This pass is best used for medium distances. Rugby league players prefer this type of passing.

The secret to following a great later pass is generating your power from your hips. You need to keep your arms relaxed and whip your hips like throwing a punch. This will increase your distance.

To increase your accuracy you need to look at exactly where you want to pass the ball throughout the movement and as you are throwing the ball keep your hands fixated on the desired location.

Here Is NRL Superstar Demoing The Perfect Lateral Rugby Pass

Spin pass – This pass is just like a standard pass but players put a spin on the ball. The spin makes the ball travel faster, and helps improve accuracy. This pass is best suited for medium to long distances. Rugby union players typically favor spin passes.

The secret to perfecting the spin pass is hand placement. You need to put your outside hand under the tip of the ball while your inside hand needs to be on the top of the of tip closest to your body.

Then you as you are passing the rugby ball you should first rotate your hips, then shoulders and finally flick your hands creating the perfect spiral.

Watch Rugby League Legend Andrew Johns Teach You The Spin Pass

Pop pass – This another type of rugby pass you need to master. A pop pass is where instead of throwing the ball horizontally you throw it in a slight upward motion. It helps to hold the ball with the ends facing vertically. The pop pass is perfect when your teammate is right next you. You can perform a pop pass while running or while on the ground.

Pop passes may look simple but if you throw them too hard or soft they don’t work. You need to develop a great sense of feel. When throwing a pop pass focus on gently the tossing the ball into the air to give your teammate a chance to run onto it.

The perfect pop pass should reach chest height of your teammate and be slightly in front of them.

This Video Breaks Down How To Throw The Perfect Pop Pass

Cut out pass – A cut out pass is a long horizontal pass where you deliberately skip one of your teammates and throw it to a further player. The cut out pass can be a standard or spin pass. The cut out pass is used to get the ball to the outside quicker, typically when a team has unmarked players and an opportunity to score.

The secret to throwing a great cut out pass is focusing on power and accuracy. To increase your power throw your whole body into the pass. You need to whip your hips and shoulders.

To increase your accuracy focus in on a single point on your teammate’s chest and ensure your hands follow the direction you want to pass in.

Here Is A Crazy 3 Man Cut Out Pass

Flick pass – A flick pass is where you hold the rugby ball in one hand with it curled into forearm before shoveling it to a teammate. To perform a flick pass you flare your elbow and throw the ball under your arm.

The flick pass is used to surprise the defending side who don’t think you are going to pass. It is also used to offload the ball when you are in the middle of being tackled. The flick pass is only suitable for short distances.

Rugby league players are the master of flick passes. As they are being tackled by 2 or 3 players they will offload the ball creating an overlap.

The secret to throwing a great flick pass is learning how to hold the ball correctly in one hand. You want the ball pressed into your forearm. To do this cup your fingers around the middle of the rugby ball and bend your wrist until it is pressing into your forearm.

Then when it it is time throw the pass loosen your grip on the ball, lift your elbow up and out and drive your hand towards your elbow.

Here Is A Video Showing You How To Flick Pass

Tap pass – A tap pass is where you slap or knock the ball to one of your teammates without ever catching the ball. The tap pass is definitely high risk as there is a lack of control. A tap pass is used when a player doesn’t have time to catch the ball due to rushing defense but has a teammate unmarked next to him. The tap pass should only be used to cover short distances.

There is no secret to learning the tap pass. It all comes down to instincts. Even if you play rugby for years and years you will only perform this pass a handful of times in your career. So there is no point spending time learning it.

Inside pass – An inside pass refers to any pass you throw to the inside of your body. For example if you are running towards the right and suddenly throw a pop pass to your left that is an inside pass. Inside passes are often used to catch the defense off guard.

The defense will be so focused on you and the players to your outside that a player running an inside line can surprise them. Inside passes are also used to take advantage of slow forwards who fail to provide effective sliding cover defense.

Outside pass – An outside pass in rugby is when you throw the pass in the direction you are running to. The outside pass is the standard pass in rugby. It is more natural to pass to the side you are running towards.

Diving pass – It’s all in the name. A diving pass is when a players throws them self in the direction of the ball and end ups diving. Scrumhalves are usually the only players who use diving passes. They use them when passing from the back of the ruck to generate extra power and length. It occurs when the receiving player is standing extra deep to kick the ball.

If you are not a scrumhalf you don’t need to waste your time learning how to perform this rugby pass.

Here Is NZ All Black Dane Coles Demonstrating A Diving Pass

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