Sunday, 15 May 2011


The main game-play of Rugby Union is running with the ball in hand towards the opposition team's in-goal area, which is called ball-carrying. Any rugby player on the team can take on the responsibility to run with the ball and when they do so they are referred to as the ball-carrier. Running with the ball in hand can take place anywhere on the pitch but it can be a risky tactic running with the ball from inside your own 22 yard line. Player's can hold the ball in one or two hands when running with the ball, depending on the options around them. If the player is aiming to offload the ball out of the tackle they may hold the ball in one hand to lob a pass out to a player running beside them while fending the tackler off with the other hand. This might not always be an option, so a player may hold the ball in two hands while running to make sure they do not drop the ball in contact.

When in close to a ruck one of the best ways to run with the ball can be to position the body low, charge at the defender and leg drive to gain territory, 'sucking in defenders' at the same time. When further out in open field a player's best option might be to sprint as hard as they can towards the opposition's try line, avoiding would be tacklers. In the forwards the leading ball-carriers are usually the No. 8, the blindside flanker and the hooker but this can vary depending on the attributes of each forward pack. In the backs most players are comfortable running with the ball in hand. Sometimes the outhalf or scrumhalf tend to be not as physical as the rest of the team so may choose not to run with the ball.

Not all players choose to run with the ball as it may not be their best attribute or they might not be in the best position to do so. If they do not want to run with the ball they can choose to either pass or kick the ball instead.

To learn more about the rules and gameplay rugby union, click one of the links below:

Ruby Union Gameplay and Rules

Rugby Union Videos