Breakdown Ready - a guide to safe and effective breakdowns

Player welfare is World Rugby’s number one priority. We continually work to ensure our stakeholders can access high quality, up to date training and education opportunities supported by a wide range of resources to help them to make our game safer and better. With approximately 150-180 breakdowns per game, it is vital to ensure that all players (and coaches) can perform (and coach) both the attacking and defensive breakdown effectively. The Breakdown Ready programme provides an in-depth framework for both attack and defence, each with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Programme aims.

The aim of the programme is to build on the Tackle Ready programme to further increase technical understanding and mastery for both player and coach of the attacking and defensive breakdown. This programme will allow coaches to analyse, coach, and assess the individual and collective skills of their players.

What are the benefits of Breakdown Ready?

Breakdown Ready aims to introduce consistent terminology across the game, and to provide a deeper understanding of what makes a safe and effective breakdown. It provides coaches and players with the specific breakdown stages and detailed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which will develop the individual and collective skills of the player. Coaches should be able to use the resources to evaluate their current coaching methods and further develop their breakdown coaching programme within their coaching environment. Using the programme should improve player’s technical proficiency, accuracy, confidence, and mindset, leading to safer performance in both the attacking and defensive breakdown contest.

How should Breakdown Ready be used?

The content is appropriate for all levels of players playing contact rugby (dependent on Union Age Grade Law Variations), from young beginner to experienced adult and through to the professional game. The content include specific drills and activities to help players to become fundamentally sound and offers suitable progressions.

Breakdown Ready identifies skill-specific movement patterns relating to the core components of attacking and defensive breakdown, taking them from a simple static form through to dynamic combined movements.

Breakdown Ready is relevant for all ages and stages of players and should be coached as part of a holistic programme involving support staff (if available e.g., Strength & Conditioning, Medical, Psychology) to create a safe and effective breakdown culture within the rugby organisation.