What is one good agility drill to assess rugby athletes?

One agility drill that is great for assessing rugby players is the L-drill.  The L-drill is great for assessing rugby players because it incorporates multiple transitions and changes of direction similar to the demands a player  endures during a game.  To set the up L-drill you need 3 cones.  Position the cones so that form a letter "L" on the field with 5 yards between each cone.  The player starts at the top of the "L", sprints 5 yards, touches the line, redirects back to the start, touching the start line, and arcs around the second cone, weaving in between the 2nd and 3rd cones, and finishing by rounding the 3rd and 2nd cone back to the start line.  You can time the athlete and the re-assess them in the future to determine if their time improved. The L-drill will also allow the coach to see how well an athlete redirects and maintains speed while rounding curves.  It is a great observation drill as well.  One thing you can work on with rugby athletes is to have smooth arcs as they round the cones.  If a player engages in short shuffle steps, the athlete needs more time working on being smoother while rounding curves.  A good cue to give a player is to take the appropriate path before rounding, similar to a baseball player rounding first base to head for second.  Another cue that provides good instruction is to tell the athlete to point the inside foot (foot closer to the cones) inward.  This will help create a path for the body to follow.

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