The lineout can one of the best platforms on which to launch successful set phase attacks and can become an almost guaranteed source of possession, however it can also provide poor quality ball and can become a lottery if it is not coached and trained correctly. The Springboks in 2007 showed how important this facet of play can be on attack and how devastating it can be to the opposition’s possession.

Lineout video tutorials

A great introduction on the basics of the lineout lift by Robin Brooks

The basics


Hand shape for lifters:


*Elbows must be inwards. Hand shape replicates ass shape

-Lifters must push inwards before jumper takes off; this provides a huge amount of power. The ratio between the back and front lifter at this stage is 50/50

-After the initial lift it shifts to 90% for the back lifter and 10% for the front lifter

-The lifters should have their chests touching while holding the jumper in the air

To practice:

Have lifters put hands together then practice the push and explode and the hold at the top facing each other

-Lifters should have their legs split in order to give increased stability. The stronger foot should start at the back and then move forward with the lift

-The lift requires 90% leg effort and only 10% arms

Back Lifter:

-The back lifter must have his shoulders straight up above his head, this is the strongest position, any more forward and the shoulder strength becomes weaker

-His centre of gravity must be directly underneath the jumper

-Both the jumper and back lifter must have their spines in line with other








Have back lifter holding 1 finger on jumpers ass, this enables him to look in any direction, while at the same time being aware of the jumpers movement. The lifter will also not get in the jumpers way while he moves backwards trying o lose his opposite jumperTip:

Lifters on Defence:

-Never have hands on knees

-Must keep body tense, must be able to change direction at any time

-Must keep slightly crouched to move quickly and change direction

-They must not over focus on 1 jumper, increase the peripheral vision in case he needs to lift another jumper

Defensive Lineouts:

-Have lineout crab across line as a unit

-Cheat like crazy to get the advantage

-Try throwing our jumper into the opposition jumper to steal their ball

Jumpers should face in on defence, this gives them more view of the opposition lineout while at the same time keeping an eye on the ball with the hooker

*Get jumpers up first on defence:

Have jumpers with arms in the air and legs slightly bent, so big bend as we need as little time as possible to get him into the air

*To stay with the opposition jumper on the ground:

Jumpers should tense their core and crab across without crossing his feet over each other

*Put pressure on the opposition by watching them intently- give them only one option!


 Defending the Drive:

-Have our jumper keep stiff fingers on their jumper on his way down, don’t pull him, just finger tips

-Take the lifters out by driving under their armpits while arm is still raised bringing down their jumper

-No set jobs, players must react to the situation


-Help reduce skew throw calls from refs:

*Jumper to stand slightly out of the line and move in. Psychologically they won’t call it


*Locks to give a NO call by giving a head signal: ie: looking down, up, sideways ect

*Have a set call, but always have at least 2 emergency calls

*Have a movement following the NO call to throw off the opposition, then once the false movement is over it indicates for the 1 emergency move to start